How To Save Your Complete Facebook Chat History

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facebook chat historyWhen you’re trying to remember the exact course of a conversation, to retrieve a lost web address, or just want to reminiscence tales of a past long gone, your chat logs can help you out big time.

Taking note of conversations may sound unnecessary, or even plain paranoid, but often proves to be extremely useful. Recalling those conversations word by word is one heck of a superpower.

One thing I’ve always missed about Facebook is that ability to keep logs of your Facebook chat history. As it is, Facebook only remembers short snippets of some most recent conversations – and only per page and in between sign-offs. Because the user has to be online, this can only ever be used to continue some previous conversations where you left off.

Below is an alternative method to permanently save your Facebook chat history, using browser extensions.

Using A Firefox Add-On Or Google Chrome Extension

Before we head off, let’s dispel a common misconception that has already earned these extensions some bad ratings. This technique does not allow you to delve into long lost conversations, prior to the usage of these extensions. Why not? Simple; because Facebook does not keep those around. So unless you can find yourself a time machine, there’s no way to recover those.

From the moment you’re set up however, these extensions will remember every single word said. And those can be retrieved later on.

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Start out by downloading and installing Facebook Chat History Manager as a Firefox add-on or Google Chrome extension. There’s still a little work ahead before they’re running smoothly, though.

facebook chat history

On Google Chrome, go to Window -> Extensions -> [FbCHM] Options, as can be seen in the screenshot above. You’re now in the extension’s Options pane. On the left, select ‘Get Facebook ID‘.

On Firefox, go to Tools -> Facebook Chat History Manager -> Get Facebook ID.

After logging into your account and authorizing the Facebook application, you’ll be able to view your Facebook ID. This is a number unique to your Facebook account. Copy it to your clipboard; you’ll need it in the next step.

On Google Chrome, go to Window -> Extensions -> [FbCHM] Options -> Create Account.

On Firefox, go to Tools -> Facebook Chat History Manager -> Create Account.

Use the previously obtained Facebook ID to create your account. The passwords here do not have to match your Facebook log-in password. It’s solely to keep your chat logs safe. Because you’ll have to log in later on, and again whenever you want to browse your chat history, an easy to remember login name can speed this up. This is optional though.

After creating your account, the set-up process is complete. The browser extensions will quietly keep track of your Facebook chat history, and allow to access it later on.

facebook chat history

The Google Chrome extension will place an icon on your address bar, as can be seen in the screenshot above. Clicking it will prompt you for your username and password, before sending you off to your chat logs.

On Firefox, simply go to Tools -> Facebook Chat History Manager ->View History. Here too, you’ll need to enter your account details.

The Facebook chat history viewer isn’t very pretty, but does what it’s meant to do. On the top bar, you can select a period; on the left, a friend. To view older conversations, select ‘previous‘, or use an input field to jump to a specific page.

If you’ve got anything to add – whether tips or alternatives – feel free to make use of the comments section below!

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