Note:

You may see a client profile dropdown on the sidebar of your incoming messages from clients. If so, you can open it to learn more about the client. We’re testing this feature, and it is not available to everyone yet.

We know that good communication is an important part of building strong working relationships. Upwork Messages gives you a place to discuss projects, interview, share documents, and complete contracts — in other words, to build strong, professional relationships.

You cannot use Upwork Messages to share contact or payment information. Payment details must always remain on Upwork's platform. Once you have an active contract, you can exchange contact information in the contract workroom for necessary business purposes. Learn more about the contract workroom for clients or for freelancers.

Conversations

When clients send freelancers a direct message or respond to your proposal on Upwork, we automatically create a conversation room in Upwork Messages. This space allows you to chat about a project and also keeps track of your messages over time.

You can add other people to your conversations, create new conversations, and archive conversations when you're finished. To create a new conversation, choose the three dots (...) menu and select Start a new conversation.

Members of a conversation may have different abilities:

  1. The Owner is the user who created a conversation. For example, the client who created a job is the owner of an interview or contract conversation.

  2. The Admin can invite other members into a conversation

  3. Members have been invited to join a conversation

Conversations have a full set of tools to support interviews and contract communications.

View and search your conversations

Filtering and search options make it easy to find the messages you’re looking for. Use the search bar or filter options to search through conversations. You can also tag conversations as favorites by selecting the (...) options menu above a conversation and choosing Add to favorites.

If you’ve hidden a conversation and want to see it again, type the person's name or a phrase you remember from the conversation into the search bar above your messages.

Customize notifications

If you send or receive a message, it will create an email notification. These will be sent to the email account you used to register with Upwork. You can reply to any message from these email notifications, too. When you reply directly from your email, your reply will be posted in the conversation where it originated.

If you start to receive too many email notifications, or if you don't wish to receive any at all, you can change your settings. Choose the Settings gear icon and select Notifications to update your preferences.

Manage messages

You have options within the (...) options menu on each message you send and receive.

To reply to a message:

  1. Hover over the message you want to reply to
  2. Choose the arrow icon

To edit a message:

You can edit any message you send within one hour of sending it. After one hour, you won’t be able to edit the message. All members of a conversation will be able to see that the message has been edited.

  1. Hover over a message you want to edit
  2. Choose the pencil icon to change the message, then send it again

To delete a message:

You can delete a message within an hour of sending it, and you’ll see a note in italics that the message was removed.

  1. Hover over a message and choose the (...) options menu
  2. Choose Delete message

If you don’t see the option to delete, it means the hour time window has passed.

To favorite a message:

  1. Hover over a message you want to add to your favorites
  2. Choose the star icon
  3. You can access this message later by filtering for favorite messages
Manage and attach files

You can attach, search, preview, and download files to share your work through Messages. You can also delete messages and files if you do so within one hour of sending.

To attach files:

  1. You can attach files of 1 GB or under, or link to your Dropbox account from within your Upwork Messages
  2. Just Select the paperclip icon in the message box to add a file

To search files:

  1. To search through the files in a room, open the right panel (ⓘ button) and choose the Files and links button
  2. Use the search bar at the top of the panel to search by file name

To view files:

  1. To view all of the files in a room, open the right panel (ⓘ button) and choose the Files and links button
  2. From there, you can see all files, preview image files, and download or delete them

To download or delete files:

If you want to delete a message or file, you must do so within an hour of it being sent. After that, you will not be able to delete the message or file.

  1. To download or delete a file, locate the message in the conversation where it was attached
  2. Hover over the relevant file or message and select the (...) options menu
  3. Choose Download or Delete

If you don’t see the delete button, it means the hour time limit to delete your file has passed. You can’t delete files through the files and links dropdown.

Deleting files in Upwork Messages

You can also take and attach a screenshot from within the Upwork Desktop App.

Send screen recordings

Upwork Messages have a built-in screen recording service through Loom. Recording your screen is a great way to show others how to perform a certain task, share your work, etc., and the video can be watched anytime. Learn more about screen recordings here.

