I'd like to convert my Skype chat history to a collection of text files for archival purposes. Ideally, I'd like to have a command (e.g. script or app) so that I could do this on a regular basis.

Any one have any idea on how to go about doing this?

  • I have created a Python-based software for exporting the newer Skype chat log archives (messages since somewhere in 2017) to text files: github.com/levitation-opensource/… . Skype has its own chat log archive browser tool too, but it does not generate text files and does less comprehensive parsing of the messages: go.skype.com/skype-parser . Jan 8, 2022 at 18:04

7 Answers 7


Your Skype chat history is stored inside a file named main.db located by default at:


Open the File

These files are binary files and can be viewed using:

  • a Hex editor like ghex;

  • or a regular editor like GVim;

  • BUT for an efficient analysis, you should use a SQLite editor like Sqliteman:

    Performing a query to select the intended data, you can export the results to CSV, HTML, XLS, SQL and other formats.

Backup the File

You can use a simple cp command to copy the folder to somewhere else you want it to.
You can put this command in a cron.daily if you want it to run daily.


Try the software called "Skyperious" which can be clones/ downloaded from HERE. They have installable software for Linux, Windows as well as for Mac.

  • Wonderful and useful interface. Great job.
    – Aditya M P
    Dec 22, 2014 at 13:01

http://www.kudosknowledge.com/how-do-i-export-skype-chat-history/ describes how to do it, but I believe it assumes a Windows install of Skype. Basically, everything is in your ~/.Skype folder, and you'll need to read the sqlite database corresponding to your account. It shouldn't be too hard to make a script to do it, but I'm not aware of any that currently exist.


Archive.org has a working version of the link: https://web.archive.org/web/20130406134219/http://www.kudosknowledge.com/how-do-i-export-skype-chat-history/

  • 2
    Whilst this may theoretically answer the question, it would be preferable to include the essential parts of the answer here, and provide the link for reference. Unfortunately, the referenced link is no longer valid.
    – kiri
    Dec 25, 2013 at 7:27

There's a good and free windows program that works great with Wine: http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/skype_log_view.html

Tested it on Lubuntu 13.10 & Wine 1.7.10, really awesome utility.

  • Works good! Don't forget to configure Wine to show files starting with dots, then you can open ~/.Skype/SKYPEUSERNAME/
    – Leksat
    Jan 15, 2014 at 13:27

If you're not afraid to upload your Skype database to the web, there is an online tool that allows exporting chats from main.db into html files: http://www.skypebrowser.com

Seems to work OK with small databases.


Skype log view reads skype files u can also simly copy all. Open ur skype chat window to the person u want the istory on make sure the display is set to show from the beginning and select all tohighlight copy and past to an text editor.


You should be able to simply:

  1. Right click in a chat window → Select All
  2. Press Ctrl+C to copy.
  3. Paste it into a file of your choice.

The output will be something like this:

[7:39:36 AM] username1: hello
[7:39:46 AM] username2: hello to you as well

Originally from here.

  • 1
    If someone had less than one scrollback buffers' worth of text, and few enough contacts that doing it this way made sense, then odds are good that they wouldn't be asking this question. I don't think Skype ever showed the entire log, so this would save only the most recent logs. If you first scroll up to the beginning of each contact's chat history log (which would take many days for some of us), this might work, but I'm skeptical even then. Mar 13, 2018 at 13:41

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