How to Find Your Facebook Messenger History

Search for information in a conversation or download message history

Messenger is a Facebook instant messaging service that you can access from an iOS or Android app, or use in with Facebook in a web browser. Messenger keeps your conversations unless you delete them. When you need to access information from a conversation, it's easy to search your Messenger chat history and retrieve it.

This information applies to the iOS and Android app as well as on Facebook on the web.

Messenger and Facebook icons on an iPhone
Chesnot / Getty Images

Access Messenger History From Facebook or Messenger on a Desktop

Searching your Messenger history is helpful to recall a name, date, or other information. If you use Facebook or Messenger on a Windows PC or Mac using a web browser, here's how to search your message history by keyword or search within a conversation.

Search Message History by Keyword

  1. Open Facebook in a web browser and go to your home page.

  2. Select the Messenger icon in the upper-right corner of the page.

    The Messenger icon
  3. Select See All in Messenger.

    To bypass Facebook, go directly to Messenger.com, and follow the rest of the instructions.

    The "See All in Messenger" command
  4. Below Chats, click the Search Messenger box.

    The Search Messenger box
  5. Enter a search term into the Search Messenger box.

  6. If you're searching for a keyword, select Search Messages for below the search box.

    The "Search Messages for" button
  7. Under Messages, you see conversations that mention the keyword. Select a conversation to view it.

    A conversation containing a keyword in Messenger

Search Within a Messenger Conversation

  1. Open Facebook in a web browser and select the Messenger icon in the upper-right corner of the page.

    The Messenger icon
  2. Select See All in Messenger.

    To bypass Facebook, go directly to Messenger.com, and follow the rest of the instructions.

    The "See All in Messenger" command
  3. Open a conversation you want to search. Under More Actions on the right side of the screen, select Search in Conversation.

    The Search in Conversation command in Messenger
  4. In the Search in Conversation box at the top of the conversation, enter a search term, then select Search.

    The search bar and Search button in a conversation in Messenger
  5. Messenger highlights the search results within the conversation. Select Done when you're finished.

    The Done button

Access Messenger History From Messenger's App

If you use the iOS or Android Messenger app on your mobile device, here's how to search through your message history by keyword or search within a conversation.

  1. Open the Messenger app and tap Search at the top.

  2. Enter a search term.

  3. Under Messages, you'll see any conversations that include the search term.

    Searching conversations in the Messenger app
  4. Tap the conversation to open it.

How to Access Message Requests on Facebook

If you can't find what you're looking for, the conversation you're thinking of might be in your Message Requests. Here's how to access the Message Requests screen from Facebook or Messenger in a web browser as well as the Messenger mobile app.

Access Message Requests on Facebook or Messenger on the Desktop

  1. Open Facebook in a web browser and select the Messenger icon in the upper-right corner of the page.

    The Messenger icon
  2. Select See All in Messenger.

    To bypass Facebook, go directly to Messenger.com, and follow the rest of the instructions.

    The "See All in Messenger" command
  3. Select your profile picture, and then select Message Requests.

    Message Requests in Messenger
  4. Open a request for information about who is messaging you.

Access Message Requests in the Messenger Mobile App

  1. Open Messenger and tap your profile picture.

  2. Tap Message Requests.

  3. Open a chat for more information about who's messaging you.

    Finding message requests in the Messenger app

How to Download Your Facebook Messenger History

If you want to download a complete history of your Messenger conversations, use the Facebook Download Your Information tool either from Facebook on the web or the Messenger mobile app.

Download Messenger History From a Web Browser

  1. Open Facebook and go to your home page.

  2. Select the Account icon, represented by a down arrow, in the upper-right corner of the screen.

    The Account icon on Facebook
  3. Select Settings & Privacy.

    Settings & Privacy in Facebook
  4. Select Settings.

    Settings on Facebook
  5. In the left panel, select Your Facebook Information.

    "Your Facebook Information" in Settings
  6. In the Download Your Information section, select View.

    The View command next to "Download Your Information"
  7. To download only your Messenger history, select the Messages check box.

    Leave everything selected to download all your Facebook data, or choose other items to download.

    The Messages checkbox
  8. Scroll to the top and select Create File.

    For a more specific download, enter a date range, format, and media quality.

    The "Create File" button
  9. Facebook notifies you when your download files are available. When your files are ready, go to the Download Your Information page and select Available Copies. Then, download your Messenger history.

    Depending on how much information you requested, the downloading process can take up to several days.

Download Messenger History From the Messenger Mobile App

  1. Open Messenger and tap your profile picture.

  2. Scroll down and tap Account Settings.

  3. Scroll down and select Download Your Information.

    The "Download Your Information" command
  4. Select the Messages check box to download your Messenger history.

  5. Scroll down and select Create File.

    For a more specific download, enter a date range, format, and media quality.

  6. Messenger notifies you when your download files are available. When your files are ready, go to the Download Your Information page and select Available Copies. Then, download your Messenger history.

    Downloading messages in Messenger