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Storing chat message history Follow

Note: If you signed up for a new Zoom account after August 21, 2021; or the New Admin Experience is enabled on your account, the chat history tool has been move to Reports (Account Management > Reports > User Activity Reports tab > Chat History).

The account owner or admins can choose how long chat messages are stored in the Zoom cloud and on local devices. This will delete all messages after the designated time frame. If local messages are being stored for 1 month or less, a yellow banner will appear in your Zoom chat window, notifying the members of your account of how long local messages will be stored. If you enable cloud storage, you can view, download, or delete stored chat messages.

Although messages on a local device can be deleted, these messages can still be available on the cloud depending on how long the cloud storage retention period has been set. The maximum length of time that messages can be stored is 10 years and the minimum amount of time is 1 day. By default, messages are stored on the cloud for 2 years and messages are stored on local devices for 1 year. This length of time can be changed by the account owner or admin in IM Management and changing this setting will affect all users on your account.

The time frame is dependent on when the message is sent. For example, if you choose to delete all messages after 3 days, they will be deleted 3 days after being sent, regardless of whether they are received by any of the recipient’s devices.

This article covers:

Prerequisites

  • Paid Zoom account
  • Account owner or admin privileges
  • Zoom desktop client for Windows or macOS, 4.1.23108.0402 or higher
  • Zoom mobile app for Android or iOS, 4.1.23117.0402 or higher

Changing chat message storage settings

You can change settings to specify how long chat messages are stored for.

  1. Sign in to the Zoom web portal.
  2. In the navigation menu, click Account Management then IM Management.
  3. Follow on these options to access account-level or group-level settings:
    • Account-level settings: Click the IM Settings tab.
    • Group-level settings: Click the group name, then click Advanced Settings.
  4. In the Storage section, change these settings:
  • Cloud Storage: If this setting is enabled, Zoom will automatically save all persistent chat messages to the cloud. Specify how time period to store messages, then click Save. After the specified cloud retention period, Zoom will remove all the persistent chat messages and its metadata from the cloud.
    Note:
    • The timeframe for the retention period is dependent on when the message is sent. For example, if account admin chooses to delete all messages after 3 days, they will be deleted 3 days after it is sent.
    • For 1-on-1 chats, Zoom saves messages to the cloud by using the minimum cloud storage retention rule of both parties.
    • For group chats and channels, Zoom saves messages on the cloud by using the channel admin’s cloud storage retention rule. If the channel or group chat admin changes, chat content will be subject to the new channel or group chat admin’s cloud storage retention rule for all new chats. The old chats will be subject to the original channel or group chat admin’s cloud storage retention rule.
    • For free users, cloud storage is set to 2 years by default (even though they can't access it in the admin portal).
    • Even when this setting is turned off, messages sent offline will be stored in the cloud for up to 7 days and auto-deleted once the intended recipient receives them.
    • When this setting is updated, the new policy will only apply to new messages. It will not retroactively apply to existing messages.
  • Delete Local Data (only available at the account level): If this setting is enabled, Zoom will automatically delete all persistent chat messages and its’ metadata on local device after the specified retention period. Attachments will still save on the local device. Specify the time period messages are stored on the desktop or mobile device running Zoom, then click Save.
    Note:
    • This setting only applies to the account admin’s internal users. It will not affect external users, even if the external users are chatting with internal users in a channel / group chat owned by internal user. 
    • When this setting is updated, the new policy will apply to both existing and new messages.
  • Store edited and deleted message revisions (only available at the account level): Store edited/deleted messages (as well as the original version) in the cloud. You can view, download, or delete stored messages using the Zoom web portal.
    Note: You must enable Cloud Storage to see this option.
  • Third party archiving: Archive messages and files with a third-party archiving service.

If you enabled cloud storage, you can view, download, or delete stored chat messages.

Cloud storage - Admin Chat History Tool location rules

If Basic users and external paid users are involved, the following scenarios describe how messages are stored in the Chat History tool in the Zoom web portal.

Note: The account must have the Cloud Storage setting enabled for messages to be stored in the Chat History tool

Chat type Users involved Which account admin can view the messages in their chat history tool?
1-on-1 chat

Two free users

Not applicable

(Neither of them can access chat history using the web portal)

Channel or group chat

Internal free user

External paid user

Paid user's account admin
Channel or group chat

Internal free user

External free user

External paid user

Paid user's account admin
Channel or group chat

Internal paid user

Two external free users

Paid user's account admin
Channel or group chat

Internal paid user

External paid user

Both paid users' account admins
Channel or group chat

Internal paid user

External free user

External paid user

Both paid user's account admins
1-on-1, channel, or group chat

Internal paid user

External free user (added to the paid user's account and becomes an internal user)

Paid user's account admin

(messages are only stored from the time the free user was added to the paid user's account)

 

Cloud storage retention rules

The following table shows how long chat messages are stored in the cloud for a variety of scenarios.

Scenario

Users involved and settings enabled

How long are these messages being saved on the cloud? 

1-on-1 chat

Two free users

2 years

1-on-1 chat

1 free user 

1 paid user with Cloud Storage enabled and 5 year retention period 

2 years 

1-on-1 chat

1 free user 

1 paid user with Cloud Storage disabled

Not stored in the cloud

Note: Even when Cloud Storage is turned off, messages sent offline will be stored in the cloud for up to 7 days and auto-deleted.

1-on-1 chat

1 paid user with Cloud Storage enabled and retention period of 4 years 

1 paid user with Cloud Storage enabled and retention period of 6  years 

4 years

1-on-1

Paid user with Cloud Storage enabled with retention period of 3 years 

Free user who later is added to another paid account with Cloud Storage enabled and retention period of 5 years 

Before free user becomes a paid account user, the messages are saved for 2 years 

After free user becomes a paid account user, all new messages are saved for 3 years

Channel or group chat

Free user (channel admin)

Paid user with Cloud Storage enabled and retention period of 3 years  

2 years 

Channel or group chat

Free user 

Paid user (channel admin) with Cloud Storage enabled and retention period of 3 years 

3 years 

Channel or group chat

Free user

Paid user with Cloud Storage enabled and retention period of 3 years 

Paid user (channel admin) with Cloud Storage disabled

Not stored in the cloud

Note: Even when Cloud Storage is turned off, messages sent offline will be stored in the cloud for up to 7 days and auto-deleted.

Channel or group chat

Paid user (original channel admin) with Cloud Storage enabled with retention period of 3 years 

Free user (new channel admin) 

Before free user becomes channel admin, the messages are saved for 3 years 

After free user becomes channel admin, all new messages are saved for 2 years