We know that good communication is an important part of building strong working relationships. Upwork Messages gives you a place for secure file sharing, chats, and video and voice calls. You can use this space to discuss projects, interview, share documents, leave messages, and complete contracts — in other words, to build strong professional relationships.

Message Rooms

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

You can add other people to your rooms, create new rooms, and archive rooms when you're finished using them. To create a new room, choose the plus sign in the left navigation bar of Upwork Messages, and add any other Upwork users you know.

Different room members have different abilities.

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

  • The Admin can invite other members into a room

  • Members have been invited to join a room

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

  • Share files and documents

  • Connect with video and voice calls through our Zoom integration

  • Take notes

  • Share screenshots

  • Share screen recordings through our Loom integration

View Your Conversations

You can view your conversations in two formats. There's a view for recent and unread messages, and also a categorized view for you to see your favorites, interviews, rooms, and people.

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 message room 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.

Attach Files

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

You can take and attach a screenshot from within the Upwork desktop app.

Send Screen Recordings

Upwork Messages rooms have a built-in screen recording service via 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:

  • It's not available in the Upwork Desktop App
  • It's only accessible when using Chrome or Edge as your browser. (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.”

Important Note:

We are phasing in a new and upgraded Messages on desktop — with faster loading and a modernized look. The personal notepad is currently not available in the new Messages; however, you have the option to revert to the old Messages experience and access the notepad there.

Use Video and Voice Features

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

Where do I get the mobile and desktop apps?
How do I create a room?

To create a new room, choose the plus sign on the left navigation bar to start a room for any topic and add users as needed (as long as they exist in your address book).

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 another user?

There are multiple ways to block a user but the easiest way is to access a room with that user, choose their profile icon, then select Block. Please note that you cannot block a user with whom you have an active contract.

Block a user on Upwork Messages

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 room?

In your Message Room, choose the Menu, then select Archive this room. To hide a room, choose Hide on the menu.


You can only archive Group Rooms. One-on-one, contract, and interview Message Rooms 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 report a message?

If you want to report a message that violates Upwork’s Terms of Service, select the gear icon on the right side of the message and then select “Report message.”

Messaging shortcuts

Shortcut Action
Enter Sends message
Alt + Enter
Ctrl + Enter
Shift + Enter
Creates new line within message entry box
Up-Arrow Edit last comment
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


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:
  • in:room A
  • 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

Log in to get personalized help.