I'm currently running 5.2.x on OS X 10.6.8 and I need to some deep searching of the past history in a conversation with a colleague. Skype tells me the term I'm looking for is in the long-running chat we've had, but good luck getting it to show you the specific chat entry in time without manually scrolling backwards through months and months of back-and-forth.

I'd like to export the conversation as some format I can access programmatically (HTML, XML, etc.). The HTML export options that used to be present in Skype for OS X seem to have disappeared as of the 5.0 release.

Is there a way to export chat history in Skype 5.2.x for OS X?


3 Answers 3


If you have the OS X Developer Tools installed you can use this terminal command:

sqlite3 ~/Library/Application\ Support/Skype/<YOUR SKYPENAME>/main.db "SELECT author,timestamp, body_xml FROM messages WHERE dialog_partner = '<OTHER SKYPENAME>'" > ~/Desktop/skype_chat_history.txt
  • This is excellent! That you can interface with their DB using sqlite3 is a very good bit of information. Thank you!
    – Ian C.
    Sep 21, 2011 at 13:58
  • Very nice. From this I found during 2012 I spend 4.7 days talking to my SO. Jan 7, 2013 at 21:48

It's a complete UI fail that you can't search within a conversation.

This isn't what you're after, but one approach I've taken is to copy and paste the entire conversation into a real editor and search there.

  • 1
    Actually getting the Skype UI to show me the whole conversation takes...a long, long time. So long I killed it after an hour of watching it spin. But not a bad approach really.
    – Ian C.
    Jul 19, 2011 at 16:40

There is a nice web-based (and thus platform-independent) tool for exporting Skype history: skypebrowser.com

It's quite handy if you don't want to mess with SQL or install any third-party software.

  • Hmm. You have to give you Skype database to a third party website. That's not a great thing.
    – Ian C.
    Apr 14, 2016 at 15:26
  • @IanC. I'm not saying it's the safest way, I'm saying it's the easiest and most convenient one. You obviously shouldn't trust any third-party software to access confidential data (not just your skype database; any browser addon that displays your email messages, prints a page you're viewing, etc.) But there are many cases when you can choose convenience over safety.
    – geppertuo
    Apr 21, 2016 at 7:53

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