Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.

MSN Messenger allows you to save your conversations. But what if you don't have that turned on? Is there a way to recover the conversation anyway? No.

Can I retrieve old MSN Messenger conversations?

Instant messaging is very popular - it's immediate and it's easy. But it does have its drawbacks. Most people treat it like quick, throw-away conversations unlike email where we (hopefully) put a little more time and thought into what we write.

But what if you didn't mean to "throw away" that conversation and find yourself wishing you could recall or retrieve what was said? In email you might have your sent mail folder but what about instant messaging?

If you use MSN messenger and have the right setting you might just be in luck.

MSN Messenger has the ability to keep an indefinite log of all conversations.

In MSN Messenger select the Tools menu, Options... menu item, and then the Messages tab. At the bottom of the dialog is an item labeled: Message History. Select it and your conversations will be recorded in the directory listed in the box below. (Of course you can set that to be whatever you like but the default directory is probably fine for most.)

When conversations are saved in the listed directory you'll find several files, typically one per person that you've had a conversation with. The files will all end with ".XML". Not to worry, Internet Explorer can open these files and will display them properly.

If IE fails to open the file and spawns notepad instead, you can still force it. Right click on the file in Windows Explorer, select Open With..., and then select Internet Explorer.

If you're looking for past conversation archives and they're not present on your own machine then try having the person you were conversing with look. It's quite possible that they have an archive.

Article C1904 - March 11, 2004 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

Not what you needed?

160 Comments
Jack
May 14, 2004 3:29 PM

This doesn't seem to work in v 6.2 of MSN Messenger. There is no "Messages" tab in Tools>Options. Can I do this somewhere else? Can I decode the .dat file?

Leo
May 14, 2004 3:38 PM

Interesting. I'm running 6.2, and there's definitely a messages tab on my tools options. How about File.Open Message History...?

John
May 25, 2004 7:19 AM

How can I do this in Windows Messenger? There doesn't seem to be a Messages tab, and since I switched from Windows 2000 to XP (and therefore from MSN Messenger to Windows Messenger), it doesn't seem to log my conversations anymore.

Leo
May 25, 2004 8:32 AM

As best I can tell you can't in *Windows* messenger.

annie
June 3, 2004 1:27 PM

I also suspect my husband of having an affair and not for the first time but he erases the message history is there any way to retrieve it

Leo
June 3, 2004 2:02 PM

Once deleted, then there's certainly no easy way. There are undelete utilities that may work *if* the machine has not been used much since the deletion. And last resort there are forensic data recovery services, but those would be extremely expensive, and certainly obvious, as they start by removing the hard drive.

the helper
June 3, 2004 11:49 PM

To all those spying on spouses, kids, parents, friends, coworkers, or whoever the simple solution is to install a 'keylogger' Look it up, they are little programs that track every letter written into every application. Best part is, they are untraceable, and undetectable, go to www.download.com and see what's there.

john
June 4, 2004 12:03 PM

can you recall AOL instant messages also?? If so how do you do it??

Leo
June 4, 2004 12:06 PM

Not that I'm aware of.

mmontes
June 6, 2004 3:09 PM

If neither you nor the person you chat with have saved your Instant Messages, is there still a way someone could go back and trace the messages and their content? from a remote location? Has anyone ever heard of anyone successfully retrieving unsaved MSN instant messages?

Leo
June 6, 2004 3:16 PM

Not that I'm aware of.

nasreen
June 15, 2004 9:41 AM

hi i want to keep my msn messenger talking a secret but i cant. my sister finds out everything. how do u go on to saved messages if they are not on received files

Leo
June 15, 2004 11:12 AM

No way that I know of, other than perhaps installing spyware.

Rose
June 15, 2004 7:24 PM

im looking for how to read my hard disk of anything typed into my cpu ever (well after a reboot)so ill have more information on what my sisters telling my gf thats making her hate me even tho ive never did anything wrong
she uses aim msn yahoo and doesnt like icq so doesnt use it can i retreave from hard disk or am i screwewd?

Leo
June 15, 2004 7:29 PM

The short answer is that there's no way. Nothing may ever have been written to the hard disk. You're screwewd.

steve
June 20, 2004 12:29 PM

is there no way to block a keylogger then, if so how

Jeremy
June 23, 2004 7:30 AM

Hell's yeah you can block a keylogger... :P ... or you could just shut it down .. Or send alot of jibberish to it ... All the software does is send a hook for all the keys through a windows API..

?
June 24, 2004 6:21 AM

can aol mail (snail mail) you ur aim conversations (note, i dont talk on aol its just my internet provider)

l
June 24, 2004 6:22 AM

if u have spyware on another computer and someone uses ur account can they see ur convos

Leo
June 24, 2004 9:57 AM

Snail mail? As in print it on paper and physically mail it to you? I can't imagine they would.

