How To Video
Download all your data from FacebookCNET's Josh Lowensohn walks you through how to use Facebook's new "download your information" feature.
-Hey! I'm Josh Lowensohn with cnet.com and I'm going to show you how to use Facebook's new download your information feature. It lets you grab an offline copy of everything you've ever sent to the social network including photos, videos, as well as your entire private message inbox and a list of events. To get started, log in to Facebook and head to the account button in the top right. Then, click on Account Settings. Near the bottom of the page, you'll see a Download your Information Setting and click on Learn More. Here, you'll be asked to reenter your Facebook password. If you're using a computer that you don't normally browse Facebook from, it will have you solve a CAPTCHA, too. The first time you ask for this information, Facebook needs a little bit of time to collect it for you. For us, this took about 10 minutes from hitting the download button to when it was actually ready to download. Facebook then sends you an e-mail link when the download link is ready. What you end up with is a file that unzips with a folder. For us, this was 270 megabytes, but it can be much larger or much smaller depending on how much media you've uploaded. Included in the folder are subfolders for your photos and one for videos as well as something called index.html which you can click on to view an offline version of your profile. This includes everything that's ever been posted to your wall, photo and video pages, a full list of friends, every event you ever RSVPed to, and the entirety of your private message inbox. For both the message inbox and the wall, you'll get everything that's ever been posted on one long page. This can be a little hard to parse. So if you feel like saving some time, use your browsers on-page search feature if it has one. Worth noting is that you'll get the original quality of the videos you uploaded even if they're on high definition. But that's not the case for photos, which are the same size as what you see on Facebook. This isn't a problem with the photos you made have uploaded since Facebook added support for high resolution shots, but it's something to keep in mind if you think you're going to get the originals back. Another thing to keep in mind is that there is a ton of personal information on this folder, and while Facebook has gone to great lengths to keep the wrong people from downloading it. Once you have it, it's a big unprotected jackpot of information. We recommend using the file level password protection that's built in to your machine. For more information on that, check out our other how-to's. I'm Josh Lowensohn and this has been a quick how-to on using Facebook's information downloader. For more, check out cnet.com.