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Slack’s new desktop app loads 33 percent faster and uses less RAM

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Slack’s desktop app has been rebuilt for Windows and macOS

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Slack is unveiling a new version of its desktop app for Windows and macOS today that promises big performance improvements. Slack has rebuilt its desktop app to focus on speed, and the company claims Slack will now launch 33 percent faster than before. The Slack app will even use 50 percent less RAM than before, according to the company.

Both of these performance improvements will be noticeable for many of Slack’s customers, but they’re particularly key if you use multiple workspaces in the existing Slack desktop app. Slack has totally rebuilt the desktop app so that all of the underlying code is multi-workspace aware. The result is that Slack will no longer create a standalone copy for each workspace and take up RAM for each instance. Instead, it reuses components and uses a more modern codebase.

Slack has been working on this overhaul for two years, slowly modernizing parts of its code along the way. While the desktop apps still run on Electron, all of the UI parts have been rebuilt using React to fix some of the shortcomings of the existing Slack app. Even Slack calls should be faster to join and use with colleagues now.

Alongside these basic performance improvements, the Slack desktop app will now behave a lot better when you’ve got bad internet connectivity or you’re simply offline. If you use Slack regularly, you’ll know that when you drop off of a Wi-Fi connection, the app warns you and often doesn’t let you view channels and conversations you’ve been having. Slack isn’t introducing an “offline mode” with this latest desktop app, but it will cache your session a lot better so you can look back at messages in a channel or view conversations you were having before your connection dropped.

All of these changes are rolling out to Slack users today, and you can download the latest Slack desktop app over at the company’s site.