How-To

How To Download A Full Copy Of All Of Your Facebook Pictures, Videos, And Data

If you’ve been using Facebook regularly for years, don’t forget to back it up. You’ll be surprised how much data you have on the social network and might want to delete.

imageA few years ago, Facebook rolled out a feature that will allow you to download ALL of your user data. It reminds me of a lot of filing for Discovery when you are fighting a court case; you get a copy of all the dirt that the prosecution has on you. In this case, you get to see exactly what Facebook knows about you.

The process of downloading your data isn’t complicated, but just like deleting your Facebook account they’ve decided to bury the feature deep in your settings. When you download a copy of your Facebook data, it will come in a .zip formatted archive. Windows can easily extract this with its built-in software, or you can use a program like 7-zip or WinRar.

Note: This article has been updated to reflect the changes of the Facebook user interface.

How To Download All of Your Facebook Data

From your Facebook account go into your Account Settings.

Then under General Account Settings, click the “Download a Copy” link.

Download Copy

On the next screen click the Start My Archive button.

You’ll get a message that the archive is requested and an email will be sent when it’s ready to download.

At this point, you will have to play the waiting game. The amount of time that Facebook takes to put together your download can vary. For some, it will be instant, but for others, it could take several hours or days. I think it may have something to do with how many videos or photos you have uploaded to your account. Just keep checking your email periodically until it shows up.

Download Requested

Eventually, the email should arrive in your inbox with the title “Your Facebook download is ready.” Click the link in your email that is provided by the Facebook team.

As is always important: Check and be sure that the link you clicked in your email really took you to Facebook.com. With all of the Phishing scams out there, I can imagine this new download feature will start up a new chain of password stealing sites that send out copy-cat emails.

Read this article for details on how Facebook Phishing scams work and can take over your account.

facebook phishing scam protection

Then download the zip file of the data from your Facebook profile to a convenient and secure location on your computer. You’ll have to enter your password again before the download starts.

What is all this Facebook data? Check out this official Facebook site to learn everything that will be indexed and downloaded. After getting your archive, you’ll be surprised at how much of your browsing history, friend requests, and other personal information and information of your friends is included!

Here’s a look at what’s inside a Facebook archive. Notice how much information it includes. Then when you look deeper into each file, it gets even creepier.

Facebook Archive

Inside the archive, you’ll find a file called index.htm. This lets you browse through the archive in an offline webpage.

Take a second to scroll through each link on the left. You may find items with errors, like this video that didn’t download in the archive.

 

So, that’s all the data Facebook has on you. If that freaks you out and you’d rather not be part of the social network, check out our article: How To Permanently Delete Your Facebook Account.

If you want to do the same thing with Google, check out Google Takeout.


24 Comments

24 Comments

  1. Denis Brown  

    I cannot find this on the UK version of Facebook. Is it only available in the US?

  2. Morten  

    Thanks, I’ve looked fort this. Want to save my data before everyone goes for G+

  3. Crystal  

    after it finishes downloading and it is on my computer it wont open and i know its not my computer as i just bought this morning

  4. Adam  

    Excellent. Finally got all my photos down loaded to backup HD. I’m no computer expert. Your instructions was very easy to follow.
    WELL DONE SIR
    Thank you

  5. addeht  

    the instruction are very easy to do..Thank you.

  6. jacquiline  

    thanks a lot

  7. dfghzz  

    what if this shit does not work it says you can download but there is NOTHING in the link

    • sara  

      I’m having the same issue. I got an email from fb saying that it’s ready to download but when I downloaded and tried to open, there was nothing in the archive ….. HELP!

  8. ANon  

    Thank you!

  9. tdog  

    Thx

  10. jen  

    thank you!

  11. CC  

    Worked like charm. Downloaded all my pics. NOW, deleting all my info from FB!

  12. Hershie  

    Worked beautifully! Thank you –

  13. Mia Johnston  

    It does not work, I got an email saying that they could not download a copy oft facebook. Why?

  14. mike  

    i find that http://fbdld.com is really easy way to download full facebook albums you want to backup and download to your computer. it enables you to download entire albums in bulk as a zip file!
    nice thing about it is that you dont need to install anything on your computer!

  15. Mister Frustrated  

    It really stinks that the author chooses to write these supposed “it’s so easy” article, but ignores his readers when they leave comments asking him to respond..I just stumbled across this blog quite on accident and think Austin’s disrespect towards his readers is a disgrace to the rest of us that blog.

    Shame on you little man..

    • John  

      Way more it worked for maybe u cud be at fault?

  16. carmen  

    Thank you!

  17. Rajshree  

    thankss alot i looked for for a downloader to download the pic whole day
    fool me hahah well thankyou(Y)

  18. lynn  

    can anyone tell me if I can download my facebook I have saved to another account or a new account

    • twotwentyeight  

      I have the same question… where’s the answer

  19. Perfect! I thought I would have to do the last 6 years photos manually 🙂 Thanks x

  20. Leyla  

    Just wondering. If I did this and then deleted my facebook would it not work anymore or would I still hae it saved on my computer even if it’s been deleted online?

    • Desiree  

      Leyla, did you ever figure this if you can keep the pictures if you delete your facebook?

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