Following a European court decision, Facebook recently upgraded the feature that allows users to download an archive of their personal data. The archive option has been available since 2010 and includes photos, videos, and messages, among other information. The new expanded archive also contains login and logout details, information about the so-called data or tracking cookies, and more.
Read on to learn how you can download your Facebook archive and what exactly it contains.
The Background Story
Facebook’s archive feature is owed to Max Schrems, an Austrian law student, who requested a copy of his data saved by the social network. Facebook sent him a CD that contained over a thousand pages. Shocked by the extent of personal information collected by Facebook, Schrems launched Europe vs. Facebook and animated ten of thousands of users to request a copy of their saved data from Facebook.
This eventually forced Facebook to introduce the archive feature in 2010. However, not satisfied with the data offered by the archive option, Schrems filed several complaints with the Data Protection Commissioner in Ireland, which led to the recent upgrade.
How To Download Your Data
- To download your data, log into Facebook, then click the little arrow in the top right and select Account Settings.
- In the bottom left of your General Account Settings find the line of text that says Download a copy of your Facebook data and click the link.
- This will take you to the page where you can download your archive. You can click the big green Start My Archive button but this will only download the regular archive. To download the expanded archive, which contains additional information, find the respective link towards the bottom of the description.
- To initiate the download of an archive, you have to confirm with your password. After your archive is started, Facebook will be working to create it and email you once it is ready for download.
What Is Included In The Archives?
You can select between two types of archives – the default archive and the expanded archive. The information contained in each of these is pre-determined by Facebook and cannot be customized. The following information is taken directly from the Facebook Help Center.
The regular archive contains the following information:
- Your profile (timeline) information, e.g. your contact information, interests and groups.
- Wall (timeline) posts and content that you and your friends have posted to your profile (timeline).
- Photos and videos that you have uploaded to your account.
- Your friend list.
- Notes you have created.
- Events to which you have RSVP’d.
- Your sent and received messages.
- Any comments that you and your friends have made on your Wall (timeline) posts, photos, and other profile (timeline) content.
The expanded archive additionally contains this information:
- IP addresses: Any IP addresses we have stored.
- Login information: A list of the logins we have stored.
- Log out information: The IP addresses from which you logged out.
- Pending friend requests: Friend requests you sent and friend requests you received but haven’t accepted or denied.
- Account status changes: Dates when your account was reactivated, deactivated, disabled or deleted.
- Poke information: Information about the pokes you’ve exchanged.
- Events information: Events you accepted, declined, and responded maybe to.
- Other profile (timeline) information:- The mobile phone numbers you’ve added to your account- Your city and hometown- The names of the family members you’ve listed on your account- Your relationship information.
- A list of the languages you’ve added to your profile.
- A history of any changes you’ve made to the name on your account.
What the archives do not contain:
- Comments you made on another user profile (timeline) or page.
- A list of posts or pages you have liked.
- Facebook app information.
We have previously shown you alternatives to downloading your data from Facebook:
- How To Download All Facebook Photos With Your Tag
- Pick & Zip – The Fastest Way To Download Facebook Photos
- How To Get Photos From Facebook Into Google Plus [Mac & Windows]
Do you trust Facebook with your private pictures and videos? Have you ever seen the need to download an archive and what did you discover?