How long do chats kept for? Are they kept forever?

I'm particularly interested in chats that are created as a result of the suggestion after a long string of comments for a question, where it says, "Do you want to move this to chat?" or something to that effect.

Obviously, the chat should be kept around as long as the question and comments are, but I wasn't sure if that was the case.

Just wondering.


2 Answers 2


Yes, those chat rooms stick around. They get deactivated, and you wouldn't be able to talk in them after that, but the transcript is still available. I found some cases where they were "deleted" to a non-admin, but those looked like the chat room was created and never used.

I can't easily search comments for that phrase, so I can't verify it 100%, but it's not being deleted due to age.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ It would be nice to be able to search comments. \$\endgroup\$
    – tcrosley
    Dec 11, 2014 at 8:32

As per W5VO's answer I think the rooms mostly hang around forever. I've written a data explorer query that I think should give what you're after along with a link to the chat room:

Comments moved to chat

Looking at the list though I remember being in a chat room for the same reason and I'm not on that list. It would exclude anything where the original question / answer was deleted and also if the comment was flagged as obsolete or cleaned up by the user. When they're posted you're the owner of the comment so you can delete it yourself.

Regarding your comment about it being useful to search comment text here is a more general purpose query that someone else has written. The only caveats with the data explorer are that the data dump is only updated once a week and because it's public deleted content isn't visible.

Search post where comment text like '...'


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