How To Find Your Old Skype Messages
If you’re using Skype for work, chances are, there will come a time when you need to check something in your chat history. When you try to locate the message in question, you might find that accessing your old messages is more challenging than you thought.
In the old version of this popular video chat app, exporting your chat history was a breeze. In 2017, a new version was implemented, making this task a tad more complicated. However, your old chats aren’t lost; you just have to take a few extra steps to get them. Read on to learn how to view old Skype messages on various devices.
How To View Old Skype Messages on a Windows PC
If you’re simply looking for a specific message that isn’t over a year old, it may still be stored in your Skype. In that case, you can utilize the search function to find it.
- Open your Skype PC app and select the conversation in which the old message is located.
- Click the magnifying glass icon at the top of the right-side panel.
- Type the part of the message you remember.
- Use the arrow buttons to leaf through the search results.
If you can’t find the message you’re looking for, it might not be stored on your device anymore. Skype utilizes cloud storage for chat history, so your conversations are only stored on your PC for a limited time.
On the other hand, conversations conducted in the previous version of the app might still be stored on your PC if you’re using the same device. You’ll need to use a different method to retrieve these conversations. Find the instructions for your device below.
Are you looking for Skype chats from years ago that are no longer available through your app? The good news is that it’s still possible to access your files in one way or another. Here are two ways to peek at old Skype messages.
Export Your History
Since Microsoft acquired Skype, your chat history is no longer stored locally. Instead, the data is in the cloud, and you’ll need to request it to see it. The process is straightforward, but it might take some time for your request to go through, so this solution might not be ideal if you need some information urgently. Here’s how to request access to your chat history and files.
- Head to Skype’s website using your browser and log in.
- Once signed in, you’ll be taken to the overview of your account. Scroll down to the bottom of the page.
- Under “Account details,” locate “Settings and preferences.”
- Click “Export files and chat history” at the bottom.
- If you only want to export your chat history, select “Conversations.” For files that may still be stored by Skype, check “Files” as well.
- Click the blue “Submit request” button.
An “Available Exports” section will appear at the top of the page with your pending request, and you’ll need to wait until it’s complete. This will most likely be done in a few minutes, but it may take up to a few hours. If your request is still pending after a couple of days, contact Skype support, as it’s most likely an error on their end.
Once your files are available, click the blue “Download” button next to your request. Extract the compressed ZIP to get the JSON file containing the data.
Now you’ve acquired your chat history. However, your computer won’t be able to open this file as it is. So, the next step will be downloading a parser to read your file. Skype provides its own for this purpose. Follow the steps below to open the file.
- Download Skype’s parser.
- Extract the ZIP file and open “index.html” using your browser.
- Select and upload the JSON file you downloaded earlier.
- Click the “Load” button.
- Your archived conversations will appear in a list. Select any of the conversations to view the messages.
Access Your App Data
If you didn’t find the old messages you were looking for using the method mentioned above, there is another technique you can try. Some of your old chat files from this app might still be stored on your PC, and all you need is an additional program to read them. NirSoft’s dedicated SkypeLog View is a great option. Download this app and locate your chat files in the following way.
- Go to NirSoft’s website and download their SkypeLog View.
- Run the file called “SkypeLogView.exe.”
- The app will automatically detect your Skype account and locate your history. However, if it doesn’t, you can also load the history manually by clicking the folder icon and navigating to the following location: C:\Users\(Your PC username)\AppData\Roaming\Skype\(Your Skype username).
- Once the logs are loaded, you can view any messages by double-clicking them.
How To Find Your Older Skype Messages on a Mac
Like Windows, you can access your old Skype chats by requesting them or finding the files on your device. The latter option will only work if you use Skype Classic on the same device before updating the app to Microsoft’s version. Get your chat files in one of the following ways.
Request Your History
Skype chat files are stored in the cloud, so you can download them to your Mac by requesting them from Skype.
- Open Skype’s website and sign into your account.
- Once you’ve signed in, you’ll be taken to your account overview. Scroll down until you find “Account details.”
- Click “Export files and chat history” under “Settings and preferences.”
- Check “Conversations” to export your chat history. You can also export files by checking this option.
- Click “Submit request.”
Your pending request will be displayed under “Available Exports” at the top of the page. Wait until the request is completed, then click the blue “Download” button.
Note: You might need to wait a few minutes or hours for your chat history to be ready. If the request keeps pending for days, contact Skype support.
Once you’ve downloaded the ZIP file of your chats, open your Finder and extract it. You’ll find a JSON file of your messages. Open this file using Apple TextEdit to access your history.
Retrieve the Database File
Another way to read old Skype messages is by locating the database file that Skype Classic used to store your chat history. Here’s how to find it on Mac:
- Click “Finder” and select “Go.”
- Then “Home.”
- Navigate to “Library,” then “Application Support,” and “Skype.”
- Open the folder with your Skype username. The “main.db” file should be here.
Next, you’ll need to download an app to open this file. DB Browser for SQLite is a great option for Mac users.
- Download and install DB Browser for SQLite for Mac.
- Go to your Applications folder and launch the program.
- Click “Open Database” and find the previously mentioned “main.db” file to open your chat history.
How To Retrieve Old Skype Messages on an Android Device
Skype only stores your chat history for a limited time. Therefore, whether you can retrieve old messages in the Android app depends on how old the information you’re looking for is.
To browse older messages in Skype for Android, follow these steps.
- Launch the Skype app and log in.
- Select the conversation you want.
- Scroll up to retrieve previous messages.
The messages might take some time to load. If you’re having trouble accessing them, make sure your internet connection is stable.
Scrolling through the entire conversation can be time-consuming if you’re just looking for a specific message. In that case, using the search feature might be more productive.
- Open Skype and then the conversation of your choice.
- Tap your conversation partner’s icon to see the options.
- Select “Search in conversation” and type the phrase you remember from the message.
- Use the arrows to navigate through the results.
How To View Older Skype Messages on an iPhone
Your Skype chat history is only stored for a limited time on your device. However, you can still try finding old messages in the iOS app by scrolling through the conversation or using the search function. Follow the steps below.
- Launch the Skype app for iPhone and log in.
- Tap the conversation you want to browse.
- Scroll up to load older messages.
If you’re looking for a particular message, you can also try the following method.
- Open Skype and tap the conversation you want.
- Press the profile icon of your conversation partner.
- Find the “Search in conversation” option.
- Enter a phrase you remember from the message you’re trying to find and look through the results using the arrow buttons.
How to View Old Skype Messages in Outlook
Microsoft Outlook users might be able to retrieve their old Skype for Business conversations with a few clicks in this app. Since your Skype conversations are stored in your Outlook Conversation History, you only need to find this folder.
- Open your Outlook app and look at your Inbox folders.
- Find “Conversation History” towards the bottom. Your instant messaging history will be stored here.
If you can’t find your past conversations in this folder, archiving might not have been enabled for your chats. Ensure that this option is “on” in Skype for Business.
- Open Skype for Business and click the gear button.
- Select “Tools,” then “Options.”
- Under the “Personal” tab, ensure that “Save my IM conversations in my email Conversation History folder” is enabled.
If this option is available in your version of the app, your future conversations will be safely stored.
Keep Track of Your Archives
A reliable record of past Skype conversations is often crucial, especially if you use this app for important business exchanges. Unfortunately, the current version of the app doesn’t make accessing your chat history easy. Nevertheless, you can use the methods mentioned above to locate and view past messages that are still available.
Did you manage to find the old Skype messages you were looking for? Do you think Skype should make our chat history easier to access? Let us know in the comments section below.