Earlier this week, I was helping a friend track down some old iMessages. The prospect of scrolling up, up, up, and up in the Messages app was pretty unattractive, but there wasn't an obvious solution to create an easy-to-read and easy-to-search archive. After a bit of bumbling around on StackOverflow and random Mac-help sites, I found this:
What is Baskup?
📲 + 💬 = 📦
Baskup is a bash script and macOS app that are aimed at converting iMessages, which Apple stores on your local machine in non-readable iChat files, into human-readable .txt files that you can read and keep as backups on your computer Whether it's a group message, picture, audio file, iMessage, or SMS, Baskup will back it up.
Update: 12/19/2018 --
🚧 Baskup 3.0 for Mac is under construction 🚧
The Mac version of Baskup is under some construction in an effort to distribute the app on Apple's macOS app store.
In the meantime, you can still use the command-line script on Github and keep an eye out for updates as they will be posted to this page.
Update: 11/16/2018 -- macOS Mojave updates
Due to Apple security improvements, macOS Mojave users will need to add the program to the System Preferences → Security…
Not many features, but it's free and worked like a charm. I now have a backup folder, sorted by phone #, with all of the messages (in a .txt) and a folder for attachments.
Check it out if you want to create an archive of your iMessage history. I particularly enjoyed looking back at the first few messages with folks that are now close friends.
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