Yahoo! Messenger Chat History Archive Transfer

When my latest princess came home, I was in a fix as to how to move my chat history from one computer to another retaining all the precious archives and messages I sent and received on the PC for over 3 years now :)

After a while of searching, I was not able to find proper solution for this thing except bits and pieces of what I wanted to do. How to transfer chat history or message archive from one computer to another.

  1. Exit Yahoo Messenger if you are using it. (Just to be safe)
  2. Go to: C:\Program Files\Yahoo!\Messenger\Profiles
  3. If you have multiple ids, you can see them there, copy the ones you need and put it on some other folder, like the desktop or the like. Remember to Rename it before saving. If you are planning to backup your Yahoo! Chat History, You too can follow the above steps and copy it back to the same location as before after you reinstall your messenger and windows.
  4. If you are using Windows XP, you can paste it back to C:\Program Files\Yahoo!\Messenger\Profiles after you install your messenger.
  5. But my problem was that I was using Vista and Yahoo! did not save the archive in the same place in Vista as in XP.
  6. In Vista, the location of Yahoo Messenger profiles is C:\Users\xxxx\AppData\Local\VirtualStore\Program Files\Yahoo!\Messenger\Profiles so you need to paste it there for your archive to be visible.
  7. Tada! Thats it!

Thank god it worked, now I have all the chat histories of me with my Ex-girlfriends ;) Muhahahhaaa…

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  1. Comment by Binny V A on July 10, 2008

    Why are you using Yahoo messenger? Why not some multi protocol clients like gaim(sorry – pidgin) or something like that?

  2. Comment by Anand on July 11, 2008

    Gaim, Mirinda and a whole lot of others, but I do not use the other clients in them, like hotmail or icq. Also, the Yahoo! Messenger works fine with my laptop with its webcam, flie and photo sharing with others.

    I have had frustrated times with trillian….

  3. Comment by Niyaz on July 11, 2008

    Looks like you will screw up with all these workarounds one day… :)

  4. Comment by Shoban on July 11, 2008

    Good one!! same is the procedure to copy mails from Thunderbird from one PC/OS to another PC/OS

    BTW y do u use YM?? i just use it to chat with people who dont use GTalk :-)

  5. Comment by Anand on July 11, 2008

    Ahh, That is something new for me. I still use yahoo! since it was the account I used since the day I got online. The contact list is just too huge. And it has integrated into MSN talk too……

    As far as I am concerned, Gmail/Gtalk is a newcomer.

    I use gtalk for those who dnt have yahoo/msn. :twisted:

  6. Comment by adda4u on July 23, 2008

    nice to see this here ..

    i never saw this in any blog …


    Thanks a lot

  7. Comment by ksawaya on July 31, 2008

    I don’t understand how to do this… maybe im stupid but im not getting it… but I really would like to get archives from another computer….anyway you could explain it better to me??

  8. Comment by Anand on July 31, 2008

    hi ksawaya, what is the problem that you are facing with this thing. Let me know and i will try to help you out.

  9. Comment by Prima on September 29, 2008

    gr8 tips to save message archives to another location/pc. thanks anand.

  10. Comment by JP on October 14, 2008

    Hey thanks a lot this worked for me. I could not find the archive files on vista for the longest.

  11. Comment by Jasmine on October 28, 2008

    hey, If the .Dat files that I save fm the old archive to the Profiles folder in another PC, will it not overwrite whatever is there already? -I hv another small archive in that 2nd Pc.
    so, how do i move the data/archive w/out overwriting or replacing the existing data.


  12. Comment by Anand on October 28, 2008

    @ jasmine, I over-wrote it and it did not cause a problem. if you want you can not do it too….I think the index dat is not very important in this. from my experience.

    But I can be wrong too. It worked for me :)

  13. Comment by Harry on November 22, 2008

    Well, cool, i never know that is in APPDATA!!!


  14. Hi, thanks you for your sharing.
    It is really helpful

  15. Comment by chocomint on December 19, 2008

    hey you, your tip’s really cool however I’m now facing a kind of different stuff. I was accidently del some .dat files from my computer so I asked my friend to send me those files from their computer. After receiving I paste them on the folder and rename so that they are exactly the same the deleted files. I used to do so before when I was with win XP. Now I use vista and it doesnt work anymore. I did follow your steps but it still not work. Do you know why. I really appreciate it if you can show me the way to fix this. hic

  16. Comment by gamdambler on December 26, 2008

    hey thanx for the info, i couldnt find my yahoo archives in vista either, but i now i can back them up

  17. Comment by willowdan on January 6, 2009

    hey, this is what I was looking for. Vista really is annoying at times :)

  18. Comment by thanks on April 4, 2009

    thanks a lot it worked for me

  19. Comment by B-man on April 7, 2009

    hi, i wanna know if i can just switch the folder where my archive is saved ?? lets just say i wanna move it intro D drive not C drive.

  20. Comment by Anand on April 8, 2009

    @B-Man, it is possible to do that if you have installed yahoo on the d drive.

  21. Comment by kassandra on May 26, 2009

    i need help :|

    i got my new laptop and i was looking for some archives. but i cannot find the Profiles in the Messenger folder :c i knew this step already but it doesnt apply in my laptop.

    hope you can help me with this one. thanks a lot!

  22. Comment by Anand on May 31, 2009

    Are you using vista or some other OS? If its Vista, this has to be the folder….after you install yahoo messenger…did you overlook anything? Let me know more info so that I can help transfer the yahoo archives :)

  23. Comment by cisqo78 on June 8, 2009

    I got my new PC w/ Vista installed, installed YM, turned on Archive, sent a test message but I still can’t find the archive location. There isn’t any folder named “AppData\Local\VirtualStore\Program Files\Yahoo!\Messenger\Profiles”. Need help – any suggestions??