Two things to know about Loom in Upwork Messages:

  1. It's not available in the Upwork Desktop App
  2. It's only accessible when using Chrome or Edge as your browser (and we hope to be able to host it on Firefox and Safari in the future)
Take notes

Upwork Messages provides a personal notepad for each room that allows you to take notes, brainstorm, and make lists. You can access these notes at any time by clicking on the icon in the upper right corner and selecting Personal notepad.

Use video and voice features

Upwork Messages have built-in video and voice call service via Zoom, with screen sharing capability. Learn more about video and voice calls here.

Zoom video call in Upwork Messages

Follow your status

If the contract hasn’t started yet, you’ll be able to follow the proposal process through the dropdown on the right, under Status. This will show you what action needs to be taken next to move forward.

PRO TIP:

Learn more about Upwork Messages and best practices through an interactive course on work contracts on Upwork Academy.

 
What should I do if I get a message that is suspicious or might violate Upwork’s Terms of Service?

You need to report a message if it is suspicious or violates Upwork’s Terms of Service. If you don’t have an active contract with the person who sent the message, you may also choose to block the person who sent it.

How do I report a message?

If you need to report a message that is suspicious or violates Upwork’s Terms of Service, hover over the message and an options menu (...) will appear. Select the options menu and then choose Report Message.

You’ll see a list of options to choose from to describe the problem, including the option “Something else” if nothing on the list fits your situation. Choose one of the options and select the Submit button. Learn more about reporting violations and suspicious behavior here.

How do I edit a message I've sent?

You can edit any message you send within one hour of sending it. After one hour, you won’t be able to edit the message. All members of a conversation will be able to see that the message has been edited.

  1. Hover over a message you want to edit
  2. Choose the pencil icon to change the message, then send it again

If you’re not able to select the pencil icon, you aren’t able to edit the message.

When should I report a message?

You need to report a message if it is suspicious or violates Upwork’s Terms of Service. Examples include if someone:

  • Asks you to spend money to submit a proposal, like purchasing gift cards, background checks, or equipment
  • Asks you to share your contact information such as an email address or phone number before starting a contract
  • Asks you to accept a payment upfront or outside Upwork
  • Wants to purchase your Upwork account
  • Is misrepresenting their skills or skill level
  • Sent a suspicious link or something that looks like a scam
  • Sent threatening or abusive messages

These are examples, but you can report any behavior that you think is suspicious or against Upwork’s Terms of Service, and we will follow up. Learn more about reporting violations and suspicious behavior here.

Where do I get the mobile and desktop apps?
How do I create a new message or conversation?

To create a new conversation, choose the three-dot menu on the left navigation bar, select Start a new conversation, and add any Upwork users from your address book.

How many conversations can I have?
To protect our freelancer's and client's safety and experience, we limit the number of new conversations users can initiate per day. This number can fluctuate based on usage statistics and safety concerns.
How do I make hitting "enter" create a new line instead of sending the message?

Select the gear icon in your compose box to change the default behavior of "enter" from sending the message to creating a line break (or back again). Line breaks can also be added by pressing Alt + Enter or Ctrl + Enter or Shift + Enter.

How do I block or unblock another user?

To block or unblock someone:

  1. Go to Messages and find a conversation with the user
  2. Select their profile icon in the module on the right, then select Block or Unblock

Important notes about blocking:

  • When you block someone, you won't be able to send each other messages in conversations where you are the only participants. However, you will still be able to send each other messages in group conversations
  • You can’t block anybody you have an active contract with
  • After you block someone, you will still be able to see the conversation, in case you need to report something

Learn more about blocking or reporting suspicious activity.

I have an active contract with my freelancer/client — why am I still not able to share contact information in our Message Room?

To share contact information once a contract is in place, you must use your Contract Workroom. Each contract has its own workroom even when you have multiple contracts with one person. It includes everything you need to collaborate, including contract details and action buttons for working on the contract.

How do I mark a message unread?

To mark a message as unread, choose the gear icon to the right of a sent message and select "Mark as Unread."

How do I set an Out of Office message?

