Download Your Entire Facebook History With The New Data Downloader

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FacebookLogo2   Download Your Entire Facebook History With The New Data DownloaderSince everybody went a bit crazy about Facebook‘s iron grip on your personal data (myself included) the team have been hard at work improving their current system.

Now it is possible to download every single bit of information you have put on Facebook, including pictures, status updates, events and messages. This is undoubtedly the control many users have been looking for, and provides a nice “grab and go” option for those fed up with the service.

The feature should have rolled out to most accounts by now, but if it’s still not working for you then you’ll just have to be patient and wait your turn.

Why Do I Want All That Data?

Maybe you’re just fed up with Facebook. You’ve been using the service for years and have watched it transform from a useful tool for organising parties into a popularity contest for the under 15’s. You want to jump ship.

Well now you can do that, except before you jump you can pack up all your data and download your Facebook history. Once you’ve found a suitable alternative, like the developing Diaspora, you can simply upload the data you once shared on Facebook. It’s also useful if you’ve ever wanted to give your Facebook account a facelift and remove all the pictures you don’t want your boss/gran to see (without losing them forever, although you should have backed them up really).

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I just enjoyed looking at old status updates to be honest.

Download Instructions

You’ll find instructions to download the data in your Account Settings page. Once you’ve logged into your Facebook account click Account and then choose Account Settings from the drop-down menu.

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On the first page of settings (cleverly titled Settings) you should notice a new option beneath Account Security that says Download your information. Click on learn more to lodge your request.

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On the next screen click Download and you will be notified that for your data to be collected, you’ll need to be patient and wait for Facebook’s servers to complete the request. If you’re a bit of a Facebook addict this will probably take longer, but the download should be ready within the hour.

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Once you’ve done that it’s a case of sitting back and waiting for the email.

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Ding! Data’s Done

Once your .ZIP file is piping hot and golden brown on the surface it’s ready. Facebook should have emailed you a link to download the data, I received mine within 15 minutes of making the request it and the file was a surprising 62MB (I expected it to be bigger).

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With your .ZIP downloaded you’ll then want to extract it. You’ll notice that it’s separated into a few folders: html, pictures and videos as well as a index.html and readme file.

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The index.html file provides a handy way to browse the data in offline mode, from the comfort of your browser. You’re also free to go nuts and dive right into each folder, especially handy if you’re after a specific picture.

Your wall has essentially been preserved as it is seen on Facebook’s website, give or take the odd bit of info. Everything has been collated into one massively long HTML file, which can take a while to process.

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Images have been subjected to Facebook’s processing and if they were uploaded prior to their recent shake-up of photo standards then you’ll find them disappointingly small, but suitable for sharing on other sites. Videos I’d previously shared were all in .FLV format, and appeared to be their original resolution (although I’ve not uploaded any HD content).

Conclusion

If I’m honest it’s nice to be able to take a trip down memory lane and see what you were up to a few years ago without the problems Facebook’s website repeatedly experiences. The data downloader gives you fast access to anything you’ve ever put on Facebook, and if you’re planning on shutting your account any time soon, don’t leave without grabbing your archive first.

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44 Comments - Write a Comment

Reply

Prastie

how do we restore it ?

Tim Brookes

Unfortunately you can’t restore anything with it. It’s just a download for your own personal collection, just in case you want it! Whether services will implement a restore feature for the data remains to be seen.

Primal303

Speaking of restore feature. In the Privacy Policy, Section 7, there is this line “Backup copies. Removed and deleted information may persist in backup copies for up to 90 days, but will not be available to others.”. There is also a Personal Data Requests form which I am trying to use at the moment but getting stuck on the “Please cite the law under which you are requesting data.”. I live in Canada and am currently researching which I can use but any help would be appreciated.

Reply

Dick

What do I do with it? Can I delete any of it?

Tim Brookes

You can do whatever you want with the data you download.

In terms of deleting the data – you can put in a request to close your Facebook account which would make the data disappear (but Facebook probably don’t delete it).

Nimesh

Facebook will just deactivate the account which you can reactivate.
The time by when the facebook will actually delete the account is a very big question.

Reply

Guest

Does this show all old deleted messages etc as well?

Tim Brookes

Not that I could see on mine!

Reply

anon

can I download all data and posts from a group which I am creator ???

thank you very much for answering

Reply

anon

can I download all data and posts from a group which I am creator ???

thank you very much for answering

Tim Brookes

No, I don’t believe that you can. There was no group data in my download.

Reply

Tim Brookes

You can do whatever you want with the data you download.

In terms of deleting the data – you can put in a request to close your Facebook account which would make the data disappear (but Facebook probably don’t delete it).

Reply

venkat

Facebook’s answer to why download option for data is when Facebook user’s hard drive crash this option will be handy.

Reply

toon see

IS there a way to recover the same for a disabled account ?

