How would you like to be able to download everything you have ever posted to Facebook – all your photos, all your videos, all your status updates – along with all the posts to your wall, and even your list of friends – all at one fell swoop, in one file, that you can store on your computer? Well now you can!
The complete list of everything that will be in that file includes:
– All of your profile information (including your interests, contacts, and groups)
– All of your wall posts and other content that you and your friends have posted to your profile
– All pictures and videos that you have uploaded
– Your list of friends
– Notes you have written
– Events to which you have RSVPed
– All of your sent (and received) messages
– Any comments that you and your friends have made on your wall posts, photos, etc.
(Note: You cannot pick and choose which items you want to download, everything will be included – basically Facebook creates a big zipped archive of your account for you.)
Of course, you may wonder why you would want to download all of this from Facebook. Perhaps for archiving purposes. Perhaps to find or preserve that picture or video that you know you have somewhere, but just can’t find, but you did post it to Facebook. Or maybe because you just want a record of everything any of your Facebook friends ever posted to your wall. In any event, here’s how to do it.
First, once logged into Facebook, click on your “Account” link:
Next, click on the “Account Settings” link:
Now, down towards the bottom of the Settings page, you will see “Download Your Information”, and a link that says “learn more” – click that “learn more” link:
This takes you to this page, with a brief description of what “Download everything” means, along with the button to initiative the download:
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When you click that download button, you will get a popup that advises you that “It may take a little while for us to gather all of your photos, wall posts, messages, and other information. We will then ask you to verify your identity in order to help protect the security of your account.”
Because this system allows you to download everything in your account, Facebook has taken some added security precautions, namely that it sends an email to your email address of record, for you to confirm the download, before it actually initiates the download:
That’s pretty much all there is to it! When the archiving process is completed (it took just under 2 hours when we tested it) you will get an email from Facebook with a link, requiring your password, to download it – here’s the email:
You recently requested a download of your information on Facebook.
Your download has been generated and is now ready. Please follow the link below to download it. Remember that this file contains sensitive information. Because this download contains your profile information, you should keep it secure and take precautions when storing, sending or uploading it to any other services.
At the bottom of this there will be a link, and when you follow the link, it will take you to this page:
After you enter your password, it brings you to the page where you can actually download your download. As you can see, our archive file is about 7 MB:
Amusingly, the domain from which you will download your big zip file is, wait for it, “bigzipfiles.facebook.com”.
Once you unzip the downloaded archive, it creates a folder, with an index.html file, and when you click on that index file, it launches your downloaded profile and other files in your browser.
A tip of the hat to our friends over at This is True for first bringing this to our attention!
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