The issue where iChat would open instead of Chax if you stay logged in when iChat is quit has been mostly resolved in this build. The caveat is that you need to kill iChatAgent and relaunch it through Chax. The easiest way to do this is to log out and back in, but you can also type "killall iChatAgent" in the Terminal or terminate iChatAgent from the Activity Monitor. The iChat menu extra will also direct its calls to Chax as long as Chax isn't running already. There's a bug where it will continue to attempt to launch iChat once Chax is open.

ICQ users should also be happy to see that ICQ messages are sent in plaintext once again. This also required some trickery in iChatAgent, as Apple has rewritten significant parts of the backend of iChat. So as above, you need to kill iChatAgent and relaunch with Chax in order for your friends to stop seeing HTML-pollued messages.

Lastly, some people requested a way to hide the badges that Chax adds to its menu items. You can now turn these off by entering the following command into the Terminal: defaults write com.ksuther.chax HideMenuBadge -bool YES

Changes from Chax 3.0 Alpha 2:

  • iChatAgent will now launch Chax instead of iChat when receiving a message while iChat isn't open
  • Chax can now be set as the default application to open saved iChat transcripts
  • Fixed reopening the unified contact list if it is minimized
  • Messages sent to ICQ users are now sent in plaintext

Download Chax 3.0 Alpha 3


Michael Croft at 2009-09-02 00:21:48 -0400

Hi, very happy with 3.0a2, a3. I'd like to make a suggestion for a new feature: aol sends system messages from the unblockable aolsystemmsg account. In addition to doing this when there is a good reason, they also do this to alert you that your account is in use in two (or four) places. If you sign in to gmail and run ichat, or have an iphone chat client and ichat, or home and work macs, AOL insists on telling you, as you may think it's a bad thing. They are about 2 years behind the user base here. Can you give us a way to block messages from unblockable sources? Maybe a blacklist of phrases that if they are ever in a message, we never see (so spam, for instance, gets bit-bucketed). That's just one possible solution, lots of things might work...

Pete at 2009-09-02 00:31:31 -0400

Get's better and better with every update, but I'm still waiting for the option to disable sounds when an away message is up. I hate having to log off when watching a movie or something. Otherwise, keep up the good work!

albert at 2009-09-02 07:37:18 -0400

still not able to get Current iTunes song to appear.... have tried deleting both iChat and Chax, and then re-installing from SL disk. when running iChat, it's fine, but as soon as I try Chax, it just says Available, even though it's set to display iTunes. All other statuses are fine. Thought it might be an iTunes plugin called DockArt, but removing that didn't help. Also tried disabling Chax in Growl. Help me Obi-Wan, you're my only hope....!!

Azee at 2009-09-02 08:29:16 -0400

Auto - Accept transfers not work here...any more pp have this problem? Thanks!

Jon Thompson at 2009-09-02 09:07:48 -0400

Great! What is the behavior for logging in to the computer with iChat autologin enabled? Is chax loaded at that time, or is there a way to make sure that it is?

N3RD at 2009-09-02 10:44:31 -0400

Hey Kent, this one's working great! ICQ without prob and all stuff I need :) Thanks in advance dude! Greets from germany

Kevin O'Shea at 2009-09-02 12:26:16 -0400

With Alpha 3, I see 'iChat' running in activity monitor, but the app in the dock and application switch shows as Chax, but has the iChat icon. Desired?

Jeremy at 2009-09-02 13:03:29 -0400

@Kevin - Yeah, I believe that's how it works. Chax is just a wrapper around iChat. The menubar also displays "iChat" if you hadn't noticed.

Jeremy at 2009-09-02 13:16:01 -0400

Also, I have the iChat option set to show my status in the menu bar. That option allows me to set my status and initiate chats with online contacts. The only issue there is, when I try to initiate a chat from the menu bar, it tries to do it by launching iChat. I would greatly appreciate if this could somehow be modified to launch chats in Chax.

Adrian at 2009-09-02 15:03:24 -0400

This release is Snow Leo compatible?

Adrian at 2009-09-02 15:13:14 -0400

Thank you very much :)

Joseph at 2009-09-02 17:03:50 -0400

Any chance since it is srt of a stand alone that facebook chat (pidgin thing, right?) is in the future? Adium just doesnt cut it w/o vid chats

Scott at 2009-09-02 17:35:12 -0400

Thanks so much for working on this, and so quickly! :) One quick request: I really miss the ability to specify what away message it will use on Screen Saver activation (and have it switch back to the original available message on return). Any chance that will reappear? Thanks again!

Sarah at 2009-09-02 17:52:44 -0400

THis is probably a stupid question: Do I really have to have the disk icon on my desktop whenever chax is on? I hate the look of it. When I eject it, it asks me to quit the program first.....

Perry at 2009-09-02 17:55:04 -0400

It doesn't seem to be working with Growl when people log on. I have it so that when people log on, message me, log out, go away, or become available that a message through growl shows. Since I updated to Snow Leopard, that doesn't happen. Any chances to fix it shortly?

