Clear the Skype instant messaging history
The popular Skype messaging software keeps a log of all messages that you sent or receive when you use the software. That's great if you need to access the information again. There are situations where you may want to clear the Skype instant messaging history, for instance if you hand over the computer to someone else regularly, or if you do not want a custom's officer to look through your chat history on your computer.
Note that Skype's chat history is only stored on the computer you are using Skype from, and not on a Skype server.
Skype ships with options to handle the complete removal of Skype internally. To clear the Skype instant messaging history do the following:
- Open the Skype software or bring it to the front
- Click on Tools > Options to open the preferences.
- In the options, locate the IM & SMS menu on the left sidebar and click on it.
- You should now be in IM settings, if you are not, click on that menu on the sidebar.
- Click on the show advanced options button here
- Locate the keep history for entry here and there the clear history button.
- If you press that button, Skype's full messaging history will be deleted.
You find various instant messaging related settings here. The keep history for option can be interesting as you can use it to change the time the history is saved by Skype. You can for instance configure Skype to never save the chat history if you are not using the feature and prefer that your instant messaging history is not recorded by the software.
The location of the chat database has changed in recent versions of Skype. Previously, chats were stored in multiple databases. Now, they are stored in main.db which is located in the main user folder of the Skype installation:
- Windows 8 C:\Users\USER NAME\AppData\Roaming\Skype\Skype Name\
- Windows 7: C:\Users\USER NAME\AppData\Roaming\Skype\Skype Name\
- Windows Vista: C:\Documents and Settings\USER NAME\Application Data\Skype\Skype Name
- Windows XP: C:\Documents and Settings\USER NAME\Application Data\Skype\Skype Name
- Mac Os X: Library/Application Support/Skype/Skype Name