Tim Brookes

If you have disabled your account then I think you’ll be able to re-enable it and then download the data.

If you’ve permanently closed your account then probably not, no!

tripped over

now it’s deactivate . so how can i re-enable or disable th account ?

Reply

Tim Brookes

If you have disabled your account then I think you’ll be able to re-enable it and then download the data.

If you’ve permanently closed your account then probably not, no!

Reply

Missm1313

Just want to be certain of something: if I do download this, will it erase it all on my Facebook profile? Will I lose everything I’ve put on my profile?
Thanks!

Reply

Missm1313

Just want to be certain of something: if I do download this, will it erase it all on my Facebook profile? Will I lose everything I’ve put on my profile?
Thanks!

Tim Brookes

No, you won’t lose anything on Facebook’s website. The download is simply an offline copy of all online data.

Once you’ve downloaded your Facebook account will be just as it was before.

Missm1313

Thank you, sir!

Dave

yeah, it gets rid of everything

Reply

Tim Brookes

No, you won’t lose anything on Facebook’s website. The download is simply an offline copy of all online data.

Once you’ve downloaded your Facebook account will be just as it was before.

Reply

Tilman

Does the download include any information of friends that I have in my Facebook account? At least a list of all names or something. Would be cool if email addresses were included, as well!

Nimesh

Only the names are displayed currently, but you can export email address using yahoo or other service which has access to facebook’s address book.

Reply

Makwa5xneesh

If i were to download today and again in say 2 years,will it download everything or just from where i DL’d today?
Thank You.

Reply

Makwa5xneesh

If i were to download today and again in say 2 years,will it download everything or just from where i DL’d today?
Thank You.

Tim Brookes

I’m fairly sure it just downloads everything, every time.

Reply

Nimesh

Facebook will just deactivate the account which you can reactivate.
The time by when the facebook will actually delete the account is a very big question.

Reply

Justan Oldfart

Your Sourcebits ad and Geeks T Shirts ad both take you to SourceBits when clicked.

Reply

TLW

Tim, I have you on a to do list. I’m supposed to come back and thank you for this. I shared the technique with a huge group of people. They all thank you as well. Many of us are considering leaving FaceBook just cuzz they sometimes, well, suck :) There, I said it out and now I can scratch you off of my to do list :)

Reply

Doubt the Facebook

If they can retrieve all that info why not provide to us the opportunity to delete all of it?????

Reply

tripped over

This helped heaps! and… Mine was 292MB . ! 0.0 shocked haha!

Reply

TRS

does this download chat sessions as well?

Reply

Guest.L

I’ve downloaded the information from my account, but i’ve only go my inbox and sent messages from the download.
Why has it not retrieved my deleted messages too?

Somebody please help!

Reply

Guest.L

I’ve downloaded the information from my account, but i’ve only go my inbox and sent messages from the download.
Why has it not retrieved my deleted messages too?

Somebody please help!

Tim Brookes

I think once your messages are deleted, you’re unable to retrieve them. Sorry!

Reply

Angry Bird

Thank you for providing this information, MUO. This will be a great resource for when I finally decide to kill my page.

Reply

Jaycer17

So let’s see if I get this: I’m might shut down my account for at least a very long time (yeah, real specific), not permanently. With this data, will I be able to upload it again?

Tim Brookes

If you just deactivate your account everything will disappear but still be stored by Facebook. I think you need to then make a request for them to properly delete your account.

If you disabled your account and then re-enabled it sometime in the future then technically everything should still be there from when you shut it off.

I don’t think there’s any way of re-uploading this data to a new account, at least there’s no way to do it yet!

Reply

Tim Brookes

If you just deactivate your account everything will disappear but still be stored by Facebook. I think you need to then make a request for them to properly delete your account.

If you disabled your account and then re-enabled it sometime in the future then technically everything should still be there from when you shut it off.

I don’t think there’s any way of re-uploading this data to a new account, at least there’s no way to do it yet!

Reply

Guest

People,
This does not delete any data from your profile. It does not remove anything. It simply generates a COPY of all of the data and gives it to you to download.

Lets say you lost all of the photos you had on your computer, but you had put them onto Facebook to share with everyone. You can use this Download option within FB to download your entire FB history, which will include those photos so you can have a copy on your computer again. (For people with thousands of pictures, this is a quick/easy way to retrieve those photos)

Reply

Guest

People,
This does not delete any data from your profile. It does not remove anything. It simply generates a COPY of all of the data and gives it to you to download.

Lets say you lost all of the photos you had on your computer, but you had put them onto Facebook to share with everyone. You can use this Download option within FB to download your entire FB history, which will include those photos so you can have a copy on your computer again. (For people with thousands of pictures, this is a quick/easy way to retrieve those photos)

Reply

Facebook Development

Fine information. Thanks so much, have a good day!

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