Note: Since writing this article, I have received a lot of great feedback and additional tips about different ways to save a Skype chat or print a Skype conversation.
I recently added several updates to the bottom of the post that covers some additional questions and tips that I have received from readers. Be sure to read to the bottom of the post to see if those answer your questions. Skype is always making changes to their chat tool and even adding different features for Skype for business chat. As I see things change, I will continue to add updates to the post.
If you have a suggestion that could help others, be sure to add a comment! I have already incorporated a few changes from readers into the post.
I find Skype to be one of the most useful tools out there when it comes to connecting with people around the globe. Whether it’s video chat with family or using it to instant message with my development team in India, it has become a staple tool for communicating.
One limitation I have found, however, is that Skype doesn’t allow you to easily output, save, or print the communication stream.
There are back-end ways that folks who are tech-trained can get to the saved conversations, but I thought I’d share a quick tip that anyone can use to save or print their Skype conversations.
Saving Skype Chat History For Older Versions Of Skype
If you are running on an older version of Skype, try this method. If you are using a more recent version of Skype or this method doesn’t work, keep reading, there are more options to try.
To save your Skype conversation or chat history:
Step 1 – When you Skype chat session is completed, right-click on any of the messages in the conversation and choose “Select All” from the dropdown menu.
Step 2 – With all of the messages selected, right-click on any message and choose “Copy Selection” from the dropdown menu.
NOTE: Be sure not to select “Copy Message” or that will only copy the single message in the conversation that you right-clicked. Be sure to click “Copy Selection”
Step 3 – Next, open Notepad or Microsoft Word and create a new document.
Step 4 – In the empty document, right-click anywhere and choose “Paste” from the dropdown menu. The contents of the entire conversation, including the sender name and the timestamp are added to your new document.
Step 5 – Choose File –> Print or File –> Save and you have the ability to print or save the entire conversation.
NOTE: One reader made a comment that you can also use Microsoft Word as the destination for pasting the Skype conversation, which is absolutely accurate. You can paste your Skype conversation into any text-based reader.
If you want to email it to yourself to be able to save and refer back to later, just paste it into an Outloook email or a Gmail email.
Really, anywhere you need to paste it that will accept text will suffice.
I know it’s not the ideal way to be able to archive Skype conversations, but until Skype gives us the ability in their native app, it’s a solid workaround that works every time.
Know of a better way? I’m always open to hearing new suggestions, so add it to the comments section.
Until then, happy Skyping!
Update 1 – What If I Already Closed The Skype Conversation?
I recently ran into a situation where I had a Skype conversation with one of my team members, where they shared some instructions with me. After I had already closed the conversation (without printing or saving it, of course), I was like “Dang…I wish I had printed that!”
So, I hunted down the way to print or save a Skype conversation even after the conversation had been closed.
It turns out that Skype keeps a log of the chats for each contact that you have in your account. To see the previous conversation:
Step 1 – Click on the Contacts tab in the Skype app. When you display the contact, Skype shows you the previous conversations.
Step 2 – Then just right click on the conversation and choose Select All. Like the tip above, it will highlight the entire conversation.
Step 3 – Right-click on the highlighted text (be sure you are on the text) and choose “Copy Selected”.
Step 4 – Follow the steps above to paste the text into Notepad, MS Word, or your email client if you want to email it to yourself.
Step 5 – From Notepad or Word, you can either print a physical copy or your can save it as a document for future reference.
I hope that helps!
Update 2 – Can I Record The Skype Conversation Using A Screen Recorder?
Another good question from a reader on this topic:
Hey Sean – What about just recording the conversation as it starts? Do you have a good recommendation for screen recording software that could record the online chat? Bonus if that same software could act as a call recorder for audio calls.
That’s a great question, Mike…and one that I actually do have an answer for. And the best thing is it’s a tool that works great to record chats and call on both PC and Mac!
In my experience, Snagit is the tool that would give you all these options and I think it’s one of the best tools to have, anyway. With Snagit, you can:
- Screen record any activity that is happening on your computer screen, including Skype chats and calls
- Record video from your webcam
- Record audio, including the audio from either your computer’s microphone or from the system sounds
- Trim video clips after you record them. The nice thing about this is it allows you to trim a 30 minute video call down to 10-15 minutes by editing out all the non-relevant chatter.
- Toggle back and forth between your webcam and your computer screen while you are recording. This is especially nice because it allows you to switch to show who is talking.
In addition to being able to do all that for video, Snagit is also an outstanding screen capture tool, one that anyone who needs to grab screen captures of charts and graphs from your computer screen needs. At ~$50 for the software, it’s been a great purchase for me and I keep on recommending it to others.
If you can to give Snagit a try, they do offer a free trial. While it’s not completely free screen recording and editing software, at least you can test it first and see if the $50 is worth the investment.
Hope that helps! If you know of a completely free tool to do screen recording let me know.
Update 3 – Ecamm For Mac Can Record Skype Videos
Thanks to Dave C. for sharing another tip with me. Apparently, ECamm is another software tool that was designed specifically to record Skype video calls. They have a pretty good video on their site detailing how it works and it looks pretty nice.
Unfortunately, I’m PC-based, so I can’t test it out.
I’d love to hear whether others have had good experiences using ECamm on their Mac for recording Skype conversations. Leave a comment if you have some experience with the software.
Update 4 – New Skype Updates Means A New Process For Selecting
Thanks to comments from DizzyNC and Midsummer100 below, they alerted me to some changes to the Skype interface. It looks like Microsoft has removed the “Select All” option from the dropdown menu and replaced it with “Select Messages”.
To save Skype conversations in the more recent versions of Skype, follow these steps:
Step 1 – Open the Skype chat that you want to save or export.
Step 2 – Right-click on any of the messages in the Skype message history and choose “Select Messages” from the dropdown menu.
Step 3 – Once you click “Select Messages”, the Skype interface changes by adding circles to the right of each message.
Step 4 – Click each circle like a checkbox to indicate that you want to select the message.
Step 5 – Once you have the messages selected that you want to save, click the “Copy” button at the bottom of the messages and all of the checked messages will be added to the clipboard.
Step 6 – From there, you can paste the contents into a text document, MS Word document, or email and save them for posterity.
The nice thing about this change is you no longer have to save every message in the conversation. You can pick and choose the ones that you want to archive. The downside is you have to go through and click each and ever message that you want to save.
Want to save the entire conversation? You have to click every single message. Blech!
One interesting note is you can now forward chunks of a conversation to another Skype user by selecting certain messages and then clicking the “Forward” button. Might be useful if you want to share some pertinent information with another user who wasn’t part of the original conversation.
Thanks, again, for the comments and help! It keeps the post fresh and ensures that readers are getting the best information.