Viewing stored chat messages in Zoom App

This post was most recently updated on July 23rd, 2022

If chat cloud storage is enabled during the setup of an account owner or admin account, then they can view chat history of users on their account. We archive and store all chat messages on Zoom’s cloud based AWS DynamoDB service, and they can be accessed and accessed for as long as they need to be.

A Chat History report can be viewed and downloaded locally by Account owners, administrators, or any other user with privileges to access Chat History. This includes the following messages sent and received by users, as well as the following data:

  • Chat messages (text)
  • Files
  • Images
  • Emoji reactions
  • Animated GIFs
  • Audio messages
  • Code snippets (downloads in a ZIP file)

There is also an option in the Chat History report to view the following types of chats:

  • You can have a one-to-one chat, a group chat, or a channel chat
  • The ability to track the time and date of all messages sent or received by internal or external users, as well as to receive notification for example, when a file was sent but the access was restricted based on the file transfer controls set up by the admin (admins will not be able to view a restricted file).

The following topics are covered in this article:

  • How to enable or disable group messaging archiving
  • How to view and download stored messages
  • How to delete stored messages

Prerequisites for viewing stored chat messages

  • An account owner or an administrator should have the following privileges:
  • There are four types of accounts available: Pro, Business, Education, and Enterprise
  • To be able to store messages in Zoom, the user must have Zoom desktop client or Zoom mobile app version 3.5 or higher installed on their computer
  • Encryption of advanced chats has been disabled. In the case that the chat history tool is enabled, there are some limitations associated with it.

Note: Account owners and administrators cannot access chat history if a user switched from a free account to a paid account, as the owner or admin will only be able to access it from the time when the user switched to a paid account.

How to enable or disable group messaging archiving

If you would like to enable archiving of group messages on your account, please follow these steps:

  1. Enter the Zoom web portal by logging into your Zoom account.
  2. Select Account Management from the navigation menu, and then click Account Settings from the Account Management menu.
  3. To access the Zoom App, click the Zoom App tab.
  4. You can enable or disable cloud storage by clicking the toggle next to Cloud storage under Storage.
  5. You will be prompted with a verification dialog after you have made the change, click Enable to confirm it.
  6. When you click on Save Chat Messages, you will be able to select how long you would like to store your chat messages for. It is possible to save messages on Zoom’s Cloud for a period of up to 10 years.

You can learn more about the settings for the chat storage by clicking here.

Note: As a default, only the account owner can view the group messaging archives via the Chat History report, which can be accessed through the Settings menu. By adding the Chat history permission to the role-based access control system of the account, account owners can grant access to other admins and users on the account to view the chat history of that account.

How to view and download stored messages

  1. The Zoom web portal can be accessed by logging in to your account.
  2. Select Account Management from the navigation menu, and then click Reports from the drop-down menu that appears.
  3. The User Activity Reports tab should be selected, then the Chat History tab should be selected.
  4. By using the From and To fields, you will be able to specify a time period.
    Note: There is no limit on the length of time that can be stored.
  5. In order to search for a specific message sent or received by a specific user, you can enter their name or email address (optional).
  6. Then click the Search button.
  7. Messages can be viewed or downloaded by using the following options:
    • View: It is possible to view messages associated with a chat conversation on a one-to-one basis, in a group, or in a channel.
    • Download: A CSV file can be downloaded for one-on-one, group, or channel chat conversations that are associated with this file.
    • Compress All for Download: The current search results are compressed into ZIP files containing CSV files containing each chat thread in the current search results. The ZIP file will be redirected to the Downloads tab once it has been processed, and you can then download it from there. The ZIP files will be password-protected in order to prevent unauthorized access. If you click on the Show button in the File Password column of the Downloads tab, you will be able to see the password that you need to extract every ZIP file.
    • Note: Email addresses for external users will have an EXTERNAL label beside them, indicating that they are external users.

How to delete stored messages

Messages, files, and images that are shared with internal users can also be deleted. A chat history will show a name of the admin who deleted the message, which is able to be viewed or edited by other admins with the permission to view or edit chat histories. There is still a way to view deleted messages in the chat history tool, but they will be crossed out to indicate they have been removed.

Both the Zoom desktop client as well as the Zoom mobile app allow you to delete deleted messages. If a user deletes a message in a group chat or 1-on-1 chat, it will be deleted for everyone in those chats, but only the user who sent the message will receive a notification message stating that the administrator has deleted their message. In the case of deleting a parent message that has replies, the replies are not going to be deleted along with the parent message.

Note: In order to be able to edit chat history in role management, you must have the appropriate permissions.

  1. Sign in to the Zoom web portal by entering your email address and password.
  2. You can access the Reports section of your account by clicking on Account Management in the navigation menu.
  3. The User Activity Reports tab can be found under the Chat History heading.
  4. In the From and To fields, you have the option of specifying a time period.
    Note: It is possible to set a time period that can last up to one year.
  5. Click on the Search button and enter the email address of the user you are trying to find.
  6. Click the trash bin button when you hover over the messages in order to delete them.