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Question: Undelete a conversation in Messages

I accidentally deleted a conversation from my mac Messages. Is there any way to undelete the conversation? I'm on OS X Yosemite 10.10.3.

MacBook Air (13-inch Mid 2013), OS X Yosemite (10.10.3), Messages

Posted on May 2, 2015 8:55 PM

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May 2, 2015 10:33 PM in response to scovan In response to scovan

You can only restore the whole message database, not individual messages or conversations. This procedure will replace the database with an earlier version, so you'll lose all later changes.

Sign out of iMessage and all other IM accounts, if any. Quit Messages. Hold down the option key and select

Go Library

from the Finder menu bar. A folder window will open.

Restore the subfolder named "Messages" from a backup that predates the unwanted changes, then log out and log back in.

If you're running OS X 10.9 or later, also restore the subfolder Containers/com.apple.iChat.

If you don't have a backup, the archive can't be restored.

May 2, 2015 10:33 PM

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May 2, 2015 10:44 PM in response to Linc Davis In response to Linc Davis

Thank you Linc. Of course I haven't backed up for a month, so won't be able to get the messages unless I want to lose all the others which have been sent since then. I do at least still have them on my iphone, so I guess if I need to look back they are there. It's just annoying that Apple doesn't have a file that goes to Trash, which can then be recovered. Even a Undo in Edit would be helpful. Thanks again for your assistance.

May 2, 2015 10:44 PM

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Sep 7, 2015 8:13 AM in response to scovan In response to scovan

Try this. Using Messages on your Mac, create and send a message to the party with whom the deleted conversation took place. Your previous conversations with that party may suddenly reappear.


I had been travelling, with iPhone & iPad, which I used for conversations. When I got home, I wanted to preserve a copy of those conversations, but the process to print a conversation from the iPad or iPhone are too arduous. I went to my MacBook, opened Messages - the conversations were not there, understandably. Neither were there any previous conversations with the party with whom I corresponded when travelling. I initiated a new conversation with that person, and as soon as I sent it (a one liner stating recovery attempt), all the previous conversations returned. I then did Select All, then Print, and saved to a PDF.

Sep 7, 2015 8:13 AM

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Dec 28, 2015 7:07 AM in response to scovan In response to scovan

I have now inadvertently deleted 2 messages conversations on mac. The first time I had no idea why and got distracted before I could figure out what happened. The whole conversation was still there on iPhone, so it's not gone.


I use am an avid user of keyboard text shortcuts, meaning option+arrow, ctrl+arrow, option+delete, etc. and I can't BELIEVE the shortcut for "Delete Conversation" is **cmd+delete**?!? That is *way* too easy fat-finger, and there is no alert like "Are you sure you want to irretrievably delete this conversation?" It is just gone! I am grateful that it's still on my phone, which points to there possibly being a record of the conversation state on iCloud. There isn't a way to rebuild or re-sync?


Short of that, can I disable that keyboard shortcut?

Dec 28, 2015 7:07 AM

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Dec 28, 2015 7:48 AM in response to Special Oops In response to Special Oops

Try this to disable the current keyboard shortcut:


System Preferences > Accessibility > Keyboard > Open Keyboard Preferences > Shortcuts > App Shortcuts > + (i.e. add a shortcut) > choose Messages from pull down menu > Delete Conversation... > create your own key combo to replace the current set.

Dec 28, 2015 7:48 AM

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Dec 28, 2015 8:05 AM in response to Brian Williams2 In response to Brian Williams2

Thanks, I didn't think I could override the default shortcuts. A weird result, however. My keyboard shortcut is there, and I even knew the trick for option+; to make the elipsis. Now there's a new menu item without the ellipsis and a different keyboard shortcut!User uploaded file

Dec 28, 2015 8:05 AM

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Jan 4, 2016 12:25 PM in response to Special Oops In response to Special Oops

Hi Special Oops,


The iMessages server effectively "Copy" any iMessage that is going to be delivered to multiple devices.

Each "Copy" is then pushed to each device separately.

The so called "Sync" is only "Display on all Devices", anything you do to each version after that acts alone on the device you did it on. (Deleting them on the Mac does not delete them else where).


