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Microsoft Teams is one of the most useful collaborative platforms that allow you to communicate effectively with your team members. It even allows you to share files with your team members in real time while communicating with other employees. For security purposes, Microsoft automatically removes chat history in Teams after a specific period, which is often inconvenient for users. Most users need access to their chat history to get precise information.

Many queries are posted on the Microsoft Community forums for finding Microsoft’s Teams chat history. Users have posted questions like where and how to discover chat history in Teams, search for Teams chat in Office 365, and many more. If you also struggle to find Team chat history, this article can help you.

Microsoft Teams chat history is stored in a hidden file in the user’s mailbox, which cannot be accessed via Outlook or OWA. Besides, the hidden files are not even accessible by users or administrators. However, various ways to access Team chat history, including Office 365 Group, Exchange Management Shell, etc.

How to find Chat History in MS Teams?

Generally, Microsoft Teams data is stored in Exchange, Stream, Groups, SharePoint, and OneDrive for Business based on your Office 365 subscription and preferences. However, enabling these features allows you to store the Teams data in third-party applications like Dropbox and Google Docs.

Furthermore, various types of communication take place in Teams, such as:

  • One-to-one internal user chat
  • One-to-one chat with external users
  • Chat within a channel
  • Meeting recordings
  • Voicemail messages

Let’s see where you can find these chat items on your system.

One-to-one Chat

The one-to-one chat history is stored in a hidden folder within your mailbox, which contains all of the conversations in the chat history, with each member having their data copied. The purpose of this hidden folder is data retention, litigation holds, and compliance. However, you can recover this folder only with the eDiscovery tool provided by Microsoft.

Go to the Security and Compliance Center, start the Content Search, and look for the content in Teams chat with the date and other criteria. You’ll get a sample of the results within a minute or two to browse and verify your required data.

  1. Go to Admin Center and choose Compliance. In Content Search, create a new search and provide detailed parameters based on the required chat items.choose Compliance
  2. After running the Search, you will get the searched item summary and the found item’s status.Summary of searched item and status
Finding Files in MS Teams

If you’re looking for files shared during the chats, they are stored in OneDrive for Business account in a folder, which is not hidden. Any member with access to OneDrive for Business can easily access the files. The administrator provides permission for file access to each member individually.

Whether you chat with outside members or your own company, the file storage and permissions are configured similarly.

Finding Non-chat Channel Data

When creating a Teams group in MS Team, an Office 365 group and a SharePoint site are automatically created within the group mailbox. With the SharePoint site, you can access a library of various document library to find various shared documents. But, finding the SharePoint site location is not easy.

The simplest way to find any Team’s SharePoint site is to go to SharePoint via the File section. After opening SharePoint, copy the URL from your browser and create a permanent link.

Talking about the mailbox group in Office 365, it contains the emails sent to the team. Knowing where the email addresses and channels are stored can save you much time.

Using Exchange PowerShell

Exchange Management Shell is a great way to find Team chat history within a group mailbox created by Office 365. As mentioned above, an Office 365 mailbox is automatically created where the chat history is stored whenever you make a Teams group. To find the Team chat history for a specific mailbox, you can use the below command:

Get-mailbox – groupmailboxname | get-mailboxstatistics | select-object identity, itemsinfolder, foldersize

Running the above command will provide a report of what is inside that Teams mailbox and represents a folder named – \conversation history\team chat. In this folder, you can find the chat history for the group. You can add this mailbox to your OWA and view the contents easily. However, if you don’t have permission to access the folder, run the following command:

Get-mailbox – groupmailboxname | get-mailboxfolderpermission

Note: This command is only valid for shared mailbox chat history and doesn’t apply to Microsoft Teams mailbox.

Create a Backup

The best and ideal way to access Teams chat history is to create a backup for your Office 365 mailbox. As Microsoft automatically removes the chat history from Teams, you can access them easily with a backup file. Creating a backup will enable you to access the chat history anytime from anywhere.

But, creating a manual backup for Teams data isn’t easy. Also, you’ll have to make a full backup rather than specific Teams backup with the manual approach. So, the ideal approach to creating MS Teams backup is to use an automated tool like Kernel Microsoft Teams migration that allows you to backup specific data as per your requirements. You can migrate data between Microsoft Teams, making it easier for you to access it later. It is integrated with intelligent features and functionalities that make it easy for you to select and backup Teams data in a specified manner.

Wrap Up

Microsoft Teams chat history is essential for every user to access and look at the required data. But, due to Microsoft security policies, the chat history is removed and stored in hidden folders in Office 365 groups, OneDrive for Business, or SharePoint. This article discussed effective methods to find and access the Team chat history. Besides we also recommended an automated solution that can be used to backup Teams data. We have also shown how to migrate chats in Microsoft Teams? with the help of a professional tool.