The Mac’s Messages app is useful, but only just, and one area it slips-up is in stopping you viewing and searching older messages. In fact, it can be a nightmare finding something somebody said even a week ago because the app hides comments behind a scrolling view.
MessagesHistoryBrowser aims to fix this. It’s a free app that directly accesses the Messages chat logs to let you quickly search and view messages/conversations, and also quickly access all attachments that have been received or sent.
The app’s a little rough and ready, being slightly reminiscent of a Linux app circa 2005, but it works very well and is as speedy as you need. To save a conversation to a file just select to view it and then click File > Save. To grab a photo, just right-click it within the MessagesHistoryBrowser window and select Show in Finder. Then copy what you see to a new location.
Rather usefully, MessagesHistoryBrowser even lets you view conversations you’ve deleted that are still in the logs. We’re not sure how reliable this feature is, however, so you shouldn’t rely on it – only delete a conversation in Messages if you’re sure you no longer need it.