Import or archive text messages into DEVONthink 3?

Is there a way to archive messages/conversations from Apple’s messages app into DEVONthink 3?


Unfortunately both the AppleScript & Shortcuts support is too limited and there’s no Automator support. The File > Export As… menu item seems to be always disabled over here no matter whether a chat or an account is selected and support for services is pretty useless. Overall no big surprise as it’s basically the iOS app ported to the Mac now.

Therefore the only remaining option coming to my mind is to print a chat to DEVONthink.

Look into iMazing, it can import from Messages on iPhone and, I presume, get them into a format that DT will ingest.

The messages are stored in an SQLite database (Here’s how you can access your entire iMessage history on your Mac | by Yorgos Askalidis | Medium)
So, “yes, there is a way”. But it might be a thorny one.
The article I linked to describes all the gory details.


I tried out the code against my Messages database. Works. Impressed that Apple put the data into a SQLite database which makes it possible, with SQL queries (via Pandas in this code), to extract the data. And I’m imporessed that the linked article uses some familiar and powerful tools e.g. Python, Pandas, Matplotlib.

I’m going to play with it a bit to see if I can get some useful data (the message, metadata about the message, etc.) out into various formats (CSV, Markdown, etc.). I can guess there are so many possibilities.

That being said, I frankly have no interest in getting my Apple messages into DEVONthink and doing this only for the intellectual/programing challenge! :wink:


The article at

is a little better than the link from @chrillek as it provides code for handling the text of the message.

Basically it’s all about quering the SQLite database and doing the appropriate data “munging” to get it into the format you want. World’s your oyster with possibilities.

1 Like

Thank you for pointing out this article!