A Detailed Guide to Viewing Deleted Messages on Discord

Discord has become a popular chat platform, with over 150 million active users. As its growth continues, challenges around content moderation have increased as well.

According to a 2022 report, 41% of Americans have experienced severe online harassment, including physical threats, stalking, and sexual harassment. Many server admins and moderators deal with these issues daily.

When abusive messages get deleted, it‘s difficult to properly handle situations and repeat offenders without evidence. That‘s why learning how to see deleted messages on Discord is vital for any moderator.

In this comprehensive guide, I’ll teach you how to do just that with the help of a 3rd party plugin.

Why You Should View Deleted Messages

Here are the main reasons why server admins log deleted Discord messages:

  • Handling Harassment: Having the full context of an abusive conversation is needed to take appropriate action against offenders. Relying solely on screenshots makes consistent enforcement difficult.
  • Accidental Deletions: Users often delete their own messages by mistake. Logging allows everyone to retain access to information inadvertently removed.
  • Transparency: Responsible mods should operate with transparency and track all activity that occurs within their servers. Deleting messages reduces accountability unless logs are kept.

According to Discord’s Community Guidelines:

Server admins and moderators are accountable for enforcing server rules. Discord expects you to have dedicated staff to evaluate content and behavior issues.

Viewing deleted messages is key for meeting those expectations and managing healthy communities.

Step-by-Step: Installing the Message Logger Plugin

discord deleted messages plugin

While Discord does not have native deleted message logging, third party developers have created plugins that unlock this functionality through Discord’s API.

The most popular and reliable of these plugins is called Message Logger V2. Here is how to install it:

1. Install BetterDiscord

Since Discord prohibits add-ons that alter functionality, you need to first install BetterDiscord. This replaces Discord’s default client with one that enables customization via themes and plugins.

Disclaimer: Installing third party software technically violates Discord’s ToS. Use care and discretion when enabling these tools.

To install BetterDiscord:

  1. Download the latest installer from betterdiscord.app.
  2. Run the installer and select your Discord version when prompted.
  3. Discord will restart, now running the BetterDiscord client enhancement.

2. Download the Message Logger Plugin

MessageLoggerV2 is publicly hosted on GitHub.

To get the plugin:

  1. Go to the GitHub releases page.
  2. Download the latest available version.
  3. Take note of the downloaded file location.

3. Add MessageLoggerV2 to BetterDiscord

With the plugin downloaded, enabling it within Discord is simple:

  1. In Discord, navigate to User Settings > BetterDiscord > Plugins.
  2. Click the "Open Plugins Folder" button.
  3. Move the downloaded MessageLoggerV2 file into the now open folder.
  4. Check the box next to MessageLoggerV2 under the Plugins tab to activate it.

After enabling the plugin, close and restart Discord.

MessageLoggerV2 will now passively run in the background going forward, securely logging all deleted messages on any server you join.

Viewing Deleted Message Logs

To open MessageLoggerV2’s logs for a particular server:

  1. Right click the server icon.
  2. Select MessageLoggerV2 from the dropdown menu.
  3. Choose the Deleted tab in the top menu bar.

You will now see logs of all recently deleted messages in that server, including:

  • The message contents
  • The senders name
  • An accurate timestamp

These details create complete transparency around removals.

Exporting Logs from MessageLoggerV2

Moderators often need to export removal records to store securely offline or submit to Discord’s Trust & Safety team.

To save a server‘s deleted messages log:

  1. Follow the Viewing Deleted Messages instructions above.
  2. With the log open, click the save icon in the top right.
  3. Choose a export location on your local device.

This will generate a detailed .CSV file with full archives of any deleted messages on a server.

Responsible Practices for Deleting Message Logging

I want to reiterate that enabling this kind of functionality technically violates Discord‘s ToS around client modifications.

While that policy is understandably intended to protect users, responsible server moderation does require transparency around deletions.

As an expert Discord administrator myself, I believe using logged records appropriately strikes the right balance. Some best practices include:

  • Storing logs securely offline whenever possible rather than on the open internet
  • Restricting log access only to dedicated moderators bound by confidentiality
  • Submitting serious harassment evidence directly to Discord’s Trust & Safety team for official intervention
  • Avoiding vigilantism by acting through proper channels when harmful behavior is discovered

Following these guidelines allows server mods to operate effectively while respecting user privacy.

Of course, every admin should carefully weigh the tradeoffs based on their community specifically. But knowledge around accessing deleted messages empowers leaders to make those determinations for themselves rather than operating blindly.

I hope this guide has shed light on how to enable this beneficial, if controversial capability. Please reach out with any other questions!