There are 3 files used to save Messages on Mac.

  • chat.db
  • chat.db-shm
  • chat.db-wal

What are each of them for?

2 Answers 2


Per this great answer: https://stackoverflow.com/a/12948036/475228

The shm and wal are standard indexing and checkpoint files that accompany the main database file. Nothing special on th messages side other than using the sqlite3 format to store the data to disk.


chat.db is where all of the messages are stored. This is a SQLlite database and contains these tables:

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