Choose the gear icon on the top left of your Upwork Messages screen and select "Out-of-Office Responder" in the drop-down menu. Once on the "Out-of-Office Responder" page, toggle the responder on, and set your away message and the start/end dates.

How do I archive a conversation?

Click the three-dot menu over your conversation, then select Archive.

Note:

You can only archive group conversations. One-on-one, contract, and interview conversations can't be archived, but they can be hidden.

How do I limit my notifications?

If you start to receive too many notifications, choose the Settings gear icon (top right corner) and select Notifications to update your preferences. You can adjust the frequency of notifications, the topics and events you wish to track, and the account where your updates will be displayed.

You can also choose to turn off notifications altogether.

How do I download a file in Messages?
  1. Locate the message in the conversation where it was attached
  2. Hover over the relevant file or message and select the three dots (...) options menu
  3. Choose Download

You can’t download files through the files and links dropdown.

How do I delete a file in Messages?

If you want to delete a message or file you’ve sent, you must do so within an hour of sending it. After that, you will not be able to delete the message or file.

  1. To delete a file, locate the message in the conversation where it was attached
  2. Hover over the relevant file or message and select the three dots (...) options menu
  3. Choose Delete

If you don’t see the delete button, it means the hour time limit to delete your file has passed. You can’t delete files through the files and links dropdown.

I can’t find a message. How do I unhide it?

You can find a hidden conversation by typing the freelancer’s name or a phrase you remember from the conversation into the search bar above your messages, or use the filters to search through hidden and archived conversations.

Messaging shortcuts

Shortcut Action
Enter Sends message
Alt + Enter
Ctrl + Enter
Shift + Enter
Creates new line within message entry box
Up-Arrow Edit last message (messages can only be edited or deleted for one hour after being sent)
Esc Closes @ mention box if open;
closes emoticon panel if open;
cancels edit if editing message context
Alt + up/down For next/prev rooms
Alt + shift + up/down For going between rooms and unread rooms
Ctrl + shift + f Go to search
Ctrl+shift+v Paste a quote as text only
/giphy [text] To add an animated GIF in conversation, type /giphy on a new line followed by a keyword or phrase. You’ll see a GIF chooser pop up, and you can click “Shuffle” until you’re happy with the GIF displayed. Pressing “Send” will then display the GIF you’ve chosen in your Upwork Messages room.

Message or Personal Notepad formatting shortcuts

Format Shortcut Example
Bold Wrap text in two "**"s or "__"s

**Some text** or __Some text__
Some text
Italic Wrap text in a single "*" or "_"s

*Some text* or _Some text_
Some text
Strikethrough Wrap text in two "~~"s

~~Some text~~
Some text
Code block Wrap text in "`"s for single-line codeblocks

`Some code`
Some code

Note that no formatting happens within code blocks. This includes URL linking
Multi-line code block Wrap text in "```" for multi-line code blocks (first line must contain just the quotes)

```
Some code
Other line of code
```
Some code
Other line of code
Blockquote Start lines with ">"

> Text quoted
Text quoted
Insert emoji Use the standard ":emoji_name:" format (colon wrapped)
Unicode emoji are supported (e.g. from a smartphone's emoji keyboard)
You can find additional emoji here

:smile:
😊

Personal Notepad formatting shortcuts

Format Action
Bullet List Start lines with "-" or "*"
Nested list item Start lines with spaces
Numbered List Start lines with number followed by "." (ex. 1.)
Headings Start line with #, ##, ###, ####, #####, ######
Links Use the format [text](url) or

Advanced Search Queries

For queries of just one word, double quotes are not needed. For queries consisting of two or more words, please add quotation marks or the second word won't be included in the search.

Action Query format
Get messages sent by a certain user from:
  • from:bob
  • from:"Bob Jones"
Search for messages in a specific room in:
  1. in:room A
  2. in:"Room for Project A"
Finds messages before/on the specific time in yyyyMMdd format before:
  • before:20150501
Finds messages after/on the specific time in yyyyMMdd format after:
  • after:20150601

Currently, we only offer in-platform integrations with Zoom, Loom, and Google Calendar for our Messages app.

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