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DanielMPCB Level 1 (0 points)



Can you help me recover my ichat or i message history from one use only?



Thxs + Rgds,



iPhone 4, iOS 7.0.1
  • Pwiincessx3 Level 1 (5 points)

    "If You Find Out Can you please let me know?! I REALLY WANT MY IMESSAGE CHAT BACK B/C MY FRIEND PAST AWAY ;/ Only Memory i have left...

  • Ralph Johns (UK) Level 9 (71,080 points)



    iChat through to iChat version 6 stores Saved Chats ( A setting in the Preferences) to a folder in your Home Folder/Document/iChats


    Since iChat 4 the iChats folder has contained Date and Timed folders (if you turn Off iChat then when you tunr it on for a second Session there will be a new folder - otherwise there is only one).


    In Messages the Saved Messages are saved to ~/Library/Messages/Archive in the same Date and Time format

    To access them you have to use the Finder > Go Menu > Go to Folder and enter the Path above into the Dialogue box.


    Separate to this iMessages are stored in a chat.db data base that is also in the ~/Library/Messages folder.

    It is this bit that allows you to see the "history" to any iMessages conversation on a Mac.

    Of course it will not show until you send a Message to a contact.  I have not tried if the Contact is unable to respond - the iMessage tends to have to been Delivered for the process to work.


    On the iPhone the "Saved" Messages are the ones you don't delete.


    There is a limited time frame that a device that has been Off (or using a different Apple ID) can Sync conversations that it has not received.

    I have collected iMessages up to two days later on my Mac after using my iPhone on a hotel Wifi whilst away.

    I have not tried it for longer periods.





    9:12 pm      Saturday; September 28, 2013


      iMac 2.5Ghz 5i 2011 (Mountain Lion 10.8.4)
     G4/1GhzDual MDD (Leopard 10.5.8)
     MacBookPro 2Gb (Snow Leopard 10.6.8)
     Mac OS X (10.6.8),
     Couple of iPhones and an iPad

    "Limit the Logs to the Bits above Binary Images."  No, Seriously

  • hyq Level 1 (10 points)

    I finally did it. (Recovered my iChat history/iMessage history on my Mac from my old backup files)


    What you need:

    1. Your Time Machine back up of ~/Library/ or your old computer that you want to port the chat history from.

    2. Your new Macbook Pro, cleanly installed.


    What you do:


    1. Go to ...path to your old home folder/Library (For me it is on a removeable disk so I had to do Finder-> Go -> Go to Folder-> type in  "/Volumes/Old Macbook Pro/users/name/Library"

    2. Open a separate Finder window, go to ~/Library (Hold down option and click on Go in Finder)

    3. Locate the following folders in ~/Library (ON THE NEW MAC):




    4. rename

    ~/Library/Containers/  -> ~/Library/Containers/

    ~/Library/Message -> ~/Library/Message_old

    5. Find all the files in ~/Library/Preferences that contains the string "iChat" or "iMessage" and cut them into a separate folder. Be sure to remember where you copied them from!

    6. Copy /Volumes/Old Macbook Pro/users/name/Library/Containers/ to your ~/Library folder

    7. Copy /Volumes/Old Macbook Pro/users/name/Library/Message to your ~/Library folder

    8. This step is trickey: Copy all the files that contains "iChat" or "iMessage" from /...path to backup/Library/Preferences/ into the corresponding directory in ~/Library/Prefrences

    9. DO NOT START THE MESSAGES APP and restart your computer

    10. Open Messages, your old chats should all be there.


    My computer: rMBP 15" Late 2013

    My OS: Mac OSX Mavericks

  • bwadma Level 1 (125 points)

    Hi Ralph Johns,


    thanks for your info! It helped me (together with the note from hyp) to recover my iMessages data back after a Clean Install of Mavericks.


    - the data were in a Time Mashine backup

    - was not running

    - copied the folder /Users/USERNAME/Library/Messages from the most recent backup from before the Clean Install to my Desktop (option-click to the item after locating it with "Enter Time Mashine")

    - replaced the same folder in the new (cleanly installed and therefore empty) ~/Library folder with the one from the backup

    - did a reboot

    - opened and had all data back.



  • Ralph Johns (UK) Level 9 (71,080 points)

    Good to hear.




