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So I can close a conversation in Messages on my Mac and it handily disappears. I can't seem to figure out how to re-open that conversation manually (as opposed to getting a new message in that conversation, that is).

Closing means on the left panel of Messages. Hover over a person. An X appears in the middle of their "card" on the right. Click it. This closes the conversation and does not delete it.

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Does anyone know if reopening these conversations is possible?

  • Anybody know if this "easily accidentally closed" behavior persists after enabling Messages in the Cloud? Want to enable it but I don't want to accidentally click on my Mac and have it blow away all of my messages on all of my devices. – Tim Dec 8 '18 at 16:41
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Late Edit: This is all dependant on you having "Save history when conversations are closed" checked in Messages prefs - otherwise you can find the conversation, but not rejoin it to your main chat window.

You cannot directly re-open the last conversation you had from the app itself, if you already closed it by hitting the x.

You need to dig in history, it's located at ~/Library/Containers/com.apple.ichat/Data/Library/Messages

Conversations are stored by date. You only need to find any one instance of the conversation you are looking for.

Double-clicking that file will reopen it in a separate window in Messages.
Keep that window open, or the next step fails.

To persuade it to reattach to the main window…

Scroll down your conversations list - it will have reappeared in last place.

Select it, it will appear to be empty, but will fill as soon as you click it.

You can now close the extra window.

  • 2
    Yeah, I wasn't asking how to start a new message. And hitting the X doesn't "trash" it... it just hides it until the next new message is received or sent. What I'm looking for is a way to re-open it without having to send (or receive) a new message. – Joey Connick Feb 19 '15 at 20:14
  • tweaked answer... – Tetsujin Feb 19 '15 at 20:16
  • Actually, I found a better method, answer tweaked again – Tetsujin Feb 19 '15 at 20:40
  • Finally - method 4, works every time. Edited again. – Tetsujin Feb 20 '15 at 7:06
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Easier still: just compose a new message to the person with whom you deleted the conversation, and as you hit enter to auto-complete the name, "poof!", the whole conversation reappears. You don't need to send them any message.

  • That worked once for me... but then I couldn't get it to work again, even for the same person it originally worked for. – Joey Connick Feb 25 '15 at 1:07
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What worked for me..

  1. Compose a new message to the closed chat. Leave it open, don't Send.
  2. Using Finder Go to ~/Library/Containers/com.apple.ichat/Data/Library/Messages
  3. Find you latest closed chat. (as noted, chats are stored by date)
  4. Drag and drop your closed chat to the same person chat open in step 1.

In my case, the entire chat re-appeared. No new message was sent in the process. Everything work as if I hadn't closed the chat.

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