Teams Chat Export/History Question

I’m trying to figure out how far back Teams keeps chat history with chats that you have in the Chat tab. Does anyone know?

Also is there a way to export a chat history without using 3rd party software? This is on my work computer and I don’t want to use 3rd party software on it.

My company is letting some people go soon and I’m worried that my chats with them will go away. I’ve some information in those chats that I regularly refer to for my work. Yes I know I should save it some where else. But that’s what’s great about Teams it saves everything.

I did a search for this and the results I got were from 2018 or older. And the answers were mixed; chat history saved for 30 days, depends on chat activity, if the chats are in a Teams channel or in the Chat tab, etc. Any help would be appreciated!

Conversation 7 comments

  • phil_adcock

    09 June, 2021 - 10:01 am

    <p>Honestly if it’s a specific piece of information that you have saved in chat and you are worried they may vanish. I’d go screenshot them and store them in a folder somewhere on your computer. Then you will have them for reference, unable for anyone to make them vanish. </p>

  • wright_is

    Premium Member
    09 June, 2021 - 10:04 am

    <p>Theoretically, as Teams chat falls under business related discussions, the chat should go back at least the legal requirement for such texts, in the EU, that is 10 years.</p><p><br></p><p>All of my chats go back to when I created them, the oldest ones for when we started using Teams about 18 months ago.</p>

    • j5

      09 June, 2021 - 2:39 pm

      <p>Hi, are those 18 month chat histories are those from active chats? I read that only active cheats will keep history longer but this was from a 2017 forum post. </p>

      • wright_is

        Premium Member
        10 June, 2021 - 12:33 pm

        <p>Many were from training courses and had not been used for over half a year. </p>

  • Chris_Kez

    Premium Member
    09 June, 2021 - 2:15 pm

    <p>I think you actually have two separate questions here. The first is how far back does Teams history go. You can answer this yourself by looking back through your chats and seeing how far back you can go. This will vary by company. The second, and more pertinent question is what happens to chats with deleted users. That I don’t know. My expectation is that they will be retained in history for however long your company policy dictates. Just as I wouldn’t expect your email to be cleansed of every conversation you had with your former colleague, I wouldn’t expect Teams chat to be cleansed. </p><p>Keep in mind you can also send chats to email, so that is an option for getting this stuff out of Teams if necessary:</p><p><a href="; target="_blank">Sending a Microsoft Teams conversation item to Outlook – One Minute Office Magic</a></p>

  • darkgrayknight

    Premium Member
    09 June, 2021 - 3:42 pm

    <p>Looks like retention of chats is dependent on a variety of things. I see chats back to 6 months, but not any further back, unless they are still active chats (or in the 6 months still displayed). So chats that haven’t had any updates in the last 6 months are gone (though maybe they would remain if they are pinned–there are limits to number of pinned chats though). I suspect there are settings at the IT admin level to save chats. I don’t see any way to save the chat history directly in Teams.</p><p><br></p><p>Personally, I would copy the information or even the full chat and paste into OneNote or a Word document to save it if it has important information that you’ll need.</p>

  • j5

    10 June, 2021 - 4:29 pm

    <p>So I’m sure out IT department has the ability to delete them or leave them. But I see no one really knows, not even Microsoft lol. I’ve Tweeted and emailed them and got no reply or links to features that aren’t solutions or even answer my questions. One link was to email a single chat text to outlook. That’s cool but you can’t send the entire chat or choose what to send it’s just one at a time. </p><p>? here’s to manually grabbing what I need lol. </p>

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