Leo
June 24, 2004 9:58 AM

Spyware can be very sneaky. It's difficult to say what actually be happening, but many things are possible. This article reviews the topic: http://ask-leo.com/archives/000169.html

Christine Han
June 25, 2004 9:12 PM

Leo this is so importnat and urgent.. I really need an old AIM convo to be retrieved.. i know you said that there isn't any other way to retrieve convos but I don't even know who to call or ask.. can you please look into it further/ it would mean the world for me.. I tried to look on the AIM site but they had nothing to send e-mails to. Thanks.

Leo
June 25, 2004 10:01 PM

I wish I had a better answer for you, but I'm afraid I don't. The fact is the conversation may never have even hit the disk, so there may be nothing *to* retreive. About the only suggestion I have would be to call AOL support. But I don't have much hope.

Hari
June 28, 2004 2:07 AM

Can I use MSN messenger service(not necessarily the msn messenger software) without having Internet Explorer? The current MSN Messenger software needs explorer to run and my explorer is not functional.

Leo
June 28, 2004 9:22 AM

There are thrid party IM applications, one called Trillian comes to mind - Google on that. There are arguments on whether those applications are "legal" - Microsoft and AOL both consider their IM services to be proprietary. But the thrid party applications do work.

Sam
June 30, 2004 9:11 AM

use a good anti-spyware software...
i'll recommend ad-aware, google it.

Nicole
July 19, 2004 11:40 AM

I can get as far as choosing TOOLS, OPTIONS, but the MESSAGES tab does not appear. Dose it depend on which version of MSN Messenger you are using??

Leo
July 19, 2004 2:20 PM

Are you running the latest MSN Messenger?
Are you sure it's *MSN* Messenger you're using? (Windows Messenger looks the same, but doesn't have this feature.)
http://ask-leo.com/archives/000017.html

Tessa
July 27, 2004 10:56 AM

I am in somewhat the same situation, but your comment doesn't seem to apply to me since you said that the convos probably "never even hit the disk." In my case, I was looking at my conversation history in MSN Messenger and accidentally deleted it...which I didn't want to do! I looked in my trash but MSN doesn't seem to delete through the computer's trash folder...any ways I can retrieve these deleted files?

Leo
July 27, 2004 5:15 PM

There's a small possibility that an undelete utiliti may work. Google "undelete" and look for some of the free utilities. It's a small chance, but possible.

anand
September 7, 2004 11:42 PM

we r using Windows messenger 5.0. we r logging in toexchange server.yesterday we found proble in messenger. we can't logging int o exchange server from WMesseger. we uninstalled(RunDll32 advpack.dll,LaunchINFSection %windir%\inf\msmsgs.inf,BLC.Remove)by using this code. and installed one more time but still our problem is same pls find solution for my problem.how to uninstall complete msn enties from my system.

Regards
anand reddy

Nuno
September 30, 2004 12:43 AM

Hari,
We use AMSN in Linux. It is very light and reliable. See http://amsn.sourceforge.net.
Regards, NUNO

dakotaball44
January 6, 2005 4:18 PM

can i get to my past conversations on AOL instant messanger

Leo
January 7, 2005 12:12 PM

This article covers that: http://ask-leo.com/can_i_retrieve_old_aol_instant_messenger_conversations.html

but in a word: no.

Bat1
February 1, 2005 7:10 PM

Does MSN save your instant messages?
If you did not save the message, can anybody retrieve your messages?

Leo
February 1, 2005 7:21 PM

No, not that I'm aware of.

Jason
February 8, 2005 12:01 PM

Without going into the unallocated space of a hard drive there is no way to retrieve conversations in IM. Unless of course you have the journaling enabled, which generally isn't.
you would:
A) have to image the ENTIRE drive, including empty space (bit for bit, not ghost)
B) use a forensic tool to search for the IM conversation bits. Encase, linux sleuthkit etc...

It is possible as this is brought up as evidence in some computer crime cases. All deleted data is always somewhat recoverable. It is just a matter of how much time or money you are willing to spend to get it back.

Kathie
March 21, 2005 7:14 PM

I have gone to tools and options but there is no tab saying messages. How do I do this? I have MSN Explorer and Windows XP. Thanks

Leo
March 21, 2005 7:31 PM

Are you sure you're using MSN messenger, and not Windows messeger? They're different, and I don't think that Windows Messenger has the archive. More here: http://ask-leo.com/whats_the_difference_between_msn_messenger_windows_messenger_and_windows_messenger.html

Jeana
April 13, 2005 1:49 PM

I have msn messenger version 4.7 and there is no message option/tab. Is this a feature that has been removed?

