Gmail Chat History - WHERE IS IT
November 17, 2015 7:41 AM   Subscribe

A federal agency uses gmail as their email service provider. I use this federal version of gmail as part of my job and need to be able to find and reproduce gchat/gtalk/hangouts exchanges I've had with colleagues. Why is this so hard? Why.

I know this about the chat conversation I need to see: who I had it with, when, and a search term.

I use search term and label:chats in the search bar and federal gmail helpfully provides me a list of chat results. I click one. It takes me to a view of exactly one line of the chat, like this:

colleague: oh hey yeah, the SEARCH TERM decision right?

That is not what I want. I want this:

me: do you remember that thing that happened last friday?
colleague: oh hey yeah, the SEARCH TERM decision right?
me: yes! what happened?
colleague: it was approved. we are going to give the patient mouse bites.
me: again?

And so forth.

posted by skrozidile to Technology (5 answers total)
If the person you were talking to went "off the record" the chat history won't have been logged.
posted by phunniemee at 7:46 AM on November 17, 2015 [1 favorite]

I just tried your example, by searching for:

label:chats broom

(because yesterday I had a conversation where the word 'broom' occurs) and it found the specific message. I clicked the specific message, and loaded up the full conversation.

This is using Google Apps for Work.

I know it's possible for administrators to disable chat archiving, but that doesn't seem like what's happening here, because you're finding the messages.
posted by odinsdream at 7:48 AM on November 17, 2015 [1 favorite]

Is conversation view on or off in your settings? If it is off, try turning it on. Instructions here. Not completely sure if that will do anything, but worth a try. I'm on mobile otherwise I'd try it out for you.
posted by sevenofspades at 8:05 AM on November 17, 2015 [2 favorites]

Hi, I have a US government email address which uses gmail. We have a very specialized version of gmail with most of the Google apps disabled. I don't have chat logs either. Sorry. If it helps, just remember it is better than outlook.
posted by arnicae at 8:13 AM on November 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


I hate conversation view for work emails, but apparently it is one setting for both email and chat.

I will survive the horror of conversation view emails to have the sanity of conversation view chats. Thank you sevenofspades!
posted by skrozidile at 8:19 AM on November 17, 2015

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