Kevin at 2009-09-02 18:15:23 -0400

Great thanks! It's working great except for waking from sleep while iChat's open - the All Contacts window shows Offline while the AIM and Jabber windows are set to Available.

Robert at 2009-09-02 18:56:34 -0400

@Sarah. Do you meant the chax image file? Just drag the chax from the image file e.g. to the applications folder and run chax from it or drag it on your dock. You can delete that "ugly disk" then ;-)

Yeah! at 2009-09-03 04:39:53 -0400

The force is be with you!

matiki at 2009-09-03 05:26:12 -0400

Awesome! My only gripes are that "the Log Viewer for the selected user" (used to be available via right-click on a name from the Buddy List) is missing and that Chax isn't fired upon launching iChat.

Jannis at 2009-09-03 05:40:06 -0400

Hi, awesome work so far. But there's a problem with iChatAgent... If Chax isn't active and a message comes in, iChat will be launched instead of Chax. Also, after every reboot, there's the "original" iChatAgent and these nasty HTML-messages will be sent to my ICQ contacts. I hope this can be fixed in a4 :)

Martin at 2009-09-03 06:03:07 -0400

Yeah, ICQ-HTML-filteringh still doesn't work. ;)

robin at 2009-09-03 06:39:42 -0400

very nice...the one thing i miss right now is setting current iTunes track as status...any chance?! :)

Robert at 2009-09-03 08:53:35 -0400

ICQ is fully functional. I have tested it with many different clients and all perfectly work. The problem must be on your side ;-)

Robert at 2009-09-03 08:56:21 -0400

@Jannis, Martin - What icq clients are you using?

Robert at 2009-09-03 09:04:02 -0400

"@Jannis, Martin – What icq clients are you using?" I mean what clients are used by the people you have problems with?

Peter Payne at 2009-09-03 10:28:03 -0400

Getting some crashing, presumably when someone opens a chat, which causes iChat? (or is it Chax? not sure) to crash. If you'd like me to send a crash log please contact me at peterpayne, domain name

Alexis at 2009-09-03 11:50:12 -0400

Is anyone else noticing that even with "Automatically resize the contact list to fit" selected, the contacts list does not resize on startup? If I deselect and reselect the checkbox, seems to work fine, but it doesn't seem to be doing it on its own. I am using AIM Buddy List, not Contact List. I swear this worked on any contact list prior to Snow Leopard, though. Correct me if I'm wrong. Thanks!

Martin at 2009-09-03 12:06:28 -0400

Those contacts complaining about the ICQ-HTML stuff are using Pidgin or Prillian on Windows machines.

Tom at 2009-09-03 12:50:59 -0400

A small bug: when Dock gets killed and restarted, iChat shows up on the dock as running and chat as a closed application i.e., Chax "quits" and iChat takes over even though Chax is still running.

Kevin O'Shea at 2009-09-03 13:12:52 -0400

I've been seeing growl notifications for people no longer in my AIM buddy list (and I manually removed them from my Recent Buddies group as well). I tried logging into AIM via their web interface and verified these people are not in my buddy list. Anyone else seen, and know whether it's a Chax issue, or an AIM issue?

Sina at 2009-09-03 13:40:11 -0400

It's a cool program(plug-in) but honestly I don't like it to be as a stand alone program, I want it as a plug-in and don't want to run Chax instead of iChat, that's why I stopped using Chax since snow leopard!!(maybe lookes weird but it is so ! )

Ryan Sullivan at 2009-09-03 13:44:00 -0400

@Kevin I remember I had this problem on the old version of Chax but the 3.x builds seem to work fine. But I also manually edited the Growl settings this time around. Kent, great job. Although I'd still like to see the status changes in chats sometime soon :) Also, the auto-updater didn't popup until today (Seems a few days late compared to release date) and when it did popup it logged me out and logged me in to my chat services. Weird. So maybe you can take a look into this?

Ryan Sullivan at 2009-09-03 13:48:30 -0400

@Sina Chax is what makes iChat so great for me. I'm not sure why you don't want to just run Chax rather than iChat. A wrapper is harmless (unless Kent is scamming us- highly doubt it hehe) but its 100% safe in my opinion.

Devin at 2009-09-03 14:14:48 -0400

@Sina It appears as a standalone app, but it actually just runs iChat with a little bit of Chax added in. Chax by itself wouldn’t work, because it’s not enough to stand on its own, since it runs iChat.

Robert at 2009-09-03 14:27:44 -0400

@Martin, I was testing it on icq 6, icq 6.5,, qip on PC, qip on mobile, and miranda. It works for those.

Jannis at 2009-09-03 18:58:28 -0400

@Robert: ICQ 6.5 and QIP works, Trillian and Adium not.

Robert at 2009-09-04 02:19:45 -0400

@Jannis: so we know now roughly what client work and what not. It can be easier now for Kent to make some action ;-)

Catalin at 2009-09-04 05:45:44 -0400

Hey guys, you do a great job, thanks a lot!! Catalin

Noah at 2009-09-04 09:05:41 -0400

This wasn't a problem before Snow Leopard, but when I wake up from Sleep, my status is always Offline. Whereas, it used to set me to Available. Now I have to remember to switch manually. Am I missing something?

