I have a conversation that likely has tens of thousands of messages sent over the past year. I want to find texts 6 months ago in August. How can I go about getting back to August and scrolling through those messages? I have the conversation on both on my iPhone and my Messages on my Macbook.
I found 2 ways of doing that. Depending on your needs and preferences, you choose what you want.
1. The flexible way
Open the Terminal.app And enter the following command:
Now you are in the database of the Messages app of your mac.
Enter the following commands (but don't include the
sqlite> as this one was added to this answer just to show you what you will expect at this point):
sqlite> .mode column sqlite> .headers on sqlite> SELECT text, datetime(date, 'unixepoch', '+31 year') AS cDate FROM message WHERE cDate >= "2016-01-12";
"2016-01-12" with the date you want to filter your messages, but keep the
If you know the exact date of the message you can replace the
= like this:
sqlite> SELECT text, datetime(date, 'unixepoch', '+31 year') AS cDate FROM message WHERE cDate = "2016-01-12";
Or if you know a range of dates then you can also do this:
sqlite> SELECT text, datetime(date, 'unixepoch', '+31 year') AS cDate FROM message WHERE cDate >= "2015-12-10" and cDate <= "2016-01-12";
You should get your messages now filtered!
This way you can actually filter your messages in more flexible way. If you play around with the database schema, you may find a good way to filter your messages.
2. The easy way
If you want something more user-friendly then I found out that if you type this command in the Terminal.app:
Will open a folder in finder that has your messages grouped by date, which will make your life much easier, looking for your message. This has been mentioned by another user as well.
The advantage of this method, is that the messages are opened in a nice User Interface (i.e Messages) which is more readable and user-friendly.
For me, the easiest way I've found to search my messages, some of which go back years, is to use and continue to use iExplorer to export my Messages to various formats. I usually do PDF and TXT exports, either of which are then easily searched.
I make use of others features too and for me it was worth the cost, as it's not freeware.
I ended up getting the SQLite Browser and opening the ~/Library/Messages/chat.db file then searching and navigating through the texts there.
I needed to print an entire message history for legal purposes. After a long search I've found iMazing and it's working very well for me.
I am not affiliated with the company.