Leo
April 13, 2005 2:07 PM

You have WINDOWS Messenger 4.7, which is a different program, and does not have the same features as MSN Messenger.

john
May 15, 2005 9:47 AM

hi ive just deleted my yahoo msn messenger archives is there any way i can restore it plz

Leo
May 15, 2005 10:17 PM

Not that I'm aware of, no.

becky
July 2, 2005 1:53 PM

how can i look at y old msn converstaions if i do not save them ..... can you give me a step by step way of doing this and can i deleate them to off my computer so knowone can see them ?

Leo
July 2, 2005 8:39 PM

If you did not save them, there is no way to look at them.

cale
July 13, 2005 5:35 PM

Hi i had a conversation with a person on msn messenger that i need to find and view. However after the conversation i just closed out of the conversation window and then signed out of msn messenger. I have not selected any saving options in the msn messenger program so i would like to know if there is a way to find this conversation somewhere on my computer and if so i would like step by step instructions on how to do so
please help
thank you

Leo
July 13, 2005 5:52 PM

If you didn't have the save option turned on, then I know of no way to recover the conversation. Sorry.

Nikki
October 17, 2005 1:51 PM

I dont save my messages..neither does my boyfriend is there anyway possible that i could make it to where all his messages are saved??

Leo
October 17, 2005 5:10 PM

I don't understand ... you said that you both DON'T save messages - so the messages aren't saved.

angel
October 24, 2005 10:00 AM

I learned once of an MSN messenger file that is not necessary and can be deleted after loading the program. Can you tell me what that would be? I recently reloaded MSN and seem to be short on ram and locking up alot. Thanks :)

christine
November 15, 2005 7:59 AM

Hey.

I never used to save conversations before, but now i would like to be able to read them, is there anyway way at all to get them, if i hadn't saved them in the first place, or is that impossible?

Thank you.

Leo A. Notenboom
November 15, 2005 12:22 PM

Nope. If you didn't save them... then they're not saved.

asim
November 26, 2005 11:32 PM

i have hotmail account, and i forget it's password,but i saved it's password on msn messenger,there is any way can i see saved password on msn messenger,

Leo
November 27, 2005 12:08 AM

I found this tool that may do the trick: http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/mspass.html

liam
November 28, 2005 1:19 AM

is there anyway i can save my msn messages, without clicking " save mesage history", this is because i want to see wot my children are up to and they know about the "save message history" tab. they then un tick the box so messages are not saved. thanx

Leo A. Notenboom
November 28, 2005 8:46 AM

Not that I'm aware of directly. You'll have to install some kind of parental control / tracking software. http://ask-leo.com/how_can_i_keep_my_kids_safe_from_internet_garbage.html has more.

Chris
February 3, 2006 2:02 PM

Hey there buddy I got a ? for ya. about 3 months ago i had a family reunion, well a big get together, i had the web cam in the living room watching everyone and stuff, gonna burn it to a disk and send them all a copy, but i screwed up, i deleted it from the libary that my webcam has, and recycle bin, is there a way of getting that back somehow???? Thakns for your help ( chris )

Leo
February 3, 2006 2:08 PM

You want this article: http://ask-leo.com/i_deleted_a_file_by_mistake_can_i_get_it_back.html

Paul
March 11, 2006 4:32 AM

Hi Leo,
I get the following message from friends, and they all believe its a true statement
"Hey everyone!!
Here's a warning to all those who would love not to throw their money out the window!

In summer of 2006, it will be necessary to pay to use MSN and the e-mail accounts

if we don't send this message to at least 18 addresses from our contact list.
It is not a joke and if you do not believe me go on the website ( www.msn.com ) and check it out yourself.
When you have successfully sent this message to a minimum of 18 of your contacts, your msn icon will turn blue.
Please copy and paste this message; do not forward it, because it will not be taken seriously"

So obviously my question if the statement is true or not.

Thanks!
Regards,
Paul

Leo
March 11, 2006 9:42 AM

It's fake.

Taylor
March 21, 2006 6:39 PM

Yeah, I've been recieving that thing about MSN and Hotmail will be costing during the Summer of 2006. I thought it was a phony, so I came to MSN to check it out, and apparently I was right. I didn't think that we would have to pay for it, cuz a majority of ppl use MSN messenger anyways. That's what I wanted to know.

andrew
March 26, 2006 11:20 AM

i know this isnt about retrievin old msn messenger convos but i was wondering if its true that msn messenger will b charging pple over the summer

Leo
March 26, 2006 11:27 AM

No. Not true.

din
April 9, 2006 8:04 PM

when i'm trying to access the message archive i cannot open the conversation of one of my contacts. i guess the .xml may be corrupted. is there anyway to recover/fix this file?

