How to Save a Copy of your Facebook data

Did you know that you can download and save a copy of all the information you’ve posted to Facebook?  Well you can and I’m going to walk your through the steps.

Find an updated version of this post at Be Web Smart.

Why Download your Facebook Data?

  1. Backup for photos that you might have uploaded directly from your phone but haven’t yet synched to computer.
  2. Quick review of what you’ve posted to date (if you see something you now regret, go to your Wall and delete!)
  3. Take control of your digital data.  Facebook gives us a way so might as well take advantage of it.  And if you ever decide to delete your account, you’ll still have all the data you posted.

Okay Let’s Do it!

Go to Home – Account Settings.  In small tiny print near the bottom notice the link “Download a copy” of your Facebook data. Read the page to find out what’s in the archive.  Learn more at this link: https://www.facebook.com/help/?topic=download

Ready to Start? Click Start My Archive.

Depending on how long you’ve been on Facebook and how much stuff you’ve shared it could take a while – you will see this alert
Request Download of Your Facebook Data

Again, click Start My Archive.

Processing begins and you are informed that you will receive an e-mail when your archive is ready.  Click Okay.

You can browse away from the page at this point.  You don’t have to leave Facebook open so go do other things – have a cup of coffee, clean your room, practice hand-stands, whatever.

Interestingly, I never did receive an e-mail saying my archive was ready the first time I tried this.  I even looked in my spam folder and didn’t see anything. I checked back on Facebook about 4 hours later (Menu – Account Settings) and found that my archive was ready to download.  The second time I tried this, I did receive an e-mail about 2 hours later.

Anyway, if you do receive an e-mail, just click the link to proceed.  If not, go back to the page where you requested the download.  Enter your Facebook password at the prompt and click Continue.

Click the button to download your archive.  You’ll see how large a file you have.  Mine was 14MB. Save the zip file to your computer.

Review the Archive

You’ll unzip and find a folder.  Click inside and find two sub-folders, a readme.txt and a index.html file.  Double-click the index.html file and you’ll have your own personal mini-version of your Facebook experience, view-able only on your computer.  From here you can review your profile information, Wall, photos, friends and messages. If you see anything here that you wish was not available on Facebook, go and delete it!

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