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I always used to save my Chat logs because I use IM in the professional environment. Now I find that I can’t save chat logs anymore. That option is gone. Is there any workaround or hidden preference to enable saving chat logs again?

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up vote 17 down vote accepted

In Preferences, select Messages and check "Save history when conversations are closed." Now when you quit Messages, it will create a collection of chat transcripts. You can easily access these in your Library folder. From Finder, select Go>Go to Folder and type: ~/Library/Messages/Archive. If you are on Mavericks or Yosemite, the location is ~/Library/Containers/ This will take you directly to the appropriate folder.

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Thank you so, so much. I had feared this awesome feature from iChat was gone forever. – Ben Kreeger Aug 29 '12 at 14:32
I did this, and it does work but only with text. Do you know if there's anyway to have Messages save any images/files sent over chat? – chandsie Oct 25 '12 at 3:15
The images are stored in the "Attachments" folder, which is a sibling to "Archive". – jeffbyrnes Nov 5 '12 at 15:12

I don't know if you are still looking for an answer to this, but it looks like you can use Automator (in Applications) to copy all files to a certain folder when items are added to the Archive Folder us "Folder Action". I am trying it out now, but seems it should work.

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Do come back and flesh this out with edits as you find it works or does not work. Welcome to the site! – bmike Feb 4 '13 at 21:29

Please note that the new location for logs in Mavericks is ~/Library/Containers/ (yes, even though the app is called Messages, the container is called iChat).

This appears to be a way of replicating the way that apps like iMessages work on iOS -- Messages gets its own Library folder with its own dedicated hierarchy of files.

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In addition to native Automator, if you're a Hazel or Alfred user they can give you other ways to do this on addition of a file to a folder.

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Can you provide concrete examples or steps how to actually achieve this with the aforementioned applications? – Jawa Jun 25 '13 at 8:17
In Hazel, you could create a folder rule for ~/Library/Messages/Attachments that would, for instance, catch new files added there and tag or move them according to the criteria of interest to you. Do you have a use case? If so, I may be able to help you craft a Hazel rule. – Paul E. Oppenheimer Jul 8 '13 at 7:17

I had the same problem.

On my machine I resolved the problem by removing the Archive link. Open Messages and send a message. Close Messages. This should now create the Archive folder. I copied my older chats to this new Archive folder, and everything worked for me.

cp -r /Users//Documents/iChats/ /Users//Library/Containers/

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