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download facebook historySince everybody went a bit crazy about Facebook 6 Reasons I Hate Facebook [Geeks Weigh-In] 6 Reasons I Hate Facebook [Geeks Weigh-In] Read More ‘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 Diaspora Preview - All You Need to Know About the New "Open Source Facebook" Diaspora Preview - All You Need to Know About the New "Open Source Facebook" Read More , 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 How To Keep Your Private Facebook Info Safe From Not So Close Facebook Friends How To Keep Your Private Facebook Info Safe From Not So Close Facebook Friends Read More (without losing them forever, although you should have backed them up really The Best Free Backup Software for your PC The Best Free Backup Software for your PC Read More ).

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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.

download facebook history

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.

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.

save facebook history

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).

save facebook history

With your .ZIP downloaded you’ll then want to extract it 7Zip - A Free Program to Unzip Uncommon Archive Formats 7Zip - A Free Program to Unzip Uncommon Archive Formats Read More . You’ll notice that it’s separated into a few folders: html, pictures and videos as well as a index.html and readme file.

save facebook history

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.

download facebook history

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 The 5 Best Open-Source Social Networking Software The 5 Best Open-Source Social Networking Software Read More . Videos I’d previously shared were all in .FLV format FLV Converter - A Freeware to Convert FLV Videos to AVI FLV Converter - A Freeware to Convert FLV Videos to AVI Read More , and appeared to be their original resolution (although I’ve not uploaded any HD content 5 Easy-to-use Freeware Video Converters 5 Easy-to-use Freeware Video Converters Read More ).

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.

  1. Los
    April 3, 2016 at 1:41 am

    I can't find where on phone to download info.?

    • Tim Brookes
      April 4, 2016 at 2:05 am

      You can't do it from a phone, you'll need to login from a regular web browser and do it on your computer (it's a .ZIP file).

  2. Linnea
    December 3, 2015 at 10:41 pm

    I forgot that I have a different e-mail now. The e-mail I used when I created my Facebook account was hacked one year ago, so I have not been able to log in to that e-mail account. But now when I clicked the download button, they said that they will send me an e-mail. But like I said, I don't have access to my e-mail because it was hacked. I dont´'t think those hackers are on my e-mail anymore, but I'm scared that if they are, they can download all my Facebook information because of this. Is there something I can do for this downloading to now download to my e-mail?

  3. Lik
    April 1, 2015 at 8:58 am

    My archive contains only a last few months of the wall posts, not the whole history... What to do?

  4. alan ani
    February 6, 2015 at 3:27 pm

    My account was deasabled automaticaly.and i serch my account.but i could cant find my account.but some times i was find my account.and the fb says.check gmail yahoo ..and in my gmail account facebook send send my ID(license/passport...) but i old 16.but in my fb account my date of birth was above 18(i was forgotten dateof birth) i have not lisence or anything.what will i do.i want my account pls help me sir

  5. Facebook Development
    January 18, 2011 at 7:03 am

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

  6. Guest
    December 29, 2010 at 8:15 pm

    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)

  7. Guest
    December 29, 2010 at 9:15 pm

    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)

  8. Tim Brookes
    November 29, 2010 at 11:45 am

    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!

  9. Jaycer17
    November 29, 2010 at 1:39 am

    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
      November 29, 2010 at 10:45 am

      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!

  10. Angry Bird
    November 26, 2010 at 8:15 pm

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

  11. Guest.L
    November 23, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    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
      November 23, 2010 at 2:04 pm

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

  12. Guest.L
    November 23, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    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!

  13. TRS
    November 19, 2010 at 4:03 pm

    does this download chat sessions as well?

  14. tripped over
    November 19, 2010 at 3:54 pm

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

  15. Doubt the Facebook
    November 18, 2010 at 12:36 am

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

  16. TLW
    November 17, 2010 at 7:34 pm

    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 :)

  17. Justan Oldfart
    November 17, 2010 at 9:25 pm

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

  18. Nimesh
    November 17, 2010 at 6:11 pm

    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.

  19. Makwa5xneesh
    November 17, 2010 at 4:05 pm

    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
      November 17, 2010 at 4:43 pm

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

  20. Makwa5xneesh
    November 17, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    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.

  21. Tilman
    November 17, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    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
      November 17, 2010 at 5:13 pm

      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.

  22. Tim Brookes
    November 16, 2010 at 11:18 am

    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.

  23. Missm1313
    November 15, 2010 at 7:11 pm

    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
      November 16, 2010 at 10:18 am

      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
        November 16, 2010 at 7:49 pm

        Thank you, sir!

    • Dave
      January 5, 2011 at 3:22 am

      yeah, it gets rid of everything

  24. Missm1313
    November 15, 2010 at 8:11 pm

    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!

  25. Tim Brookes
    November 14, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    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!

  26. toon see
    November 14, 2010 at 6:51 am

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

    • Tim Brookes
      November 14, 2010 at 11:58 am

      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
        November 19, 2010 at 4:03 pm

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

  27. venkat
    November 14, 2010 at 5:59 am

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

  28. Tim Brookes
    November 14, 2010 at 2:30 am

    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).

  29. anon
    November 13, 2010 at 1:26 am

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

    thank you very much for answering

    • Tim Brookes
      November 14, 2010 at 1:36 am

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

  30. anon
    November 13, 2010 at 2:26 am

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

    thank you very much for answering

  31. Guest
    November 12, 2010 at 9:13 pm

    Does this show all old deleted messages etc as well?

    • Tim Brookes
      November 14, 2010 at 1:35 am

      Not that I could see on mine!

  32. Dick
    November 12, 2010 at 5:45 pm

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

    • Tim Brookes
      November 14, 2010 at 1:30 am

      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
        November 17, 2010 at 5:11 pm

        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.

  33. Prastie
    November 12, 2010 at 1:14 pm

    how do we restore it ?

    • Tim Brookes
      November 14, 2010 at 1:29 am

      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
        December 9, 2010 at 11:05 am

        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.

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