How to Search Past Chat History in Facebook

By Jason Spidle

Facebook chat was introduced in the spring of 2008 as a way to enable Facebook users to chat with their friend in real-time. Facebook is one of the most popular social networks on the Internet, and Facebook chat has grown to become one of the most widely used instant-messaging platforms on the Internet. Facebook keeps only minimal chat history for its users, usually limited to the last conversation you had with another user. But by utilizing the Firefox web browser and Facebook's chat history extension, you can keep an entire history of your chat transcripts. Using third-party chat programs like Pidgin can make it even easier to keep a chat archive.

Things You'll Need

  • Firefox browser
  • Facebook Chat History Manager Firefox extension
  • Third-party chat application

Facebook Chat History in Firefox

Step 1

Download and install Firefox, then install the Facebook Chat History Manager extension (see Resources).

Step 2

Restart Firefox and select "Tools," "Facebook Chat History Manager" and "Create Account" to set up your Facebook chat history account.

Step 3

Select "Tools," "Facebook Chat History Manager," "View History" to view your chat transcripts. Chat history will only begin to be saved after installing the extension, so any chats you've had before installing the extension will not be available.

Facebook Chat History in Third-Party Chat Application

Step 1

Download and install the third-party chat application of your choice. These include products such as Pidgin, Digsby or Trillian.

Step 2

Launch the third-party chat application and connect it to Facebook chat by selecting Facebook as an account type and entering your credentials.

Step 3

Navigate to the "Preferences" or "Options" screen within the third-party chat application. This can usually be found under either the File menu or the Tools menu.

Step 4

Enable chat logging if it is not already to ensure chat transcripts are saved.

Step 5

View chat transcripts by selecting the "Chat Log" or "Chat Transcripts" under "View." These applications will only begin saving your chat history after you start using the application and can only save chats you've had within the application (not on Facebook's webpage). Any chats you've had before using the application will not be viewable.

Tips & Warnings

  • Facebook does not save chat transcripts, so it is necessary to utilize outside applications.
  • Most of these applications save chat transcripts in log files on your local computer that are easily viewable by anyone using your computer. To protect your chat transcripts, be sure you keep separate operating-system accounts that are password-protected.