Below, you’ll find four different guides on how to see and save your old Facebook messages. If you follow these guides, you’ll be able to see your first Facebook message with someone (as long as Facebook hasn’t deleted it), save all of your messages for safe keeping or simply take a stroll down memory lane.

Last tested on February 5th, 2016.

Very Easy

If you’d like the quickest, easiest, way to see your first message, follow this guide. However, you’ll need to remember what you said or one of the keywords.

Easy

If you want an easy way to backup all your messages and an easy way to see your first message if you don’t remember how it went, follow this guide. However, this method lists all your messages in one giant page so you’ll have to do some sifting to find it. Additionally, Facebook makes you wait up to a day to receive the download.

Moderate

This method is the best if you want to see your first messages with a specific person, don’t remember how it went and don’t fell like waiting up to a day for your download. I personally think most people will choose this method because it’s still easy as long as you follow the steps carefully.

Difficult

If you want to backup and save your messages with someone in a clean PDF form, this is the guide for you. Be prepared to work for it though, as it may take quite some time if you wish to save a lot of messages.


Very Easy:

  1. Go to https://www.facebook.com/messages/
  2. Search for the topic you were talking about when you first started talking using the search bar.
  3. Find the conversation and click into it.
  4. That’s it!

Easy:

  1. Go to https://www.facebook.com/settings
  2. Toward the bottom, click “Download a copy of your Facebook data.”
  3. Enter your password and then wait for Facebook to email you a download link.Image
  4. Re-enter your password and then wait for it to finish downloading.
  5. Open the file you downloaded (you will have to extract/unzip it) and click into your username. You’ll see an html file called “index.html” – click that.
  6. When it opens, click messages and there’s everything! Hopefully your computer is powerful enough to open up ALL your Facebook messages at once!
  7. Ctrl (or Command) +F is your friend.

 

Moderate:

  1. Go to http://m.facebook.com/messages/ (Notice that this is the mobile version of Facebook for phones.)
  2. Click the person you want to see the first message with.
  3. Right click the ”See older messages” button and click “open in new tab.”

    Step1

  4. The link that will appear in a new tab should look something like this:
  5. Now change the start=5 to start=a high number like 70000
    • A hint to find this magic number is to go to the normal “Full Conversation” on the desktop/normal site and as you scroll up, you’ll quickly see a number at the top next to “Loading Older Messages…” That’s your number.Screenshot (8)
  6. Finally, delete a portion of  the URL after the “&” symbol from number you just changed up to the next “&” symbol. You’re essentially removing the text that says “&last_message_timestamp=xxxxxxxxxxx
    • So, in my link, I would delete only the bold text: https://m.facebook.com/messages/read/?tid=1crhw%2FE%2Fy6pbBXu1aQ2xFg&start=5000&last_message_timestamp=1454723781183&pagination_direction=1&show_delete_message_button&refid=12
  7. You might still have to click “See older messages” a bit to get to the first few, but it’s nothing compared to going through 50,000+ messages first!

 

Difficult:

If you’re like me and you want to save every single message with someone because you don’t trust Facebook’s servers or if you just want a clean way to view your messages with someone to reminisce, you’re in the right place! No matter the reason, here’s my best attempt to explain how to save them all! Make sure you have a good computer if you plan on doing this method!

  1. To start, open up a browser like Google Chrome that has a print to PDF function.
  2. Go to http://m.facebook.com/messages/ (Notice that this is the mobile version of Facebook for phones.)
  3. Click the person you want to see the first message with.
  4. Download an auto mouse clicker app such as “Free Mouse Auto Clicker” for Windows or “Auto Mouse Clicker”  for Mac.
  5. Script your computer to systematically click the “See older messages” button and repeat after a second or so. This is where you’re going to need a good computer because many browsers crash once the RAM is maxed out.
  6. After the computer starts to slow down, which it will, stop the auto clicker, click print and choose save as PDF. My computer can usually make it through a few months of messages before you need to make a PDF.
  7. Make sure to check images and uncheck headers if you’re using Chrome.
  8. Right click the ”See older messages” button again and click “open in new tab.” Close the full and slow tab.
  9. Now all you have to do is repeat the process!

I wish you luck, as this is the hardest method of saving your messages, but the most rewarding. If you need help, I’m always here! Just don’t ask about how to use the Macro app. You just have to Google around or read the help document if you’re stuck.

If this post helped you, why not like my Facebook page or follow me on twitter? It’s the greatest thank you I could ask for!  The like button is on top!

Written by James Brako-McComb

39 Comments

maja

it says this: Sorry, messages are temporarily unavailable. Please try again in a few minutes.

help please??

Reply
James Brako-McComb

Did you try again at a later time? I know it sounds silly, but that’s sometimes just how Facebook is. Try from another compute rif that doesn’t work. If both of those don’t work, try another account to make sure you’re doing it right. Good luck!

Reply
Ana

What do mean update (2/11/14) ? Numbers flipped from there i dont get it

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lovethatsstereo

yep, you were right but now i have another problem, i can see the first message(like back in 2009) but after it loads just 7 messages, where to put some numbers to load the whole conversation? pls

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Chelsea (@furacaochelsea)

I actually had to set it to a higher number rather than a low one. If you look at the messages and “see older” on a computer, it will tell you how many messages it’s loading, so I used that as a guide when I used the mobile site.

Thanks so much for this!

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Jess

Hay, me and my boyfriend tried to use the techniques and found the earliest message between me and him was April 2011 which sucks because our first message ever was on the 21st December ( found in yahoo emails) …..I also typed my first ever message to him word for word, exactly the same and searched it in the message and nothing was found….Why is this? Is their anyway atall to retrieve our first message?
Thanks

Reply
Stacey Peters

I hate Facebook for deleting messages at random times. I want to see messages from as little as 7 months ago, and they’re deleted. How ridiculous.

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Joe

I, for the life of me, cannot find the “see older messages” button. I’ve even typed it in in search and nothing.
Could someone maybe provide a screenshot as to where on Earth this thing is????

Reply
anako

I can’t find this button either. I don’t think I’ve seen it on my facebook recently (I’m not sure about some time ago). Any help?

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Heide LaTondrese

This sounded great until I realized that I have nothing anywhere that says “See Older Messages”…

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tyler

i cant find anywhere to put the date or number of messages!! where do i put them in?

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Jasmine

I wish there was a quicker way to do it because I have more than 14,580 messages to go through.

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JJ

When I try there is no “see older messages” it just “loading older messages” and if i right click that, it only brings me to the same page when i open a new tab… I am unable to get the link where you change the number…help?

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Rock

Too bad. It can only load up to the 80000th message. When I try a higher number, it says that there is a temporary error. But the actual number of our messages is 430000!

Well I figured as much. Before I tried this trick, I tried to use the search function, it won’t load the really old messages. That sucks. Why? 🙁 :/

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Kat

It did work. But I think it isnt working anymore, nothing happens when you change the start number.. 🙁

Reply
Mahela

I saw this question pop up before here, with no fixed solution. So i made an Android app for it!
If you guys can check it out, it would be awesome.
It’s called Facebook Time Machine, and is in the Google Play Store for free 😀

Reply

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