Back in 2010, Facebook introduced a new feature for users that would allow them to download a complete archive of everything that they had placed onto Facebook up to that particular point in time. This would allow users to create a copy of everything they had published onto Facebook, making looking through older posts easier as it allowed them to do so offline. Furthermore, the function can also provide users with a better idea of exactly how much information they have provided to Facebook, which they can use to better regulate their own social network use.
The information provided in the download file includes:
- Facebook posts
- Messages the user has sent to people on their friend list
As the company is concerned about the privacy of its users, you will need to have your account password to hand before beginning this process.
5 easy steps to download a copy of your Facebook data.
Log in to your account and locate the small arrow at the right hand side of the blue notification bar at the top of the screen. Clicking this arrow creates a drop down that gives the user access to a number of options relating to their account. Click on the ‘Settings’ option.
You will now be at your General Account Settings page. From here you can see the basic information that you have given Facebook, including your name and username, and navigate to various other areas using the navigation bar on the left hand side. For now, ignore the navigation bar and locate the small link that says ‘Download a copy of your Facebook data’. This should be at the bottom of the General Account Settings page.
You will reach a page that gives you a basic run-down of all of the information that will be downloaded from the website as part of your archive. Additionally, you will see a large ‘Start My Archive’ button near the centre of the screen. When you are ready to begin the download simply click this button and press OK on the notification that informs you that you will receive an email once the archive is complete and downloaded.
Now you simply need to wait for the download to complete before moving on to the next step. In some cases this can take a number of hours, but it really depends on the amount of information you have provided to Facebook during your time using the site.
Upon completion of your download you will receive the email that Facebook notified you about.
This will land in the inbox of the email account that you used to set up your Facebook account, which can be seen in the General Account Settings page mentioned in the second step of this guide.
Open the email and click the link that is provided to you inside. This will give you access to the full download, but you will need to enter your account password before you can proceed. When all the details are entered correctly press ‘Continue’.
A ‘Download Archive’ button should now be visible. Click this to download a Zip folder that contains all of the information downloaded. Once unzipped you will see that the folder is split into multiple sub-folders, breaking the data down into photos, posts and more.
Step by Step video – Download Your Facebook Profile
Watch this tutorial by for background information and step-by-step HowTo.
Important: Keeping a copy of your facebook data is also very important if you want to retrieve deleted facebook messages. Downloading your data at least twice a month will ensure you never lose any data.