  24. Comment by Sakura on June 9, 2009

    Well, I got my archive and everything is okay but only one thing is bugging me…my files are .dat files, and I’m not able to open them….

    what shud i do now ??

  25. Comment by Anand on June 10, 2009

    DAT files cannot be read….so it is cool..just copypaste…i think its the index of some sort…but hey, i am not the final voice :)

  26. Comment by B-man on June 10, 2009

    @ Anand well i did`t install on D drive, i just wanna know if i can change the path on other drive and how i can doo that?

  27. Comment by Anand on June 10, 2009

    I am not sure about your question here…did you mean tht you did not install it on C: drive?

  28. Comment by B-man on June 11, 2009

    no, i just wanna know if it is posible to change the path of the Yahoo Messenger Arhive, where it saves the conversation and how i can do that. I know is posbile to install it on other hard drive.

  29. Comment by Jen on July 31, 2009

    I too am having a problem finding “AppData” under the User-my user name- it is not there at all. Do you think I need to uninstall Yahoo and reinstall it again on my new computer? I did however find the path on my OLD computer just as was listed. So I dunno if its my brand of new Lap Top thats causing the ruckus or what. Thanks!

  30. Comment by Jen on July 31, 2009

    Oh and I only have Drive C available so it isnt a drive issue. The only difference is my old PC OS was Vista Premium and the new one is Vista Basic. My old computer was a HP lap top and my new one is a ACER.

  31. Comment by B-man on July 31, 2009

    Hi, i wanna know if i can reroute the saved conversation to another driver ??

  32. Comment by Anand on August 1, 2009

    I dnt think thats’ possible with Vista, but with XP it sounds logically possible if you have yahoo installed in another drive. But again, I have not tested it ever.

  33. Comment by kassandra on August 1, 2009

    oh, great. thankyou :) i found it already :P

  34. Comment by kalpi on August 5, 2009

    Hi i have a new Dell laptop, i too cant find ‘APPDATA’ under ‘User(my user name)’..could you help me with it?

  35. Comment by kalpi on August 29, 2009

    Hey…i found out the ‘APPDATA’..on my lappy they were among the hidden files and folders..finally i managed to find them and have saved my imp archives there..and could also view them properly..thanks a lottttttttt……….Anand :D

  36. Comment by Jordy on September 22, 2009

    Your information is really helpful. Yet I have a situation here. I have one XP desktop and one Vista laptop. I want to move my yahoo archive from my desktop to my laptop, but still keeping the archive in my laptop (because I’ve read on another article that the act of copying and pasting archive from one PC will override the archive on that of the destination PC). Do you know how to do it? And by the way, when I double click my yahoo archive folder, it contains nothing! Do you know where I can find the text-based archive? Thanks for your help in advance!

  37. Comment by Prashant on November 7, 2009

    This was very useful. Thank You.

  38. Comment by Bandita on December 14, 2009

    I used to do this always… find this very useful… however my os died… and now i am forced to use pidgin… anyidea how to sync the chat history?

  39. Comment by Ali on December 20, 2009

    thank you very very very very very very much ,,, because i had problem for this thing before one year ,,, before i had xp and i was know where can i find the archive folder for yahoo but now i have vista and before one year i don’t now where i can find archive folder for yahoo to transfer it to another computer or transfer after formatting ,,, thank you agian ,,, it is worked with me…..

  40. Comment by alalang on March 10, 2010

    Hi… when you said:

    “step 3. If you have multiple ids, you can see them there, copy the ones you need and put it on some other folder, like the desktop or the like. Remember to Rename it before saving…..”

    which one do you refer to? meaning, which particular folder do you want to be renamed?
    - is it the folder where you are saving the “profiles” folder to?
    - is it the folder names on the profiles, like the yahoo name/s inside the profiles folder?


  41. Comment by Leonard on March 11, 2010


    I was wondering if we can archive the YM Chat in windows mobile 6.1 (HTC HD to be precise). Since there’s no downloadable YM for mobile…

    thanks a lot


  42. Comment by Raj on March 24, 2010

    Hi Anand,

    Thanks for tips. Those were really helpful. But my problem is a diff one. I am using multiple laptops and desktops and everytime i login to different machine the chats which wer done from the other one is not recorded…
    Is there anyway to unify the chat msg archives as in gmail. We could chat in any machines and the chats are saved in gmail. IS there something like that in yahoo ? Thanks in advance for your help. :)

  43. Comment by sharath on April 11, 2010

    Hi Anand,

    I’m unable to view the messages in YIM which i sent as well received from the other end also. I uninstalled and reinstalled bt still im facing the same problm…

  44. Comment by Vel on April 25, 2010

    Do you know how to transfer archive from Vista to Window 7?
    I got new laptop with Windows 7 and I tried to copy, but there is no “Program Files” folder in the AppData/Local/VirtualStore
    I tried to copy it there, it won’t show up on my YM, it just show the new message archive.

  45. Comment by Anand on April 27, 2010

    I see it in my windows 7 installation. Click on your username in the start menu and navigate to the folder. Also, I think you might need to restart the messenger to see it. Hope this helps :)

  46. Comment by ali on September 14, 2010

    how can i see my yahoo chat history
    if i have not save in my archive
    hope you can help me
    thanks a lot

  47. Comment by nonie on October 15, 2010

    how can i open or read the yahoo chat messages archives of my girlfriend using other computer

  48. Comment by Syed Kazim on May 22, 2011

    Thanks i transferd my Im data to my new PC

  49. Comment by Foroogh on March 31, 2012

    Sorry, whould u please tell me does it work for version 10 too?

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