Messages chat history not saving in Mavericks? We’ve got the fix.

Screenshot 2013-10-27 18.03.04

There’s a ton to love about Mavericks but for some users, Messages is not one of them. After upgrading to the latest version of OS X, I noticed that my Messages chat history for non-iMessage users was not saving properly. This meant that any conversations I had over AIM or GChat through Messages were not being logged. After much tinkering around and reinstalling Mavericks – to no avail – I discovered a fix for the issue.

Mavericks’ issue with saving chat history seems to occur when there is an problem with the Archive folder that contains your chat history from even way back in the days of iChat. For whatever reason, Messages’ new chat database was not expecting to see those archived chats and attempts, unsuccessfully, to import them. This all happens unseen on the back-end, but can be revealed by launching Messages with error log reporting.

Read More below to see how to fix this Messages annoyance.

These instructions will confirm whether or not you are experiencing the issue and fix it for you if you are.

  1. Run Messages through Terminal (Desktop -> Go -> Utilities -> Terminal) with the following command: /Applications/Messages.app/Contents/MacOS/Messages -errorLogLevel 7
  2. Confirm that an error similar to this appears: 2013-10-27 15:59:16.465 Messages[666:507] Chat history path /Users/username/Library/Containers/com.apple.iChat/Data/Library/Messages/Archive Status: 3 totalExpected: 162740 countProcessed: 29344, forcing an import.
  3. If so, quit Messages. If not, stop reading. This won’t help you.
  4. Move the Archive folder in ~/Library/Containers/com.apple.iChat/Data/Library/Messages to your Desktop
  5. Run Messages with the same command in Step 1.
  6. That log should now contain this instead: Status: 0 totalExpected: 0 countProcessed: 0, forcing an import.
  7. If so, quit Messages.
  8. Open the Archive folder you moved to your Desktop.
  9. Copy all of the contents of the Archive folder on your desktop and paste them in~/Library/Containers/com.apple.iChat/Data/Library/Messages/Archive
  10. Run Messages and confirm your prior history is present and new history is being saved.

That should do it. Post a comment letting us know whether or not this worked for you!

13 thoughts on “Messages chat history not saving in Mavericks? We’ve got the fix.

  1. I didn’t get the original force error message but it worked yay. Terminal junkies might like the following…

    1. Close iChat
    2. mv ~/Library/Containers/com.apple.iChat/Data/Library/Messages ~/Desktop
    3. Open iChat then close iChar
    4. rsync -r ~/Desktop/Messages/Archive/ ~/Library/Containers/com.apple.iChat/Data/Library/Messages/Archive/
    5. Open iChat
    6. Celebrate

  2. Hi there! nothing works to recover my chat history in Messages. Actually, when I launch Step 1, it doesn’t finish, so I don’t get any error message.
    Anyway, I did the operations like described, but nothing happens.
    The drives me crazy. Please help me! Thank you by advance.

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