How to Find and Delete Your Facebook Message History

Find, Delete and Download Facebook Messages

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In previous years, ​Facebook Chat users were required to go to different lengths to save copies of their chats for later review.

While some opted to simply copy and paste their conversations to a text editor, others preferred the simplicity of a web browser plugin or utility to capture their conversations.

Facebook Messenger

Facebook chat has gone through some changes. It's now referred to as Facebook Messenger, and there is an independent app called Facebook Messenger for your mobile device that syncs with online messages.

Additional features in Facebook Messenger include video chatting and automatic logging of all your chat conversations.

How to Find My Facebook Chat History

To find a past message thread, click on the dialog balloon icon in top bar of any Facebook page. The messages box will open and display your recent conversations.

If you do not see the conversation you're looking for, click "See All" at the bottom of the box. This will load your Facebook Messages page in the browser. Here you can scroll through your conversations.

You can also do a search through all of your past conversations for keywords, phrases, email addresses, etc., using the search field located in the upper left of the page. All matches will appear in the column to the right.

How to Delete Facebook Messenger History

In Facebook Messenger, you can delete Facebook messages from your history or you can delete an entire conversation history with another Facebook user.

  1. Click on the Messenger icon at the top right of the screen.
  2. Click "See All" at the bottom of the Messenger box.
  3. Click on the "Actions" cogwheel icon near the top right of the screen.

This will open a large menu. About midway down you'll find two options:

  • "Delete Conversation..." lets you delete an entire conversation with a selected user.
  • "Delete Messages..." lets you delete specific messages from a conversation with another user.

Both choices allow you to select which conversations or messages you want to delete. Once you've made your selections, click the Delete button in the lower right.

Note: Though you may delete a message or entire conversation from your Facebook Messenger history, this will not delete them from the histories of other users who were part of a conversation and received messages that are deleted.

Download Facebook Messages and Data

Facebook offers a means to download your Facebook messages, along with all of your Facebook data, including pictures, posts, etc., as an archive.

To download you Facebook data:

  1. Click the down arrow in the top right of the Facebook browser window.
  2. Select "Settings" from the dropdown menu.
  3. Under General Account Settings, at the bottom, click the "Download a copy of your Facebook data." 

You will be prompted for your password to start the gathering and download process.