Is It Possible To View Deleted Messages In Discord?
Last Updated: September 20, 2020
Here’s the situation, someone on a Discord channel sent some insulting or inflammatory messages in chat and then quickly deleted them. Now they are accusing you of making the situation up and trying to turn people against them. What can you do? Can you view deleted messages in Discord?
This is a situation a server admin friend of mine found herself in a few months ago. It’s a tough situation to be in and not something I would wish on anyone. Fortunately, every user knew her well enough to know that wasn’t how she was and didn’t believe the accusations. Not everyone will be so lucky.
The short answer is no, you cannot view deleted messages in Discord. The longer answer is that there is a way around that with a little forward planning. If you’re a channel or server admin, you will be able to see that someone deleted messages in the audit logs and when they did it. You will not be able to see what was in those messages though. Audit logs concern themselves with the running of the server and not about who said what. So while they can be very helpful in many situations, they aren’t much help in this one.
View deleted messages in Discord
When messages are deleted in Discord, they are gone for good. Discord insists they don’t keep copies and that once they are gone, they are gone. We have no reason to disbelieve them so will take them at their word. That said, you can set up your own chat logging script that will run if you use Discord in your browser rather than in the app.
The Discord History Tracker is a neat script that runs within your browser and can download a local chat lot to your device. It doesn’t interact with the server and doesn’t need owner or admin access to work. The downside is that you do need to use the browser rather than dedicated app. The browser doesn’t have the same features as the app but is the only way I know of to use logging like this.
There are two ways to use this tracker but I found the easiest was to use a browser console. The instructions are on the script page but go something like this:
- Open your browser and log into Discord in a tab.
- Join a channel as you normally would.
- Open another tab and press Ctrl + Shift + I to open developer mode.
- Select the Console tab in the developer screen.
- Copy the script using the link on the page.
- Paste the script into the Console and Press Enter to initialize it.
- Chat in Discord as you usually would.
- Close Developer mode once finished.
- Open the Viewer from this link to see the chat.
- Select Load File and select the chat log from your computer.
- Scroll though the chat log to see what was said.
There have been dozens of requests for Discord to add some logging functionality but has so far not agreed to it. They cite privacy issues, which are legitimate but do leave us hanging a little when it comes to situations like those in the introduction. The solution above is a solution to that but not a particularly elegant one. Using Discord in the browser is not as good as the app but it’s the only way it will run.
Handling toxicity on Discord
In my experience, Discord is a fairly harmless place where chat is predominantly about the subject at hand and people generally get on. I appreciate that it isn’t like that on every channel though. There are some straightforward things you or the server admin can do to make it a more pleasant place to spend time.
Set clear rules and policies and enforce them – If people don’t know the rules, they will push the limits until something breaks. Set clear, concise rules with equally clear penalties for infringement.
Always have a moderator around – Unless your channel only has a few members, there should always bee a moderator online. That may mean a team to cover time zones or a moderator bot. Either way, have someone around to help wherever possible.
Learn how to mute – There is local mute, that you as a user can do to silence the problem person and server mute that an admin can do to silence them. Local mute by selecting the troublemaker in the channel and either pressing their name or right clicking and selecting Mute.
Take screenshots if things get really bad – If you don’t want to use Discord in a browser, take regular screenshots of the inflammatory comments to use for evidence. If they delete the chat, you still have something to use in your defense should you need it.