How to Save a Text Conversation on Your Mac

Text message conversations may contain evidence of important memories, and if you’re like me, you probably want to download your iMessages, save your messages, print your messages, or do something, anything, to make those exchanges more secure and accessible. One useful trick to save those interactions is to use the Messages Mac application to download your message history as a PDF file. This will let you keep that conversation on your computer and share it as you like, whether it was a conversation with a friend who isn't around anymore, or with a landlord and you need a record. Read on to find out how to turn an Messages conversation into a document you can save on your computer, or print later.

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Unknown ObjectRelated: How to Take a Screenshot on an iPhone without a Home Button

How to Save Text Messages from Your Mac

You can only save your messages to a PDF file from your Mac. It’s a secure and stable file type, and a great way to archive your messages. Before you get started, you'll need to be synchronizing your messages from your iPhone to your Mac.

  1. Open the Messages application on your Mac.
  2. Navigate to the conversations you want to save by clicking the contact on the left to open that conversation. I'll demonstrate with my coworker Tamlin.

    how to print out text messages
  3. Find the exchange you want to archive by clicking the scrolling up through your conversation history.
  4. When you create the archive file, it will contain all the messages below where your screen is viewing, so if you want the whole conversation history, you have to go a long way back. You might need to wiggle the scroll bar at the top of its range to keep loading older and older messages.

    how to print text messages
  5. Click the File menu.

  6. Click Print.

  7. Click the small dropdown menu labeled PDF.

  8. Click Save as PDF.

  9. Enter a name, save location, and other details. You can even encrypt your new PDF with a password! 
  10. Then click Save.

Now you can save your precious iMessages to a PDF file, and store the evidence of your transactions wherever you like.

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Author Details

Cullen Thomas's picture

Author Details

Cullen Thomas

Cullen Thomas is a Writer and Producer at iPhone Life, creating tips and guides to help users unlock the full potential of their iOS and iPhone. In addition to writing countless tip-of-the-day articles and many detailed guides, Cullen has spent nine years as an instructor in media and communications at Maharishi University, lecturing on technical and artistic subjects ranging from camera and audio hardware to story-plotting to how to manage a film crew. Cullen answers questions daily about iPhones and iOS as part of the Ask an Editor insider service, and designs curriculum for iPhone Life’s online classes. As a frequent contributor to iPhone Life magazine and occasional guest on the iPhone Life podcast, Cullen likes to talk about security and privacy news, tech, gadgets, and apps, even if nobody asked.

Cullen holds a master’s degree in Cinematic Arts from the David Lynch School of Cinematic Arts. Cullen also holds two Bachelor’s degrees from Maharishi University, one in literature with an emphasis in writing and the other in Communications and Media. Cullen’s short fiction has been featured in anthologies from Amphibian Press and TANSTAAFL, and Cullen co-owns a game design company, Thoughtspike games, which builds thought-provoking puzzle games. Cullen is a sci-fi author, a coffee connoisseur, and an iPhone expert.