Teams - Chat History

Frequent Contributor

Hi all,


Hopefully two quick questions. 


Can Office 365 admins search the chat history (included deleted chats?) of a Team and a private 1:1 chat? We have E3 with Security and Compliance


Secondly, do Team chats disappear over a period? We have a Team that will get new members every few months and the new members don't need to see the previous chats. Is it up to the old members to delete the chats or do old chats disappear say after 30 days?

8 Replies



All messages gets copied to exchange online for compliance reasons! You need to have the appropriate permissions to use content search!




Chat is persistant and shouldn't be autodeleted! 

When you add a member to a private chat you are presented with an option to include all history , numbers of days or no history





That's very helpful! Thanks

Hi David, in your second question, if the chat's you are talking about are Team conversations in a Team, then that history stays and you cannot hide the conversations from new members into the Team. If you add someone to a group chat, then as Adam said you can choose to show history or not.

As for chats disappearing, chat contacts in your recent list will disappear after 30 days, but the next time you chat with them the history will be shown in the chat window.

Thanks for clarifying. Could they use a specific channel for a group chat which could be deleted if needed?

So unless there is a need for a central File folder for the channel that's unique, or app tabs that can only be used in Teams. I would just use a group chat. Invite the 3, 5, 10 people that need to be in it send a message, and after that is initiated you get a pencil at the top next to the participants, and you can name the chat. Then, you can pin it, or reference it by that name. As long as you don't expect to exceed 50 the group chat works fine for this.

But if you need to get rid of the history from everyone, then a channel might work better. But that channel will be open to everyone in the Team, you currently cannot restrict it to a subset, so just keep that in mind as well, where the group chat, will be available to just those in the chat.

Thanks Chris, your suggestions give me a lot of flexibility to work with. Much obliged.

Thanks for elaborating and clarifying @Chris Webb !!


@David Gorman If a chat is within Teams as a direct chat, where is that chat sotred if we do not have our exchange mailbox in O365?

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