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How to back up chat history for Skype UWP on Windows 10

The desktop version of Skype is no longer available for Windows 10. Users have to use the UWP version with all its limitations and shortcomings, and there appear to be quite a few of them. One such shortcoming is the inability to get your conversation history. The desktop version saved them in easily accessibly files but the UWP version does not. To get a back up of the chat history for Skype UWP, you have to ask Microsoft for it.

The chat history will include text chats, and files that have been sent over a chat. You can choose to exclude the files if you want. Since you’re requesting the back up from Microsoft, you should know that it will take some time for it to be ready. Normally, it shouldn’t take more than 3-4 hours but this is Microsoft and it can easily take up to a week by which time your conversation history will have updated. Still, this is a reliable way to get the chat history for Skype UWP.

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Chat history for Skype UWP

Open any browser of your choice, and visit this link. Sign in with your Skype ID. Once signed in, choose what you want to download i.e., conversation and/or files. Click Submit Request.

You will see a message at the top telling you a request has been made. Check back after a few hours, days, etc., to see if the file is ready. If it is, you will see a download button that will download your chat history.

Viewing chat history

Your chat history is downloaded as a TAR file which is easy enough to extract but inside, the conversations themselves are in a JSON file which isn’t as easy to read. There’s a media folder that you can go to and browse all the files that have been shared and that is much simpler.

To read actual conversations though, you’re going to have to download the Skype parser tool. You can download it here (download starts immediately). Extract it, and inside you will find a file called ‘index.html’. Open it in your browser.

You will see the following interface. Click the ‘Choose file’ button, and select the ‘messages.json’ file in the extracted chat history folder. Click ‘Load.

The interface that opens will allow you to comfortably go through your chat history.

In theory, you can use any app that supports the JSON format to view the contents of the file. It will open without any problems but it may not necessarily present you with an easy-to-read view of your conversations.

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