Leo
April 9, 2006 10:12 PM

You could take a look at the file in notepad. Perhaps you can see what's messed up.

Helena
April 16, 2006 1:53 PM

hey everyone, ok dont go thinking uve answered this question already becoz ye it was a good answer 2 dat girls question but to me it didnt really help my problem that much. i use msn quite often n i make sure the 'save messages' thing is off ... but my mum n dad always find msgs on our computer of my saved msgs from msn. ive made sure saved msg is off but it doesnt help. it saves on a thing called message log or sumthin n its all in like a note pad.... i duno if its the same thing as what you said or not(the files it saves in!)..!? n it saves one file for each contact but when you delte one it just starts a new 1 n i cant stop it saving! i really dont want my mum n dad reading some of the thngs i say n i cant help wat ppl say 2 me! if u get my drift! lol
anywayz leo if theres anyway you could help me stop it saving even when save msgs is of n it saves wit msg log dat would help me loads n keep me out of trouble!!?? n any1 else who has da same problem or used 2 plz help 2!! cheers xxxxxx

emily
April 18, 2006 3:31 AM

about the retrieve messages thing::

i think it works if u right click on the contact that u want to view ur history with wen they are online and then click on message history a box comes up with all your conversations you have had in that day. im not sure if this does work but its worked with me b4. as long as youve talked to that person in that day i think it works. sory if i dont but i worked b4.
let me know if it works

John Radcliffe
April 26, 2006 4:18 AM

Hello People

Challenge for everyone does anyone know what the numbers are at the end of the history xml's in messenger. For example it would say the name of the person you were talking to and then 10 random numbers.

its_me3456789012
xml document

Anyone know what these numbers are for?

S & C
April 29, 2006 6:37 AM

Hey there again...when I open msn mesenger, there is no tools option...I only get the following..."about, preferences, services, hide msn, hide others, quit. When I go to preferences, I click the tab "privacy" and I get a "ghost" page, unable to make any changes on it. Please, please help. My privacy is very mportant.

thx, S & C

Marie
May 11, 2006 12:41 PM

Hi Leo, From reading all your comments, I google Trillian and found its a free way to save all your im. I am a complete, and I really mean complete idiot when it comes to computers. How exactly does it work? Will other users be aware of it? I am the mother of an 11yr old girl, I respect her privacy but as a parent I also need to make sure she is safe from pretadors.
I really hope you respond back to me...please

Leo
May 11, 2006 6:55 PM

You can install trillian in place of MSN MEssegner, AIM or whatever other service. You'll need to uninstall or turn off the other services. It does look different, but the people you are chatting with will not know, or care, that you're using trillian.

I use it myself.

katie
July 16, 2006 2:56 PM

Hey dont know if this can help all of you people out there, but i just found out that on the new live messenger if you want to save all of your conversations, click tools then options, then on the side click messages, at the bottom it should say message history, you can click an save all of ur message history so u can look at what conversations have n=been going on xx

konnie
October 29, 2006 10:27 AM

how can I recall an MSN email that was sent in error?

Leo Notenboom
October 29, 2006 11:55 AM

You cannot.

caroline
November 4, 2006 2:05 AM

Hi, i'm looking for a conversation i had few days ago on MSN. i havnt got the message history option switched on, so it wasn't automatically saved in WebLogs. The person i was conversing with had no archive of this onversation.
Is there any was of retrieving the conversation? is it saved somewhere on the server? thank you

Leo Notenboom
November 4, 2006 9:15 AM

No. Not that I'm aware of.

Raj
March 2, 2007 10:17 PM

Dear Leo, Is there any other way you can record(save) msn conversations, in order to monitor your kids, what they are doing? Kids are smart, they know how to turn off history option. I am looking for something out side the msn settings, so they can't disable it. Does any one know any third party software to monitor massenger?

Leo A. Notenboom
March 3, 2007 10:03 AM

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1

You would need to install some kind of parental monitoring software.
This article touches on that:
http://ask-leo.com/how_can_i_keep_my_kids_safe_from_internet_garbage.html

Realize, though, that savvy kids can often detect, disable or work
around just about anything.

Leo
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Peter
June 11, 2007 8:28 AM

I heard a rumor that MSN actually archives MSN IM traffic, for what reason I don't know. Can anyone confirm or dispel this myth?

candy
June 11, 2007 9:59 AM

yeah the above statement works but i didnt have the message history box checked off for the conversations i want back there like a week old i tried the above method by checking off the message history box buti want the conversations that didnt have the message history box checked off how can i get those back

Leo A. Notenboom
June 11, 2007 5:07 PM

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1

Peter: Just a rumor. I don't believe it.

