iMessage recover from Library Archive


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 19, 2020
Hi there,

I accidentally deleted a very important iMessage conversation on my Mac and thanks to Messages in Cloud it has gone everywhere.

But I found all conversations in the Library in Messages -> Archive.

If I double click on the conversation (it for everyday a different file) it opens up in messages, but just as a kind of preview. I can not add it as a conversation.

Anyone got an idea?



macrumors 6502a
Apr 30, 2008
USA (Virginia)
Do you need to have the conversation in a nice easy to read format, or are you just looking for a few pieces of information, like a telephone number? Even though the xxxx.ichat files in the Archive folders are binary files you can open them in a simple text editor like Textedit. You'll see a lot of random-looking characters, but the actual text of the messages is readable.

Make a copy of the ichat file onto your Desktop or something, first. Right-click it and choose Open With... and then Other... and find

Do not attempt to edit or save changes to the version in the Archives folder in any way!