Google Chat history allows you to store the text of your Gmail and Google Talk chats in your Gmail account so you can easily search for them later. You can even respond to these chats like you would to regular Gmail messages.
To access your chat history, click the Chats label in your Gmail account. A list of chats will appear, similar to the way conversations are listed in your inbox. You can forward, label, star, and trash chats just like Gmail messages.
When you search in Gmail, matching chat conversations will show up along with matching email conversations. All chats are labeled Chats and are marked with the chat icon () so you can easily distinguish them from emails.
Changing Chat History Settings
You can adjust your chat history settings in Gmail at any time. Chat history for Google Talk is only available to users who are signed in with a Gmail username.
- [advt]Sign in to Gmail.
- Click the gear icon at the top of any Gmail page, and open the Chat tab.
- From the Chat tab:
- Select ‘Don’t save chat history in my Gmail account’ to disable chat history saving, or,
- Select ‘Save chat history in my Gmail account’ to enable chat history saving.
- Click Save Changes.
Keep in mind that if you’ve disabled chat history saving, people you chat with may still choose to save chat histories in their Gmail settings. If you would prefer that someone you’re talking to doesn’t save your chat, you can take the conversation off the record. If you’re talking to someone who is connected to the network with a desktop chat client, it’s possible that his or her software is keeping a separate copy of the chat history.
Chatting Off The Record
Chats that have been taken off the record aren’t stored in your Gmail chat history, or in the Gmail chat history of your contact. You and the person you’re talking to can both see when a chat is taken off the record, and you’ll be notified if off the record mode is disabled. Your off the record settings will apply whenever you chat with this person, until one of you makes a change. Additionally, chats sent through orkut are never saved in chat history.
To take a chat off the record in Gmail and iGoogle:
- Click the Options link in the bottom of the chat window.
- Select Go off the record.
To see a demonstration of going off the record, or turning off your chat history, click the video below.
When you take a chat off the record, a message will appear confirming that future chats with this particular contact won’t be saved, unless one of you changes the setting. If you decide at any time that your chats no longer need to be off the record, click Cancel at the top of the chat window, or Stop chatting off the record in the chat window’s Options menu.
Keep in mind that if you’re talking to someone who is connected to the network with a desktop chat client, it’s possible that his or her software is keeping a separate copy of the chat history.[source]