Leo
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Leo A. Notenboom
June 11, 2007 5:08 PM

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1

Candy: you can't.

Leo
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julie
June 27, 2007 5:49 PM

I know we've asked so many times but I'm so confused...

If a conversation that was never saved doesn't hit the disk does that mean the expensive forensic recovery thing can not retrieve it?

Also, if there is the chance that the conversations that were never saved did hit the hard drive disk but the conversation occured years ago is it possible for the expensive forensic recovery thing to still retrieve it or would it be over written by now

thank you so much!

Steven
July 8, 2007 4:02 PM

Probably this software can help you: [url]http://www.bestsoftware4download.com/software/t-free-message-history-import-export-for-msn-download-duevkjoq.html[/url]

Not applicablt
August 14, 2007 5:38 AM

Ok everybody out there looking for convo historys. If you saved then deleted them you can get them back. many of the simple undelete programs will do it. you have 60000000kb in a 60gig Hdd small for todays terms. and the average convo is for arguments sake 500kb. Unless that particular 500kb was writen over you can get it back easily. As far as forensic teams from data years ago. The department of us defence uses 24 passes using secure wiping programs. That is wiping and re writing 24 times and there are still people out there who can get the data back. So its in there somewhere. if you diddnt save the history there may be a temp file of it but it will be stored on a small segment of the harddrive (sorry dont know where) and will be wiped over multiple times in a short time. not detectable by your average free recovery software

ZACH
January 2, 2008 3:39 PM

Does MSN messenger save messages in any other place on my computer other than what you have described?? I have my message history off, and see no message history in my files, but i have been told MSN stores messages in other places? Is this true?

Leo A. Notenboom
January 4, 2008 11:03 AM

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1

No, not that I'm aware of. The only hope might be to ask the
person you were IMing with if they had kept a log.

Leo


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theo
February 17, 2008 7:35 AM

Sorry to disagree but By default MSN Messenger V7.5 logs Chat.If you look in My Documents > My Chat Logs.
May have to enable Show hidden files in Explorer
>Folder Options> View > Show hidden files.

joana
April 13, 2008 6:00 AM

i have a MAC laptop and MAC msn and i've tried really hard but i can't seem to find a way to recover my unsaved conversation.
I REALLY need to recover it, as soon as possible. If you don't have any ideas on how to figure it out, do have any as to how i could even find that out?
thanks

Leo A. Notenboom
April 14, 2008 6:08 AM

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I don't believe it's possible.

Leo


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Micky Bananas
August 26, 2008 1:26 PM

Hi There Leo, you have saved me from many a slapping my own forehead moment in the past so thanks for that!
Anyhow, my question regarding messenger hitory.... have always had the save history tickbox checked since day one, but when I try to recall it I find there are coversations that don't appear. For example, speaking to my girlfriend who's the other side of the world at the moment virtually everyday, yet when I recall our history there are gaps of several days between recorded chats, and some of the once recorded haven't saved the complete chat.
Any ideas? Could really do with getting that history back cos she's given me some inportant dates for my diary that i didn't write down at the time and she will get mighty cross if I ask her again!
Thanks Leo, and keep up the excellent work!
Mike

bob
October 12, 2008 9:57 PM

is it possible to track or find old hot mail chat convos from the past...im trying to find a few convos from like 2 years ago, is it possible?

No, not that I'm aware of.
- Leo
13-Oct-2008

Breanne
November 17, 2008 1:38 PM

oh and for that big question every one wants to know

please try and follow these EASY steps!
1:open your Windows Live Messenger(msn)
2:at the top on your toolbar please click on TOOLS
3:click on OPTIONS
4:on the left hand side you will see Messages,CLICK
5:at the bottom you will see two boxes to be checked for messge history, check both boxes.

and voila !

Mick
February 12, 2009 3:56 PM

Hi, i have vista and have been having convos with a contact that i do not wish to be saved to computer anywhere. I am not saving history but ive heard that the canvos are still saved somewhere. Is this true and how do I delete this information.
Thanks Very Much

They're not saved anywhere on your computer that I know of unless you specify that they should be. (Or unless you have spyware installed.)

Certainly the other person could be saving it. And of course any computer or networking equipment that is used to transmit your conversation from your PC to theirs could be logging it, but it's not very likely.
- Leo
13-Feb-2009

katie
March 13, 2009 3:13 AM

HI IV FOUND MSN CONVOS ON MY LAP TOP BUT WHEN I TRY AND OPEN THEN THEY COME UP IN A FUNNY LANGUAGE HOW CAN I OPEN THEN TO READ THEM?

