How to set up and use Slack screen sharing

Slack is a great collaboration platform for teams and colleagues, allowing you to send text messages, share files, and initiate voice calls. One underrated feature of Slack, however, is its ability to share your screen with others. Screen sharing is useful for presentations and meetings, but you may need to configure your device first.

You can share your screen on Slack using the web client or desktop application, but you’ll need to upgrade to a paid Slack plan first. If you’re looking to set up and use Slack screen sharing, here’s what you need to do.

How to set up Slack screen sharing

Before you start using screen sharing on Slack, there are a few things you need to keep in mind first.

Unfortunately, certain features (such as voice calling and screen sharing) are only available on Slack if your workspace is on a paid plan. If you are a workspace owner or administrator, you will need upgrade to a Standard, Plus, or Enterprise plan at a cost-per-user or separately quoted before you (or your users) can share the screen.

You don’t need an active camera for screen sharing to work, but since screen sharing is a component of a voice or video call, it can help you present to your audience. At the very least, you will need a working microphone to set up voice calls and communicate with other participants.

To use all screen sharing features on Slack (such as drawing on the screen), you may need install desktop app. While you can join a Slack screen-sharing call in your browser, only the Mac or Windows desktop app offers the full range of features to users.

How to share your screen in Slack

To share your screen in a Slack workspace, you need to start a new video call.

  1. To do this, open the Slack app or open a Slack workspace in your browser. In a direct message, select Call in the right panel to initiate a call.
  1. You can also start a new call in a channel by clicking on the username, then selecting Call in the pop-up window. Confirm you want to initiate the call by selecting Start a call button.
  1. When you have set up a new call, select Check your share from the options at the bottom. If you have multiple monitors connected to your PC, you’ll need to select the monitor to share from the options provided. This will allow you to share specific apps on one screen, leaving the other screen private.

Once Slack screen sharing is active, some rules apply. Only a single user can share their screen at any given time, and their screen sharing user becomes an active user for the duration of the screen share, meaning no feed Any other camera becomes prominent.

  1. To stop screen sharing, select Stop screen sharing button. This will end screen sharing, returning the call to a standard video call.

Draw on a shared Slack share screen

Sharing your screen allows you to present information on your screen to other callers. However, if you want to make things more interactive, you (and other callers) can directly draw on the shared screen. This allows you to annotate or point out certain items to your audience.

  1. Sliding screen drawing is enabled by default. If you (or others) want to start drawing on the screen, select Painting Icon from the options provided.
  1. With the option enabled, draw on the screen using a mouse, trackpad, touchscreen, or other suitable interface device. If you want to prevent other participants from participating, select Draw together the icon. When the icon is white, other users can draw on your shared desktop.
  1. You can also change the color of your pen while drawing on the screen. To do this, select CTRL key (on Windows) or Request Key (on a Mac). This will cycle through each available color.

Fix Slack screen sharing

If Slack’s screen sharing tool isn’t working, you need to troubleshoot. There are a number of reasons why this feature might not work, from lack of permissions to misconfigured network ports.

Enable permissions on Mac

Mac users, in particular, may find that macOS’s privacy settings pre-empt any attempts to share your screen. If that’s the case, you’ll need to grant Slack access to record your screen in System Preferences menu.

  1. Open System Preferenceschoose Apple menu > System Preferences.
  1. inside System Preferences menu, select Security & Privacy > Privacy > Screen Recorder. On the right, make sure that Slack checkbox is enabled. If you cannot change this setting, select lock icon at the bottom of the menu.

Open Slack network portal

The Slack desktop app requires certain ports to be open for video calling and screen sharing to work properly. In particular, UDP port 22466 is required for outgoing traffic. If this is not available, Slack will attempt to fall back to TCP port 443, the default HTTPS port that will be available on most internet-connected networks.

However, the default for port 443 can cause problems. If your Slack calls are of low quality, or if you’re having trouble sharing your screen at a reasonable resolution, you’ll need configure your firewall to open ports 22466 (UDP) and 443 (TCP). Windows users will also need to configure Windows Firewall to allow Slack to access the internet.

  1. To do this, right-click on the Start menu and select Run right to buy.
  1. inside Run box type control firewall.cpl and choose ALRIGHT.
  1. inside Windows Firewall menu, select Allow an app or feature through Windows Defender Firewall. Make sure to select the checkbox next to Slack application to allow Slack access through the firewall. If you’re using a public or private network, make sure the checkboxes in those categories are also enabled. You may need to choose Change settings first button.

Consider alternatives

If Slack screen sharing is still not working on PC or Mac, you may need to look into alternatives. Several screen sharing tools exist, including Facetime for Mac users and Zoom for cross-platform users.

You can also share your screen on Android mobile devices using apps like Google Duo. Most major video conferencing apps support screen sharing, but if you’re having connectivity issues on Slack, you may need to troubleshoot these issues first, including switching to better internet connection.

While Slack and other platforms may use different methods to set up screen and video calls, it still requires a stable network connection and properly configured (including open ports) for the call to work properly.

Get started with Slack

If you’re a Slack workspace owner with an active paid plan, you’ll have full access to all the features Slack has to offer. However, there are still a lot of features available to free Slack users. For example, if you want to improve productivity on your free Slack workspace, you can think about adding a Slack bot to your channels.

These will help you make Slack your second brain, allowing you to use the calendar and note-taking integration (along with other tips and tricks) to get the most out of the platform. If you are looking for alternatives to Slack, you can give Microsoft Team or Discord try instead.

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