Where to Find iMessages On Mac? (and Find Your Message History)


Looking for an old important message? Want to know where iMessages are located on Mac? Or you’ve unknowingly deleted the whole conversation? Don’t worry because we got you all covered up. However, finding the bygone messages is not a perplexing process, as Mac somehow automatically saves messages and their history on Mac.

Here’s everything you need to know about where to find iMessages on Mac? and find your message history. Without a second thought, let’s get started.

Also read: How to Delete Texts and iMessages on Mac

Do Your Mac Store Messages and iMessage History?

Macs that support macOS Sierra and earlier store the content in HDD. And macOS High Sierra and above without sync using Messages iCloud, Mac saves your messages. Here’s how to verify that:

Step 1: Visit Messages App and select Messages > Preferences from top menu.

Step 2: Tap on the General tab to know if the box is ticked for Save history when conversations are closed.

Where To Find Imessages On Mac? And Find Your Message History

Step 3: Also, check the time limit to store the message history on your mac in the Keep Messages drop-down. Once the time limit of 1 year or 30 days is reached, the conversation will be wiped automatically.

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What if You Use Message In iCloud?

Here, if you’ve ticked the box for Save history when conversations are closed, your content still is saved on Mac. Or else, the content will be saved in iCloud rather than Mac.

Where To Find Imessages On Mac? And Find Your Message History

To use Messages in iCloud, you need macOS 10.13.5 or later and iOS 11.4 or later,

How to Find iMessages on Mac? and see earlier iMessages on Mac?

Step 1: Visit Finder > Go Menu.

Where To Find Imessages On Mac? And Find Your Message History

Step 2: Type ~/Library and press Go button, in your user library.

Step 3: Choose the message foler in the Library folder.

Step 4: You will get to see Archive and Attachments with databases chat.db included.

Where To Find Imessages On Mac? And Find Your Message History

Unable to Locate Message Archive Folder?

If you’re unable to locate the message archive folder in User Library’s Messages folder. Then it might be present in older OS X location:


Where To Find Imessages On Mac? And Find Your Message History

Messages archive is located in the iChat folder rather than Messages when you update a Mac.

iMessages files stored

The media files are stored sync and stores automatically:

  • ~/Library/Messages/Archives: Stores past messages.
  • ~/Library/Messages/Attachments: Stores media files of iMessage.
  • ~/Library/Messages: Here, chat.dp stores data from the current and active message history of iMessage.
Where To Find Imessages On Mac? And Find Your Message History

The attachment folder is the actual backup of the iMessage and Message app which includes media files. It will take some time to locate to search your desired content.

Unable to locate Message Archive or Attachments?

If you don’t find a message archive or attachments, then assume that your Message App Preferences are not set to save your messages.

Step 1: Visit Messages > Preferences and select General Tab.

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Step 2: Tick the Save history when conversations are closed option under Applications.

Where To Find Imessages On Mac? And Find Your Message History

Transfer Old iMessages To New Mac

To do so, users need to do the following:

Using iCloud

This process is simple, just transfer your history using Messages in iCloud. It syncs your message history between the old and new Mac. As long as Mac uses macOS 10.13.4 (High Sierra) and above.

Transfer Messages History to New Mac with Library Folders

If Messages in iCloud is not supported in Mac. Just copy and paste your live User Library/Messages folder to the new MacBook or Mac. AirDrop, File Sharing, a handy thumb drive, DropBox, and Google Drive are other ways to move the file.

How to move Message History Folder to a New Mac

Step 1: Open ~/Library/Messages folder on older Mac.

Step 2: Copy that folder as you prefer (or drag it to AirDrop).

Step 3: Open ~/Library/Messages on your new Mac.

Step 4: If the folder is empty, drag older Mac’s Messages folder to same location. Follow as mentioned:

  1. If the new Mac’s Library/Messages folder is not empty.
  2. Copy the content.
  3. Move the copy to the preferred location that you’ll remember.
  4. Delete original Messages folder.
  5. Drag older Mac’s Messages folder to that location.
  6. Restart the system.

Read next: How to Fix iMessage or FaceTime Activation Problems on Mac?

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