That's a data file intended to be opened by Messenger. Use the Messenger program itself to review your old conversations.
- Leo
13-Mar-2009

A
March 28, 2009 7:35 AM

Ok, I just initiated the 'save conversations' mode. I don't see any past conversations. I didn't retrieve old MSN messenger convos.

Is there a another way to retrieve them?

Tracy
April 11, 2009 10:07 PM

Hi there Leo, How do you save your conversations back when you pressed 'Do not save conversations' Because i have tried everything that was possible but it wouldn't work, know anything? if do you great, if you don't then that's fine too :]

me
April 12, 2009 8:01 PM

are there any programs or something that you can do so that the convos are sent to me by email automaticly?

sndbdh
April 14, 2009 1:57 AM

I cannot see the messages tab when I go to the Tools --options button. Is there another way?

Jessica
April 16, 2009 1:20 AM

Hi leo .... Im trying to do it ! im on the newest msn and its not working it doesnt let me check and boxes ? Wat to do !

carol
April 17, 2009 10:39 AM

if you save coversations dose it logg if you talk when you put your off line

Naemah
April 19, 2009 4:57 AM

Can I recover my lost conversations when I close the massnger with CTrl+Alt+delete bottons ?
How I can do this please?

Juliet
May 19, 2009 1:01 AM

Hi Leo, How can I make sense of the content of edb.log files in order to read not saved msn conversations? I can see they have information related to the conversations I need to retrieve, but most of them are in code language.

selma
May 22, 2009 6:26 AM

Hi I have msn 8.0 & I'm afraid if there is another file or another place where the convos are saved in. & I did as you said but in the tools, options ... I found that I'm not saving the convos. plz help me and tell me where can these convos can be.

Robert
August 26, 2009 4:27 AM

Hello, with the old msn, version 8.5, my conversations were being saved as .html files. This format created larger files, but it looked better as well in my opinion. In the new version it can only be saved in XML format however, and it wont be saved in folders by month either which used to be the case. Would you happen to know how I can get that again? Thanks in advance, Robert

John
September 5, 2009 2:52 AM

Is it possible to store & review webchats in MSN Messenger, in the same way as viewing text history? Thanks.

noor ali
September 7, 2009 6:19 AM

plz i need to retreive msn conversation in several email addresses
the history not useful for me they arenot save

Simas
October 4, 2009 7:12 AM

I have messenger for mac, and i tried everywhere to find those things: in the msn site, the windows site, in my email, is it different when you have mac messenger?

fiona
October 4, 2009 9:22 AM

Hi my msn is able to save all history except with one person. I don't know why its this way. What can I do about it. HELP

nicola
October 15, 2009 9:00 AM

is it possible for the MSN messenger to change the settings of this message history?

i had it set to not record my messages and 2 days ago some conversations appeared. is this possible?

Carol
November 13, 2009 10:22 AM

I have Windows Live Messenger set to save all my conversations and am aware that you can view message history at any time, however my laptop crashed and the first part of the conversation is missing - where can I retrieve this conversation from, is this possible - would really appreciate your help thanks.

lizzie
November 26, 2009 12:38 AM

Tried to retrieve conversations as you said, Tools,Options but then whats the "menu item" after that? I also dont have a messages tab?
Please help!!

casey
November 26, 2009 1:15 PM

i really need some old conversations from some one i use to talk to online is there anyway msn can send them to me if they still have them ???

Catherine
December 2, 2009 6:12 PM

Does permission need to be given from one party to the other if msn conversations are to be saved?

tony
December 29, 2009 10:15 PM

i try to view old msn history in xml format, but IE won't even open it. Any other software can i use?

Monique
December 31, 2009 3:29 AM

i was suppose to delete one conversation on my conversation history, but I ended up deleting all of my conversations. My archives is automatically set to save all my conversations. Can I retrieve them all back?

Karen
January 6, 2010 9:49 PM

Tried to retrieve conversations as you said, Tools,Options but then whats the "menu item" after that? I also dont have a messages tab?

Please help

troy
January 31, 2010 2:02 AM

hey i have the same problem karen, what do i do?

Sari
February 8, 2010 11:24 PM

I just read the above. I have no "savings"-button on my MSN and no History what so ever, but still my boyfriend could look it up and see exactly all my conversations. He said "everything is stored on the internet", how is this possible? He works with consulting softwareprograms so he is in the business, but he uses this to spy on me. I would love to know how, so I can prevent it.