Alexis at 2009-09-04 17:30:56 -0400

Not sure if there's a way around this, but if you reload the Dock (killall Dock) with Chax running, it displays iChat in the Dock rather than Chax (Chax is still loaded, but this might be a con to using this type of solution). Mainly FYI.

Kevin at 2009-09-04 19:07:55 -0400

I do wish that this becomes a plug-in again. I really don't like having to leave the disk image on my desktop indefinitely in order for this to work.

Chris at 2009-09-04 19:13:53 -0400

Kevin, Copy Chax to your Applications folder. You do not need to leave it on the disk image.

Kent Sutherland at 2009-09-04 23:40:24 -0400

Waking up from sleep when using the unified contact list will be fixed in the next build. The current iTunes song not appearing in the unified contact list should also be fixed.

George Trethewey at 2009-09-05 00:09:44 -0400

Another feature I'm hanging out for is suppression of the "iChat lost its connection to the server" alert & bouncy Dock icon. If that could be translated into a simple Growl notification, that would be fantastic. It is seriously the single most annoying network-related "feature" on my machine.

Martin at 2009-09-05 11:54:05 -0400

What I also loved over the time with Chax 2 was hide chat window if inactive. Especially at work. ;) But really cool to see you're working hard on Chax. I would have really missed iChat without it. ;)

Robert at 2009-09-05 12:02:07 -0400

AutoResize is not working, wish autohide on lose of focus was back.

Andrew at 2009-09-05 17:41:02 -0400

When a user's iTunes status changes it re-sends a " came online" message to growl, despite them having been available and online the whole time. When quitting and re-opening Chax/iChat, previously open chat windows no longer display the transcript from before. Not sure if this is a change in iChat or Chax's behavior, but when coming back from screensaver and the "welcome back!" dialog is displayed, clicking "change" always changes the status back to available rather than the previous status message before the screensaver was activated, regardless of whether the previous status message was a custom available, custom away, or current iTunes song status message. Also the ability to remove the Chax "band-aid" icons from Chax's items in the menus no longer exists.

Harper at 2009-09-06 11:17:37 -0400

When I launch alpha 3.0, my iChat buddy list is completely empty with no pictures or names. Can anyone help?

Herman at 2009-09-06 12:36:25 -0400

Thanks for your great work! However, it would be great if you will implant back the auto reconnect if connection has been dropped. This is one of the main reason that I install Chax Once again, Thanks =D

SUM at 2009-09-06 14:46:55 -0400

Thanx, But still I have problems with ICQ users, especially who use QIP client. My messages are still appear as HTML code. Is it something I have to do with my Mac or not? I draged Chax to programs and then rebooted my Mac. Those QIP users still the same problems with my messages.

Sam G at 2009-09-06 21:21:44 -0400

Two niggling little bugs: the iChat menu item still launches iChat rather than Chax. Second: aim:// and jabber:// format links still open iChat, even when Chax is already running.

Macolyte at 2009-09-06 23:15:42 -0400

Thanks so much for having the alpha up for SL launch. I, however, do seem to have found a bug. I am not positive it is related to chax, but it showed up after I installed the alpha. I am running SL and using a mobileme acct. I also use the iPhone AIM client as well. I have found that ichat only shows the typing bubble and all messages go to my iPhone client. Thanks, Keep up the good work

Alessio at 2009-09-07 06:37:13 -0400

FEATURE REQUEST: GOAL: Access history/log from the chat window Proposal 1: add a button at the top of the active chat session with label "open older messages" Proposal 2: right click on the contact name in tab - contextual menu "view chat log" That should open the chat history with that specific contact. Thanks for you already GREAT job. Alessio.

Luman at 2009-09-07 10:41:10 -0400

InputManagers - 64-bit...? I'm somewhat confused. I know that there are some apps out there that, while not being loaded via /Library/InputManagers, they are retaining the same basic functionality - i.e. 1Password works with Safari in 64-bit mode w/o having to be a wrapper/launcher for Safari itself. Is there anyway around moving to this kind of functionality with Chax?

Lukas at 2009-09-07 16:58:38 -0400

There's a SIMBL beta for Snow Leopard -- perhaps that's a way to make Chax a plugin again?

kolouker at 2009-09-07 17:08:54 -0400

It would be great if it was possible to hide the recepient bar in the chat window.

Alex at 2009-09-07 22:09:42 -0400

Seconding the request for autohide to be reintroduced, but great work! I am happy to see the ongoing development of such great software.

genny at 2009-09-08 01:23:07 -0400

i still cannot switch my status to anything but "Available." When I leave the computer and come back, the status does change to "Away," and Chax will ask me if i want to change that or not. Otherwise, no status switching.

ibizaspirit at 2009-09-08 03:33:42 -0400

THX for Chax!!!!!!! The best prog 4 my apple!!!

Azee at 2009-09-08 04:31:37 -0400

Please, anybody have a problem with automatic file transfers? not work for me... Thanks!

token at 2009-09-08 14:10:28 -0400

Hi! I just updated to snow leopard and those nasty HTML messages keep on coming.