How to Read My Yahoo Messenger Chat Conversations From Another Computer
By Dan Stone
The Yahoo Messenger instant messaging service automatically keeps a record of all chat conversations on Yahoo's servers unless the feature is specifically disabled. The conversation records can only be accessed through any computer even if it didn't host the conversation through the Yahoo Messenger client. Yahoo Messenger restricts recorded conversation access to only the accounts involved in the conversation and limits the records to text.
About Yahoo Messenger and Conversation History
Yahoo Messenger is a Yahoo-owned-and-operated instant messaging service which includes online text messaging, voice calls, video conferencing and file sharing. Yahoo Messenger can also tie in to Windows Live Messenger and Facebook's chat service. Yahoo Messenger supports a Conversation History feature that records all conversation text and stores it on a remote Yahoo server: this means that conversations are not stored on a specific computer you used, and you can access them through any computer connected to the account and service.
Recall Conversation History
You can recall your Conversation History by logging in to your Yahoo account through the computer client version of the Yahoo Messenger. Once in the program, left-click the "Contacts" menu and choose "Conversation History" from the list. Conversations are stored by the contact and in chronological order. You can access an old conversation by selecting the contact, which displays the conversation within the window. You can scroll up the Conversation History and select the "Show more messages" to chronologically backtrack through old messages. Additionally, you can look for specific words within the conversation by entering those words in the search field and pressing "Enter."
Disable Conversation History
Conversation History can be disabled for the entire program by left-clicking on the "Messenger" menu and choosing the "Preferences" option. Select the "Conversation History" option from the "Category List," select the radial next to "Do not keep a history of my conversations" and click "OK" to completely disable the feature. However, disabling the Conversation History will only apply to the computer you're using; the other person you're chatting with can still record the conversation.
Delete Chat History
You can delete individual conversations from the Conversation History by using the computer version of Yahoo Messenger. Conversations are broken up into blocks of which ever comes first: either consist of 20 minutes of conversation or 100 exchanged messages. There's a trash can icon that appears over the conversation block header in the history that, when clicked, deletes that conversation. You can delete all conversations with a contact by opening the Conversation History with that contact and selecting the trash can icon displayed at the top of the conversation. However, deleting the conversation will only remove it from your own history and not the other contact's history.
Not App Supported
The Yahoo Messenger Android and iOS apps are unable to bring up chat history on supported devices. However, any conversations you have over the smartphone Yahoo Messenger apps will still be recorded on Yahoo's servers. You can bring up the Conversation History from a chat you had over a smartphone app through the computer client version.
Dan Stone started writing professionally in 2006, specializing in education, technology and music. He is a web developer for a communications company and previously worked in television. Stone received a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and a Master of Arts in communication studies from Northern Illinois University.