As mentioned above the clicking of the cross that shows up when you mouse over the list of Chats/Conversations only dismisses the Chat and restarting the conversation brings it's "History" back on view.


Deleting is a more permanent action that removes the info from the database.


The version that is visible on the iPhone is no longer on the iMessages server and neither is the Mac version (or any other device you happen to also be using) so it is not retrievable from the Servers.


You can take Snapshots on the Conversation on the iPhone (in sections normally) and send the Pics to the Mac.


You can Copy and Paste the whole text to send it in Messages then re-draft it in a word processor app on the Mac.


There is no way to "resync". The items are sent once then deleted from the server. Each device receives it's own "Copy" which cannot be accessed by other devices.


You can create a Keyboard shortcut for anything that has a Menu item for it in the App.

User uploaded file

However if that Menu item disappears such as this Add Hyperlink one then the keyboard Shortcut no longer works.

The other side is you can create one that overrides an existing item.



User uploaded file

User uploaded file

8:25 pm Monday; January 4, 2016


 iMac 2.5Ghz i5 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

Jan 4, 2016 12:25 PM

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Jan 5, 2016 1:01 PM in response to Ralph Johns (UK) In response to Ralph Johns (UK)

Hey Ralph!


Thanks so much for the thorough response! I didn't know that there is no thread stored in iCloud.That is very interesting.


It's not a problem, but do you have any theories about why an additional menu item appeared (with its own new shortcut: opt+cmd+del, see earlier post) when I added my shortcut? It is not on my shortcuts settings (see image).

User uploaded file

Jan 5, 2016 1:01 PM

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Jan 5, 2016 2:27 PM in response to Special Oops In response to Special Oops

Hi,


I am not entirely sure.

When I created the Add Hyperlink in Messages it was with an Older version.


This listed an item in a menu without a Keystroke already listed.

I can't remember if it then showed one.

In Mail the "Add Link" option is already CMD+ K and I am pretty sure that was why I used it.


I think it does add it to the Menus somewhere and that is why it appear twice.

I also think some apps are better at not showing items that might clash.



User uploaded file

10:27 pm Tuesday; January 5, 2016


 iMac 2.5Ghz i5 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

Jan 5, 2016 2:27 PM

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Oct 29, 2016 8:05 AM in response to Linc Davis In response to Linc Davis

Hi Linc,


I have done what you suggest here above and have lost all my conversations !

I have saved the folder Library/Messages into a zip file and restored it without success ...

Can you suggest me what I could do recover my conversations ?


Note that I have two time machines (a time capsule at home and an usb hard disk at office) with up-to-date backups of all my system ...


Thanks in advance,

Lionel

Oct 29, 2016 8:05 AM

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Oct 29, 2016 12:23 PM in response to Eric Root In response to Eric Root

(pssst. My guess is - no Time Machine or other backup. Linc left the Back up method blank as it were as not everyone uses Time Machine).


A new Thread would be easier.



User uploaded file

8:23 pm Saturday; October 29, 2016


 iMac 2.5Ghz i5 2011 (Sierra)
 G4/1GhzDual MDD (Leopard 10.5.8)
 MacBookPro 2Gb (Snow Leopard 10.6.8)
 Mac OS X (10.6.8),
 iPhone 6 iOS 10.x and an iPad (2)

Oct 29, 2016 12:23 PM

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Nov 27, 2017 3:22 PM in response to Brian Williams2 In response to Brian Williams2

That's a great workaround. Thanks Brian!

I wish Apple would fix the underlying problem. Cmd-delete is already overloaded - it normally just deletes the current line of text. It shouldn't also do something that is irrevocable like delete the entire conversation. I would think if it is so easy to delete conversations with a keyboard shortcut, then Apple should

  1. Give a warning: "are you sure you want to delete this conversation?" and have a checkbox to disable the warning.
  2. Make it undo-able like it is with other operations like deleting messages in Mail
  3. Make the shortcut key something that's not the same as a normal operation that is completely different
  4. Some combination of the first 3.

Nov 27, 2017 3:22 PM

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Question: Undelete a conversation in Messages