You know the drill. You finally decide it’s time to clean up the cluttered contact list in Skype. Too late you realize that you’ve deleted some important contacts. Problem is you can’t remember their screen name, nor their email and you’re even unsure as how they spell their name. Sounds familiar ?
By default, Skype will store your chat log (unless you tell it not to). So the first thing you should try, is to look in the log file (You find it under the Recent tab). It’s really easy – unless of course you have deleted all the logs as well!
Then what ?Do you have to yield to defeat ? No, not just yet – There is a way… It’s a tedious task, BUT there’s a way.
If you’re a frequent Skype user, this may take some considerable amount of time, so prepare yourself for that. It will be a great help if you can remember the last time you chatted with the person you’ve deleted. If not … well, get comfy.
- Assuming you’re on Windows 7 or 8, you have to get access to the hidden Skype Folder. Click the Search-field and type %AppData%. This will open the ROAMING-folder
- Open the SKYPE-folder.
- Open your Username Folder. Here you will find several sub folders.
- Locate and open the folder: CHATSYNC
Inside the Chatsync folder you will find many folders, all of which have one or several .DAT files inside. The DAT-files is where Skype stores your chat session details, such as the participating usernames. If you can recall the last time you talked to the person, look for a DAT-file with the corresponding date. For some reason Skype put these DAT-files into random folders for each session (I have found no logic). And to make things even easier – Skype doesn’t update folder dates. Meaning that a folder with an older modified date, may contain newer DAT-files. So, basically you will have to look in each and every one.
Some DAT-files contain several names (typical for group chats), but usually there will be only two: Yours and your contact. Open a DAT-File in Notepad (Use Open With). Most of the information is truncated, but contact-names are stored in plain text, so it’s rather easy to find it.
Once you find the right username, it’s all very easy. Simply copy the username and paste it into the Skype Search field.
Yes, yes I know – I’m a genius.
That being said. Remember to create a backup of your contacts before you delete anything the next time. That way you can just import your contacts back into Skype without all this hassle.
You find these features under Contacts | Advanced.