How To Find and View Old Skype Chat Message History

Skype is one of the most popular messaging and calling apps, allowing users to easily communicate with friends, family, and colleagues around the world. Over the years, many important conversations and memories can accumulate in Skype. However, the current Skype app makes it difficult to access old chat history beyond the last 30 days.

Fortunately, there are a few methods to find and view your old Skype chat history, even many years later. Here is a guide on how to recover old Skype messages on both desktop and mobile.

Export Skype Chat History

The easiest way to access your old Skype conversations is to manually export your chat history:

  • Go to the Skype Export Tool and sign in with your Microsoft or Skype account
  • Select whether you want to export your Skype conversations, shared files, or both
  • Click “Submit request” and wait for an email with a download link
  • The data will be in a .tar file that needs to be extracted using an archive program like 7-Zip or WinRAR
  • Your chat history will then be accessible in the extracted JSON files

This will allow you to download your entire Skype chat history stored by Microsoft in the cloud. However, it may take a few days for Microsoft to process and send you the data.

View History in Skype App

If you only need to access Skype conversations from the past 30 days, you can view these directly within the Skype app:

  • Open the Skype app and go to your contacts or conversations list
  • Click on the specific contact or group conversation
  • Click on “More options” (⋮ or …) and select “View old messages”
  • Choose the date range to display older messages

This allows you to quickly view chat history from the last month without needing to export data.

Use Third-Party Tools

For desktop users, there are various third-party tools that can read the Skype database file (main.db) containing your chat history:

  • Skyperious – Popular freeware to view Skype history
  • SkypeLogView – Reads main.db file and displays Skype call history
  • SQLite browsers – General database viewers that open main.db files

To use these tools:

  1. Close the Skype app
  2. Navigate to %appdata%\Skype$$your Skype ID]
  3. Locate main.db and open it in your tool of choice

These give you direct access to your Skype database for more flexibility in viewing all types of historical data.

Check Local App Data

On mobile devices, Skype stores chat history locally in the app data. You may be able to access old conversations through file explorer apps:

  • Android – Pull Skype chat history files from /storage/emulated/0/Android/data/
  • iPhone – Use a file explorer like iMazing to access Skype database in app backups

However, this does not work if you have deleted the local app data.

Use Previous Skype Versions

If you previously used older Skype software (e.g. Skype 7, Skype 8) that stored history on your device, that chat data may still be accessible:

  • Navigate to where Skype 7/8 data was stored
    • Windows: %appdata%\Skype or %localappdata%\Packages\
    • Mac: ~/Library/Application Support/Skype/
  • Locate the main.db database file
  • Open it in a SQLite browser or other Skype history tool

So in summary, here are the key ways to access old Skype conversations beyond what the current app shows:

  • Export – Download full chat history in the cloud from Skype servers
  • App History – View last 30 days of messages in Skype app
  • Tools – Desktop programs reading local main.db files
  • Local Files – App data on mobile devices
  • Legacy Versions – Chat databases from Skype 7, 8 etc

With the variety of techniques here, you should be able to recover and view your important Skype messages and memories from years past. Let us know in the comments if you have any other tips for accessing old Skype chat history!