In this article we will take a look at how you can easily backup and save all of your photographs that you have uploaded to Facebook as well as other information, like messages, videos and various settings you may have set. This is something that you should try to do every now and then, as most people will upload a lot of photographs over the years, and may not have them actually backed up anywhere else, except for on their Facebook profiles.
For example, you had years worth of images and family pictures stored safely at home on an external hard drive (or CD/DVD’s) which were suddenly lost due to the hard drive itself failing, making recovery of the data impossible. (damaged platter etc) In some cases, you may find yourself lucky though, as you may have quite a few copies of those treasured images stored online in places like Facebook, which you may have forgotten about; which is why this can be a good thing to do. This is also good to do if you are planning on completely deleting your Facebook account (not just deactivating it) which would result in those images being lost for good.
The process is actually fairly straightforward now (in Facebook’s early days, this was a big hassle to do) and shouldn’t take you very long to complete.
First, go to your Facebook Settings area and select Download a copy of your Facebook data, to start the process.
Next you will get the first of many notifications that will guide you through the process. To begin, click on Start My Archive.
Next you will get a message telling you that this may take a while to gather all the required data. For me personally it was pretty fast as I deleted my originally Facebook account, and have only had this one for a couple of years, and don’t use it that often. If you post to Facebook a lot, as well as upload a ton of images, this will of course take longer. Also, have your password to hand, as you will be asked to verify this as well for security purposes.
Next it will tell you where the link for the data archive (your Facebook data) will be sent to.
You will also get a notification on Facebook informing you that your data is ready for downloading.
Same as your Facebook notification, but via email as well. This will contain the link that you need to start downloading your information.
Select the relevant email and click on the unique link that you are given at the bottom of the email.
You will be directed back to Facebook, where you will see the Download Archive link. Click on that link, and have your password ready.
Enter your password and hit Submit.
That’s it. Your data will now start to download. As stated earlier, the size of this download will vary greatly depending on how often you use Facebook, and what you have uploaded to the site over the years.
Below, is an example of what my data looks like. Most users will get a HTML folder that will contain localised links to various images that are also included in the downloaded archive, as well as links to messages and other interesting information you had probably forgotten about over the years. Bear in mind that the CSS styles won’t be included when viewed on your local computer, meaning that it won’t have the same look and feel that it would have when viewed normally on the Facebook site.
Other HTM (html) links will include, Video’s, Security, Settings, Albums, (each one will have its own link) messages, wall posts etc.
All your albums and individual photographs, including your recent and older profile pictures will be stored in the Photo’s folder and will be stored in individual sub-folders. In my example below, they are given generic names as I really haven’t upload that may images since re-starting Facebook a couple of years ago, but when I did this process originally in 2012 it gave me 83 separate folders containing images from the many different albums that I had.
Well, that really all there is too it. Make sure that you back up the data somewhere safe, and preferably on more that one devices, so should one fail in the future, you will at least have another copy somewhere else.