I've got Skype log files in the current chatsync/**.dat format. How can I read them?

They are from a Skype user account for which I don't have the password, and if I try to move them and all accompanying files to my Skype account's data folder to read them through Skype, it complains about a corrupted database.

Parts of the text is clear in these binary files, but not enough, and it's straining to read them through a hex dump.

There is a viewer in Delphi floating around, but it only works with English messages, skipping lines containing Norwegian characters and mixing the user names up.

  • Note that this is not a duplicate of How to export Skype history? since that question assumes access to that Skype account.
    – Andy
    Jul 26, 2011 at 21:22
  • 1
    "They are from a Skype user account for which I don't have the password" personally I would have an ethical issue with providing an answer to be honest.
    – EBGreen
    Jul 26, 2011 at 21:29
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    @EBGreen: Sorry for being unclear; it's my account but I don't remember the password and used a throw-away email address. I've always kept logs and the older ones are nicely HTML-formatted, but not the newer ones.
    – Andy
    Jul 26, 2011 at 21:33

4 Answers 4


Any SQLite interface can open the XXX.db file. I use SQLiteStudio.

The following query can be used to get all the chat messages you had with a given username. Replace andy in this example with the username you want.

    strftime('%Y-%m-%d', datetime(timestamp, 'unixepoch')) AS date, 
    chatname like "%andy%" 
order by 

SkypeLogView should do what you want.

SkypeLogView reads the log files created by Skype application, and displays the details of incoming/outgoing calls, chat messages, and file transfers made by the specified Skype account. You can select one or more items from the logs list, and then copy them to the clipboard, or export them into text/html/csv/xml file.

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You can manually browse them using sqlite, the database used for storing the chats ( e.g.: sqlite foo.db ). Sqlitebrowser will make this process less tedious. You will need a complex sql command to sort and list them in chromological order. You can dump your queries from within sqlite directly to files, so I would use sqlite.


Try the skype-chatsync-viewer tool from this package.

It can only partially parse the data, but if you interested in recovering "removed" messages (which is probably the only reason why one would want to read those *.dat files), it might suit your purpose.

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