Susana
February 16, 2010 3:53 PM

Is there any way to retrieve all my conversations from MSN Messenger once they have been deleted?? They are automatically set to save all my conversations. please respond back to me, Thank youl,susana

jaaack
February 26, 2010 5:15 PM

people u hav to click on tools, then options, then messages then "automatically keep a history of my conversations"
i hav the latest version of windows live messenger im pretty sure

louise
March 5, 2010 11:25 AM

there are a few ways to get them back, i can't really remember how off hand, but i know that there are way's. I don't have a computer at the minute, but my mum does, and will be going over there either tommorow or then next day, so i will let you all know. You can almost save anything. For instance, i accidentally deleted hundred's.. Literarally HUNDREDS of photos from my memory card the other day, thought i lost them forever, was asking if anyone knew how to get them back, people was saying it was 'impossible,' but i got them ALL back!x

None ya
March 12, 2010 9:38 PM

hey i cant find the tools thing i have windows live messenger does that make a difference?

Stacey
March 27, 2010 11:20 AM

hey, i have message history turned on on my computer and it has worked well since i first started saving it. but over the last couple of days, i have realised that it isn't saving any messages and i have a really important conversation that i need to read, but can't find it. all the options are still turned on, but it's not saving individual messages. i had a group conversation which was saved, but the entry before and directly after are not there. is there any way to make it save my messages again and any way of retreiving the conversation from the last couple of days?

carly
April 4, 2010 3:27 AM

my save message history is on but it doesnt have seemed to save, i think where it automatically saves it in is wrong is there anyway i can see the conversation again?...ITS REALLY IMPORTANT thanks.

mike ruggeri
April 15, 2010 2:26 PM

To start for people that cant find the tools tab, make sure the MSN main page is selected and hit your left alt. it should bring up a bar at the top consisting of tools and other probable tabs. after that follow some other comment.

Bob R
April 22, 2010 9:08 PM

Is it possible to save in network (i mean save at not my computer)

Jane.
April 23, 2010 5:07 AM

If I saved it, but my com got rebooted, anyway to get them back?

aria
May 2, 2010 8:01 PM

my history status is turned on but i cannot locate my messages at all..am not seeing any site of them..can you help me plzz...some really important messages need to be retrieved.

kash
May 5, 2010 3:47 AM

can i see my history on different computer also..like i chat at my home but if i want to see those messages at my office so its possible?

No. Not that I'm aware of. History is saved on the computer you're using at the time.
Leo
05-May-2010

Vit
May 21, 2010 4:00 PM

If you have archiving turned on for MSN Live, do you *have* to close the window in order for the log to be registered?

emily
June 3, 2010 1:18 PM

I remember there is a website where you can find all old conversations but ive forgotten what it is thats why ive been searching for it , i havent found it but does anyone know the url for it please ?

Raja
June 8, 2010 12:42 AM

Hi
Can I edit save history of MSN? E.g. insert snaps, or write from myself? Is it Possible?

aya
June 18, 2010 2:52 AM

well i did the way mentioned above,,,they are saved in the notepad form,,,i cant read them,,its frustrating

Donna
July 24, 2010 1:14 AM

Can MSN conversations be retrieved from the hard drive?

Lauren
July 27, 2010 6:58 AM

I have the auto tab turned on so my conversations are saved. If I delete this person from my contact list, will I lose the conversations archived also?

Jaki
August 11, 2010 1:51 PM

I installed microsoft messenger and used it many times. Now the icon is gone and I cannot find it anywhere. I'm not a puter geek and have limited knowledge. What can I do to retrieve messenger?

Graeme
September 22, 2010 3:18 PM

hi leo, i have ticked the box to save the messages but then when i go o find them, where itsays they should be saved, they are not there. ca you help me?

Unknown
September 23, 2010 1:47 AM

Do u know how to recover previous chatting sessions on iPad ??

bayan eskort
October 27, 2010 12:57 PM

have the auto tab turned on so my conversations are saved. If I delete this person from my contact list, will I lose the conversations archived also?

You should not.
Leo
28-Oct-2010

jorge
November 11, 2010 1:07 PM

I have hotmail, and use messanger there, but in my hotmail account I don't have TOOLS, OPTIONS or any of them.
This is in my hotmail window, nown if you refer to the computer, yes i have it there but doesn't show nothin either.
Please reply.
Thank you.

nadil
December 18, 2010 2:15 AM

well on my setting on the chatting history, i turned it off so it doesnt get saved on my computer. but someone sent me a instant message but i had to go so i signed out and didnt get to read it, so i was wondering if there is a way to find out what the person wrote on the instant messaging. please help me, thankyou soo much

Grant
February 7, 2011 3:19 AM

Hi, we have discovered our 12yr old doing inappropriate things on her webcam with men. The police are involved and she has been told to set up a new messenger account and to not access the old one so she has therefore lost all of her old contacts. She has now found the saved messages tick box and turned it off, is there a way that you know of that I can prevent her doing that? Some way of removing it as an option or disabling access to the menus. I am a Comptia A+ Certified Technician so can follow complex instruction if that is needed.

