How To Archive Instant Messages

Thanks to the practical nature of modern life, a lot of important conversations now happen through Instant Messaging programs, such as Yahoo Messenger, MSN messenger (recently renamed Windows Live Messenger), AIM and even the good old ICQ. The real trick is that you can log these conversations, and store them in your hard drive for your own personal motives. If you use program Instant Messaging software like these, you might be interested in how to log your conversations and archive them; well here is a good way to get started:

  1. Saving your conversations. The first step here is pretty straight forward, you need to set whatever IM program you use to save your conversations. Usually it's rather simple. Most programs, like AIM and Windows Live Messenger, have a box you can check somewhere in the Settings or Options window in their main menus to log conversations. Once that box is checked, your conversations will appear as .html files, usually in a specific folder on your My Documents space.

    For instance, on AIM the folder path is: My Documents/AIMLogger/*account name*, and inside you have your conversation logs with each of your contacts, displaying the conversations you had after the option to log conversations had been checked.

  2. Logging the conversations of anyone who uses your computer. You might need to use a separate software that is designed to log IMs to and from your computer, regardless of the program you're using or the account that is active. The reason for this is that you can only check the box for saving conversations when you are logged in to your own account. Since it's a private setting, you will not be able to have a record of someone else's conversations, unless you are able to log in to their IM account.
  3. What to do with your conversation logs. Whether you are keeping track of your conversations for personal entertainment or even for more serious purposes, its a good idea to keep them organized. Some programs (Notably Windows Live Messenger), don't keep just one log for each of your contacts, instead they create a series of .html log files that only record your IM history up to a certain file weight. In that case you might want to name the logs chronologically so you can easily access any conversation you had without looking through tons of different logs.

Personally, I've always kept logs of my conversations, but I make sure my friends and family (or whoever I'm talking to at the moment) are aware of it. It's a good idea to keep track of your conversations, even if its just to read it over a few months later to get a kick out of it, or just to take a nice walk down memory lane. Whichever is your reason, I hope that this article informed you on just how to keep those logs, and those memories, going. Good Luck!


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