How do I search all Skype history contents?
July 19, 2010 7:21 AM   Subscribe

How do I search the contents of all Skype chat history on OS X? Skype's regular search feature only searches the topics of old chats, but not the contents. I swear I found a way to do this some time back that involved typing some undocumented commands to create an index and then search it, but Google is failing me. I do have Skype's feature to keep chat history forever turned on.
posted by Emanuel to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Were you thinking of this hint? It looks like a partial solution, however as they note it doesn't update.
posted by jardinier at 7:43 AM on July 19, 2010

Response by poster: jardinier: That only seems to work for a single contact at a time, and doesn't seem to work for group chats. In my case I don't know which group chat contained a conversation (it happened many months ago), thus the need for a global search through all chat history.
posted by Emanuel at 7:48 AM on July 19, 2010

If you're comfortable using a terminal command, you could try adding the location of the skype chat history folder to spotlight. I don't use Skype, but they say it's in here under your skype username:


To add a folder to your spotlight index use:

mdimport -f

followed by the folder location. Also, if you don't want spotlight indexing this, you can do a search of just that folder at any time using this technique. However, all of this assumes that the chat contents are readable and not hidden in some way...
posted by jardinier at 8:05 AM on July 19, 2010

Response by poster: jardinier: The chat contents are stored in binary files that Spotlight doesn't really know what to do with. I have sometimes used 'grep' to find old messages, but due to the structure of the files this is really only helpful for finding an individual message, not for finding a whole chat.
posted by Emanuel at 8:16 AM on July 19, 2010

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