Something weird is happening with iMessage on my Mac. I can send and receive messages fine but when I close iMessage and reopen it, all my messages disappear. Also, if the app is closed and I get a message, I get a notification but when I open the app it's not there.

The conversations are all there but they are empty.

What I've tried so far:

  1. Signed out of my account, closed iMessage and restarted the computer.
  2. Deleted all plists related to iMessage in ~/Library/Preferences
  3. Delete ~/Library/IdentityServices

What else should I try?

  • 2
    Try setting up the account again in a new user account as a test. Commented Jul 16, 2015 at 23:38
  • Since when did this behaviour occur? Did you recover from a TimeMachine backup? Have you tried do use Disk Utility to fix permissions? Commented Jul 17, 2015 at 8:12
  • No, I didn't recover from a TimeMachine backup or used Disk Utility.
    – Hesham
    Commented Jul 17, 2015 at 10:00
  • I've created a new user account and tested it, it works fine. Now what? How can I get it to work in my account?
    – Hesham
    Commented Jul 21, 2015 at 11:04
  • Do you have any other devices that are signed in to iMessage with the same Apple ID?
    – Doc G.
    Commented Jul 22, 2015 at 22:59

2 Answers 2


First make sure the "Save history when conversations are closed" is checked in "Preferences-->General" to have an archive of conversations in the future.

Second the Messages.app history and archives are saved to a couple locations in Yosemite.


Backup the files in the folder ~/Library/Messages/ and save to a separate location to have a backup of your previous messages.(if they exist)

Then remove both the files in above paths:

rm -rf ~/Library/Containers/com.apple.iChat/Data/Library/Messages/*
rm -rf ~/Library/Messages

Restart Messages.app and the below message will appear that it is rebuilding your Messages database. The couple times a have done this it resulted in having to just restart the machine as I didn't want to wait.

enter image description here

Just remember to make a backup of any files you delete as they hold archives of previous conversations.

  • Sadly that also didn't solve it. I returned to the same empty conversations view. How is it retaining the conversations after all archives have been removed?
    – Hesham
    Commented Jul 22, 2015 at 8:07
  • So for some reason I don't understand, iMessage started working again normally after my computer kernel panicked and restarted. I believe that clearing that archive followed by a restart was what it needed. I'm accepting your answer as it's probably what fixed the problem.
    – Hesham
    Commented Jul 23, 2015 at 12:57

This assumes the storage in your user account is to blame, there could be other reasons.

Log into the affected account. Ensure Messages.app is not running by quitting it from the Messages menu.

Activate Finder, select Home from the Go menu, select Get Info from the File menu. Click the disclosure triangle next to Sharing & Permissions if it isn't already pointing down.

Ensure the single head icon shows your account name and "(me)".

Unlock the box at the bottom right, then click the action button (looks like a gear) and choose Apply to enclosed items. When it warns that it can't be undone, click Ok.

  • I've tried doing that and the problem is still there. Thanks.
    – Hesham
    Commented Jul 20, 2015 at 11:24

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