Not really. Personally I'd boot her from the computer completely, but if you must allow access this is a case where parental monitoring software might be most appropriate.
Leo
07-Feb-2011

PiggySue
February 16, 2011 7:22 AM

"then try having the person you were conversing with look" I dun really get this. Anyway, I have an iPhone instant messaging application. Just today when I signed in, I noted 5 messages from 1 of my contacts. As I was reading the long messages, scrolling up and down, suddenly 4 messages were just disappeared as I scrolled, leaving only the last message. I really did not delete it, I panicked and browsed through the "history" folder in the application, and it is not there as well. My question is, is there anyway to retrieve the suddenly missing messages? This is so strange and I got upset because I it is a paid iPhone application, not the free one. Please please please help!!!!

Anonymous
February 23, 2011 1:18 PM

To Grant,

If you're a "certified Technician" then you wouldn't have your 12yo doing such things.

1) Learn to discipline.
2) Learn to supervise.
3) Learn to WatchDog http://download.cnet.com/WatchDog/3000-27064_4-10010288.html

Yours Sincerely,

.......

Conquereverything
March 22, 2011 9:59 PM

Response to Grant at February 7, 2011 3:19 AM might be a bit late reply but install MSN plus enable the chat logging and password protect the settings.

Katy
April 25, 2011 5:27 AM

ive done everythin it said there, but when i went onto the messages thing, i didnt have any history? .. ive found old msn convo's in my documents awhile back, and then my computer crashed, and i lost the ones i really wanted&needed to keep, but the others ones stayed just not them; is there any other way to help me find them ?
really need the help , please someone reply as soon as possible,

hi-tech
June 23, 2011 7:29 PM

"Message History" is default folder. But if you do not do backup THAT folder AND change pc or hone for any reason, then imho everything will be gone. Select the folder yourself AND backup.

the pc i use now does not have any old messages... but most likely i will find them in my old pc ;)

you guys made me nervous... then i realized.

hi-tech
June 23, 2011 7:35 PM

now, about hotmail, i did lost years of messages due to server problem, reported to homtmail but never replied,

any suggestion?

later they closed one of my hotmail account due to inactivity [6 month?] ... what the h..., they dont even notify somehow..

Other type services do the same and dont see the logic behind that policy. Besides 6 month is nothing, you could be in a hospital etc....,

3 years is ok but still no really logical, what do they have to loose?

mike hodgsoon
August 14, 2011 11:19 PM

im trying to find a msn convo from the 13.08.11 but its not there, i have the one from 14.08.11, how do i get the day before, thanks

Bonnie
August 17, 2011 7:45 AM

I use Windows XP and I always choose the option to keep chat logs and I know exactly where they are - in the default location C:\Documents and Settings\users\My Documents\My Received Files\email\History. Please correct me if I'm wrong. However, my Computer recently got reformatted. Now I'm trying to use a data recovery program to recover my chat logs. Do you know in which partition/location I would be able to find them??

The same partition and location as before: c:. The problem is that it's likely that the reformat has ovewritten them.

Leo
20-Aug-2011
nikole
August 27, 2011 11:29 AM

i change my pc but i want my old conversatin back..where i must go to find them?

Mark J
August 27, 2011 9:19 PM

@Nikole
The last sentence of the article says, "If you're looking for past conversation archives and they're not present on your own machine then try having the person you were conversing with look. It's quite possible that they have an archive." That's the only way to get the conversations back.

Dan B.
October 4, 2011 6:37 AM

Logging msn IM is good but is that a privacy issue?

polly
December 2, 2011 12:48 AM

there is a nice tool i usually use for MSN calls recording http://www.imcapture.com/IMCapture_for_Microsoft_Messenger/, i do enjoy it!) but thanx)

Alaa
December 24, 2011 7:50 PM

Can i see my conversations in the hotmail web site or in another web site??

Not that I'm aware of, no.
Leo
25-Dec-2011
Towbird
February 1, 2012 6:35 PM

I had the Archive message turned ON, but everything went away when I decided to block that contact. Is there anyway to retreive it in that case?

Gee gee
February 12, 2012 4:56 PM

I was using and old laptop which broke down so i chuck out so is there anway for me to find my old conversations on any other laptops would it be save on my msn by any chance thank you.

Jon
July 15, 2012 8:15 PM

IE and Mozilla will open the files, but all the messages are jumbled together and don't say who said what. Is there any way I can fix this?

tweety
October 29, 2012 8:20 PM

would like to retrieve back the msg of last 2 days as the history only recorded the conversation till the last 4 days, but not the latest one, would you please help ?

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