    9:03 pm      Friday; January 3, 2014


      iMac 2.5Ghz 5i 2011 (Mavericks 10.9)
     G4/1GhzDual MDD (Leopard 10.5.8)
     MacBookPro 2Gb (Snow Leopard 10.6.8)
     Mac OS X (10.6.8),
     Couple of iPhones and an iPad

  • jgoshawk Level 1 (10 points)

    Glad to see this, and to hear it worked for bwadma.


    I know how to get into the ~Library folder on my mac ("Go" menu with option key)


    But... how do I get into the ~Library folder on Time Machine? That's where I need to pull the backup from, right?





  • Ralph Johns (UK) Level 9 (71,080 points)



    On your Mac Navigate to the folder you want to Restore an item in.

    Then use the Time Machine icon in the Dock.

    This will reduce the current Folder window to the center of the screen surrounded by the Galaxy default background.


    You can then use the Arrows to go back in time to a point when the items in that folder were changed.

    (the marker up the side may indicate other Backup dates but the Arrows will jump to when the folder was last changed/updated)


    You can then highlight the item and use the Restore button and it will be "brought forward" and made the current version.






    7:45 pm      Wednesday; January 15, 2014


      iMac 2.5Ghz 5i 2011 (Mavericks 10.9)
     G4/1GhzDual MDD (Leopard 10.5.8)
     MacBookPro 2Gb (Snow Leopard 10.6.8)
     Mac OS X (10.6.8),
     Couple of iPhones and an iPad

  • Abdalla Level 1 (0 points)

    Dear Ralph,

    I have a similar problem with deleted iMessages.

    I deleted by mistake complete chating on iMessage on my Mac. Actually, I was using my Mac on chating using message, naturally, through my iPhone 5.

    I tried to restore my iPhone, however, it restored my iMessages but to only certain date. I need the complete chat.

    The problem is that I have 2 iphones; one is 5 & other is 5s and use them both on chating on message using the Mac.


    I am really at loss at how to retrieve or restore the complete set of chat from this specfic contact.


    Would appreciate your help and advise.


  • Ralph Johns (UK) Level 9 (71,080 points)



    On the Mac, if you are Saving chats on Close (this includes end of Session quitting of the app) then you should Be able to see this in the  Recent Items list in the File Menu.


    The number of Recent Items can be increased/Decreased by the number set in System Preferences > General pane.

    This used to be different numbers for Applications, Server and Documents but now it is one setting.

    Saved chats are "documents" of Messages


    If it is an iMessages it depends what you mean by "deleted".

    Generally speaking if you remove that chant from the Messages window when you or that Contact connect to each other again the "history" will re-appear.

    However there are settings in the File Menu that does remove the chat/Conversation more permanently.




    8:57 pm      Tuesday; February 18, 2014


      iMac 2.5Ghz 5i 2011 (Mavericks 10.9)
     G4/1GhzDual MDD (Leopard 10.5.8)
     MacBookPro 2Gb (Snow Leopard 10.6.8)
     Mac OS X (10.6.8),
     Couple of iPhones and an iPad

  • kzzly Level 1 (0 points)

    I've been trying to recover my chat history for 2 weeks, this is how I could finally do it:


  • Mecbethben Level 1 (10 points)

    Maybe you could turn to some third party recovery software. Google it and you will find Macgo Mac iPhone Data Recovery is on a three month giveaway. Don't miss it.

  • alexjohng Level 1 (0 points)

    If you have ever backed up your data to iTunes or iCloud.You can recover deleted imessages within several steps.

    If you did not back up data, you'd better use some recovery toos to recover imessages from iPhone directly.

  • jerryrobinyh Level 1 (0 points)

    You can recover deleted imessages by following:


    1: Connect iPhone to computer.

    2: Tick the selection of Restore from iCloud Backup.

    3: Sign in your iCloud account.

    4: Locate the latest backup and restore it to your iPhone.

    5: Enter any passwords required during the process.

    6: When the recovery is over, you can check your iMessages on your iPhone.

  • Old Toad Level 10 (135,314 points)



    I had to restore Yosemite 10.10.2 yesterday via the Recovery volume.  When I opened Messages all of the messages and threads were missing.


    I've tried restoring the ~/Library/Messages folder with no success.


    I created and sent a new message but didn't see any change to the contents of the ~/Library/Messages folder,


    Where are the messages and threads stored so I can restore them from my Time Machine backup? Or am I going about this the wrong way?


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