Skype is so annoying to me when I try to copy text from my chat; i.e. it alsway include the timestamp when pasted.

How to copy only the plain text?

  • are you willing to use a third party app? – tumchaaditya Jun 28 '12 at 4:15
  • @tumchaaditya Sure I will - lovley to be free available – Nam G VU Jun 28 '12 at 4:27
  • It seems to copy the timestamp and recipient if the - character is included in the text. – Greg Jul 25 '13 at 15:16
  • Paste to notepad (or anywhere, really), copy, and paste into skype :) I wish ctrl+shift+v did this from within skype. I've had people think I'm being pretentious because they asked me a question twice; I just copy/pasted from a previous conversation, and it pasted as a quote, as if I were saying: "I already told you this, at this time on this day" :) – Juan Mendes Nov 11 '14 at 16:41

Follow these steps:

In Skype:

  1. Go to ToolsOptionsIM & SMS

  2. Click Show advanced options

    enter image description here

  3. In Pressing Ctrl+V will select Paste message as plain text

    enter image description here

  4. Save

  • What does the link say? Can you please include all relevant details here? – slhck Jun 28 '12 at 7:52
  • 3
    This does not work. As commented above, it still prepends the timestamp and the user who typed it. – Scott Oct 1 '12 at 2:36
  • 4
    yeah it does not...not with the latest version.. – tumchaaditya Oct 1 '12 at 8:39
  • 3
    This works fine if you're just copying one line and you don't hi-light the time stamp. If you are copying multiple lines, it will include the time stamp and username.. very annoyingly. – Rich S Apr 3 '13 at 23:06
  • 1
    Worked for me, but I had to restart skype – Maarten Kieft Jan 29 '14 at 14:09

Windows-only Solution

I've made a quick autohotkey script that runs when you press ctrl + C inside Skype. It basically copies selected, runs a regex replace on it and stores it in your clipboard.

The regex is quite naive, and makes a few assumptions, which may not be correct as I haven't rigorously tested it:

  • If there's a timestamp, it's at the very beginning of a line
  • it's in square brackets and first character is a number
  • there a space after it, followed by nickname, colon, and extra space

Here's the .ahk script itself. It's app-sensitive based on the ahk_class tSkMainForm, which might possibly change in the future updates of Skype.

#IfWinActive ahk_class tSkMainForm
        Clipboard := ""
        Send ^c
        ClipWait, 1
        if ( Clipboard ) {
            Clipboard := RegExReplace( Clipboard, "m)^\[\d.*?\] .*?: " )

If you do want to keep the nickname, just remove the .*?: at the end of the regex.


I'm on a Mac and made a very simple little app for removing the timestamp and username from copied Skype chats. There's a "How To Use" in the linked dropbox folder. Basically it will clean up what is in your clipboard and create a new text doc, or you can paste a long list of continuous chats into a text doc and then clean up from there.


I used Automator and a bash sed script to make these applets.
It looks for the timestamp brackets and an ending : pattern and removes the whole block.


In the latest version of Lync named Skype for Business you can triple click inside a message then copy the text with CTRL+C

This allows for copy/pasting only the message text and not the timestamp.

  • That only applies for one message not the conversation with many messages – Nam G VU May 13 '15 at 14:24
  • Usually I only need to copy out the text of a single message. In the past, just getting the text for a single message also copied the metadata which was annoying. For multiple messages you are SOL unless you can regex delete to remove the timestamps and system messages from the clipboard as suggested by Dwelle – Underverse May 14 '15 at 1:17

If someone is still interested, I have a workaround: right-click on the selected text, choose "search with Bing" and it will open new tab in your browser and show you plain text without timestamps and without "Jane Doe: something something".

  • I don't see how this is any different (other than the application used) from the comment raised a year ago. – albal Aug 12 '15 at 8:00
  • You mean autohotkey? It's the only comment from a year ago I found. My method doesn't require any configuration, hotkeys, regexps, or other sophisticated methods, it's an easy and fast option. – Ant Aug 13 '15 at 13:20

A workaround for this using Notepad++ search & replace with regex

  1. Paste the copied Skype message to a new file tab
  2. Hit Ctrl-H to open search & replace box
  3. Enter \[.+[:][ ] in Find what box
  4. Check Regular expression to search with regex
  5. Hit Find next to test
  6. Hit Replace all to finish the job

Cheers, Nam

p.s. I have no idea why Microsoft/Skype not allow us to copy message easily.

enter image description here


As of at least Skype for Business version 15.0.4753.1000 there are two additional options for specifying to only copy the message text. Per message, and a default copy option.

Copy text only from a single message:

  • Select message text with mouse for one or more messages
  • Right-Click the selected text
  • Select Copy Message

The text can then be pasted with Ctrl + V

Set the default copy behaviour to be text only:

  • Open the options panel with Alt + T then hit O
  • Select IM in the left panel
  • Select the option: When copying IMS: Copy message only
  • OK

I also find it here but this still includes the timestamp http://howto.cnet.com/8301-11310_39-57378862-285/how-to-copy-plain-text-from-skype/

  • fyi: this was downvoted presumably because the questioner answered and accepted his own answer that was the same as an existing answer – Simon Jul 8 '13 at 2:59
  • Sorry I myself didn't notice this. – Nam G VU Jul 9 '13 at 21:02

Go to Tools » Options » IM & SMS » IM Appearance and you can uncheck the Show Time Stamp option.

  • 1
    Does this also prevent the timestamp from being copied? – slhck Feb 28 '13 at 9:13
  • This doesn't prevent it from being copied – unc0nnected Aug 7 '13 at 23:48

protected by Community Mar 15 '17 at 22:05

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