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I need to search for a string of text in my Yahoo! Messenger 11 chat history.

When I view the history using Yahoo! Messenger, all I can do I cycle through past conversations one by one. I remember being able to search through an entire log with a Ctrl-F-style interface, but that seems to be gone.

Well, you can hit Ctrl+F, but it only searches the chat logs you have loaded on the screen, not the entire history. Since I need to search for something in a conversation that took place a year ago, going though every single log one by one is not going to happen.

What is the physical path to the log file on my computer?

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2 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

I believe with the latest version of Yahoo! Messenger, (I think that's 11.) Yahoo! now stores your conversation history online. You can access it from the Yahoo! Mail interface.

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For Vista and Windows 7

According to this page, the history is stored here:

C:\Users\<windows_usrnme>\AppData\Local\VirtualStore\Program Files\Yahoo!\Messenger\Profiles\<yahoo_username>

C:\Users\<windows_usrnme>\AppData\Local\VirtualStore\Program Files (x86)\Yahoo!\Messenger\Profiles\<yahoo_username> (for x86 version of Windows

For Windows XP

According to this, you'll find the history in:

C:\Program Files\Yahoo!\Messenger\Profiles\

They can be encypted and in .dat format. I also found a Message Decoder which I have not tested. Maybe not this one, but the a 3rd party reader should work, there might be others that can be used to read the file.

From Yahoo's own help:

If you want to view an earlier conversation you had with this person, scroll to the top of this one and click View Full Archive. And if you'd like to not save conversations, or would like them to be deleted each time you sign out, then click Archiving Preferences to make an adjustment.

The "Message Archive" window can also be opened at any time from the main Yahoo! Messenger window by opening the Contacts menu and clicking Message Archive.

You have to enable the chat history in the Connection Preferences. The default status is disabled.

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