How to download the chat history in Microsoft Teams (2022)


In this guide, we will show you how to download your Microsoft Teams chat history using a content search in your Compliance Center, and by requesting access to protected APIs (application programming interface). For the content search, you will need admin permissions.

Please follow these steps to learn how to download the chat history in Microsoft Teams:

  • Firstly, open Office 365 and sign in. 
  • Now click on the app launcher followed by Admin.” 
  • Select Compliance” from the list of Admin Centers.
  • Click “Content search” on the left side menu.
  • After that, click on “+New search” in the “Search” tab. 
  • Enter a name and description for the search, then click “Next.” 
  • Ensure the “Exchange mailboxes” location is toggled on, then click “Next.” 
  • Click “+ Add condition,” select “Type,” check the “Instant messages” box, then click “Next.”  
  • Click on “Submit,” then “Done.”
  • Now, in the Content search panel, click on the new search that you created.
  • Click on the Actions button.
  • Choose the Export results” option, then click the “Export” button.
  • Go back to Content search and click on the Export tab.
  • Wait for the download to become available, then click “Download results.”
  • Scroll down and click “Copy to clipboard” to copy the export key.
  • Install the eDiscovery Export Tool when prompted.
  • Paste the key into the eDiscovery Export Tool, “Browse” a save location, then click “Save.”

Once you have completed the steps, the chat history will be saved in a folder with the same name as the search you created. Inside that folder is an “Exchange” folder, where the Outlook Data Files (.pst) are stored. 

Please be aware that only admins can access “Content search” in the Compliance Center. If you have admin permissions, please continue reading for a complete step-by-step guide on how to complete those steps.


An in-depth guide on how to export and download the chat history in Microsoft Teams

If you are struggling with the steps, you can use our in-depth guide to help. Our guide includes resources like screenshots to help you navigate the complex process steps. The complicated steps may range from applying the conditions to the search results and also exporting the content, which some users may not be able to locate without visual aid. 

Many of our users recommend that you go through the in-depth guide, as it has helped them go through the more complex steps and get a better understanding of the process in general. This ensures that those users will not have to come back and seek further assistance.

  • Firstly, open Office 365.
  • Click on the app launcher in the top left corner.
  • Then select “Admin” from the dropdown menu.

You will need admin permissions from a global administrative member or your employer for this process to work. If you do not have permission, you will not be able to continue with the steps.

  • Click on the menu icon (three lines) in the top left corner. (1)
  • Click on “Show all” in the left menu. (2)
  • Then go down to the “Admin centers” and select “Compliance.” (3)

In the list of Admin centers, there will be an option called “Compliance.” You will need to click on that to access the Compliance center or “Microsoft Purview.” If you cannot find the option for Compliance, click on “Show all” and scroll down the left menu.

Originally, the Compliance and Security managers were a single program operated by Office 365. However, due to the recent improvements in the services and additional features, you now have separate applications for the Compliance manager and the Security feature. The Compliance manager will help you locate the eDiscovery forms, allowing you to create a case and eventually have your Microsoft Teams chat history downloaded. 

  • Click the menu icon (three lines) in the top left corner.
  • Then select “Content search” under the “Solutions” header.
  • If you can’t see Content search, that means you don’t have admin permissions.
info Read more:
You can also perform a content search by selecting “eDiscovery” > “User data search.” You can learn how to do that by reading our guide on: How to view deleted Teams messages
  • Enter a name and description for the search and click on Next.”
  • Make sure “Exchange mailboxes” is toggled “On” under the “Status” header. 
  • You can search for messages by specific teams by clicking “Choose users, groups, or teams.”
  • Or head straight down and click the “Next” button.
  • Scroll to the bottom and click “+ Add condition.”
  • Select “Type” from the popup menu.
  • In the Type section, check the box next to “Instant messages.”
  • Then click the “Next” button.
  • Click the Submit” button to finish the search setup.
  • Finally, click “Done.”
  • Return to “Content search” and click on the new search that you created. (1)
  • Click the “Actions” button. (2)
  • Then select “Export results” in the popup menu. (3)
  • Leave the default settings and click the “Export” button.
  • Return to “Content search” and click on “Export” at the top. (1)
  • Next, click on the name of your new search, which should have “_Export” at the end. (2)
  • You may have to wait some time before you can download the results — hit “Refresh” to check.
  • When available, click “Download results.” (3)
info Note:

If this is the first time you have exported content on your device, you will be asked to install the eDiscovery Export Tool. Install the tool and continue with the steps below.
  • Scroll down to “Export key” and click “Copy to clipboard.” (1)
  • Go to the “eDiscovery Export Tool” and paste the key into the top text box. (2)
  • Then click the “Browse” button and select a location to save your export. (3)
  • Finally, click the “Start” button. (4)
  • When the export is complete, click the “Close” button.

How to open and view your exported Teams chat

  • First, open your Outlook desktop application and click on “File” in the top menu.
  • Then click on “Open & Export” on the left menu.
  • And then select “Open Outlook Data File.”
  • File Explorer will open — locate the folder you exported.
  • Locate and open the “Exchange” folder.
  • Select a data file (each one will correspond to a team).
  • Then click the “OK” button.
  • A new email address will appear on the left menu.
  • Expand the email address and expand the address again.
  • Then click on “TeamsMessagesData” to view the chat history.

Download chat history through the Teams Export APIs

For an organization to comply with legal and regulatory obligations, it must be able to manage and preserve information. The need from certain providers to access Teams messages and message-hosted content (files, photos, stickers, etc.) that are exchanged in 1:1 or group chat, channel chats, and Teams meetings as Microsoft Teams is increasingly being used by regulated clients.

Microsoft Graph Export API for Teams allows you to export Teams messages and message-hosted content for a specific user or team. The API can still access deleted messages for up to 21 days after they are erased. You can export Teams API by using an online form provided by Microsoft to help.

  • Fill out all the sections.
  • The sections:
    • The publisher’s email address.
    • The publisher’s name.
    • Add an application name of your choice.
    • Add an application reference ID or your choice.
    • Type out the answer getAllMessagesfor row number 6.
  • Once you have filled out the form, click on Submit.”

Once you have completed the steps, you will have managed to export Teams APIs to attain the chat history from those meetings and chats. When you export all the chats, you will get a graph of all the chat messages in an easy-to-read spreadsheet. You will only be able to attain the approval of the request if all the information provided on the form is correct; if incorrect, the process will not work for you.


Download chat history using the Microsoft Teams Chat Extractor

In testing, we found that this extension does not work. However, we have written this section just in case the creators update the extension so that it becomes functional. When functional, the extension allows you to export recent chat history on your Microsoft Teams account.

  • To use the Microsoft Teams Chat Extractor, you will need to use Google Chrome.
  • Firstly, go to the Google Webstore and click on “Add to Chrome.”
  • Confirm the download by clicking Add extension.”
  • Now go to office.com in Google Chrome.
  • Click on the app launcher and select “Teams.”
  • Open a chat window, then click the extension icon at the top, which looks like a puzzle piece.
  • Select “Microsoft Teams Chat Extractor” from the dropdown menu.

If the Microsoft Teams Chat Extractor does become functional in the future, it would be a very useful tool for extracting Teams chats. Unfortunately, as of the posting date, this extension does not work.


Conclusion

Thank you for reading our content on how you can download a Microsoft Teams chat history and log onto your local desktop. I provided the steps to achieve this and an in-depth if you require further assistance. It is a relatively lengthy process so make sure you go through each of the sections provided to help you get a better understanding of what to do. If you require further assistance, I highly recommend you drop a comment below to get the assistance required. 

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