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How do I see my chat history in Skype for Mac OS X?

Your chat history is all the instant messages you’ve sent and received from your contacts or groups, as well as details of any calls that you have made or received over Skype.

Your conversation history is stored on Skype's cloud for 30 days; however, you can set your computer to save your chat history for longer, if you want. Learn how to change your chat history settings.

The following questions and answers will help you find your history and show you what you can do with it.

How do I find my chat history?

To view your chat history:

  1. Sign in to Skype.
  2. In the sidebar, the Recent section will list the new contact requests, unread conversations and conversations you’ve had in the last 12 hours. Click on a conversation to view it.

You can choose the amount of time after which the conversation you’ve already read moves to History. To set the time, select Skype > Preferences > General > Move read conversations to history after and choose either 12 hours, one day or one week.

  1. If you’d like to see your older conversations, go to the sidebar and click History.
  2. The history list is displayed in the main window. Click on an item in the list to see it.
  3. A new conversation window opens. Scroll up to view your conversation history.

If you’re looking for a specific conversation, you can use Skype's Conversation Search feature. Type any part of the conversation into the global search window, then click Search Messages.

The messages containing your search terms will then appear at the left. Click the one you wish to view.

How do I search for something I’ve written in a conversation?

To search for something specific in a conversation, such as a keyword or phrase, view earlier messages and use the Find option. To do this:

  1. Sign in to Skype.
  2. Select the conversation you’d like to search.
  3. From the menu bar, select Edit > Find > Find… or press Cmd + F on the keyboard. A search box opens.
  4. Enter the word or phrase you are looking for. When the number of matches is displayed, you can click The Previous/Next button to view the previous or next search results. Any matches will be highlighted.

By selecting the search icon The search icon, you can choose to search for a text that contains or starts with a certain word or phrase, or select the previously searched text (the last 10 entries).

Search options displayed after selecting the search icon

Where are my instant messages saved?

By default, the instant messages you send and receive are saved on the cloud (and to your computer, depending on your settings), and you can view them at any time. If you sign in to Skype from another computer, your full conversation history won’t be available; only the last 30 days or so from the cloud will be available.

For more information on how Skype manages personal data, you can refer to the Skype Privacy Policy.

Can I transfer my chat history from one computer to another?

To transfer your chat history for the last 30 days, all you need to do is sign into your Skype account from the computer you wish to transfer to; your chat history will sync from the cloud.

If you wish to transfer more chat history, and you have your chat history settings set for longer than 30 days, you can copy your Skype Name folders from one computer to another. You can transfer your chat history between different platforms, for example, from a Mac to Windows machine. To do this:

On your Mac, open Finder, and navigate to ~/Library/Application Support/Skype/, then copy the relevant Skype Name folders to the same location on the new computer.

Note that the “~” sign means your home folder. To find your home folder, open Finder and in the main menu, select Go > Home or press Command (Apple) + Shift+H keys.

How do I mark conversations so I’ll remember to re-read them later?

To mark a conversation as unread, go to the sidebar, right-click the conversation you’d like to re-read later and select Mark Conversation As Unread. This places a badge beside the conversation in the sidebar, and on the Skype icon on the dock, reminding you to read it later. 

Number of unread conversations displayed

How do I hide my Recent conversations from the sidebar?

To hide a particular conversation from your Recent section in the sidebar, right-click the conversation and select Close. If you want to close all Recent conversations, in the main menu select Conversations > Clear Recent.

Closing a conversation won’t delete it from your conversation history. To see your conversation again, click History in the sidebar. The conversation will appear in the main window, under the Recent section.

If you’d like to display the conversation in the Recent section again, simply click on the conversation in the History list.

How do I delete my conversation history?

To delete a single conversation, right-click the conversation and select Delete Conversation...

Delete conversation... option selected from the list displayed after clicking the conversation

In the pop-up window select Delete.

Delete option selected in the pop-up window

You can also delete your entire chat history. This removes your entire history, which includes:

  • Instant messages
  • Calls
  • Voicemails
  • Video messages
  • SMS messages
  • Sent and received files

When your chat history has been deleted, it can’t be recovered.

To delete your chat history:

  1. Sign in to Skype.
  2. In the menu bar, click Skype > Preferences… and then click Privacy.
  3. In the Privacy panel, click Delete All Chat History.

Can I control how long my chat history is stored?

To update your privacy settings to control how long your conversation history is stored for:

  1. Sign in to Skype.
  2. From the menu bar, select Skype > Preferences… and then click Privacy.
  3. Next to Save chat history, click on the drop-down list and select the amount of time you would like your history to be saved for. You can select Forever, 1 Month, 3 Months, 1 Year or Never.

You can delete individual conversations as well as individual instant messages you have sent.

To delete an instant message, just click the little arrow to the right of the message and select Remove Message. This option is only available for 60 minutes after you send your message.

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