Download Your Facebook Archive

October 10, 2011, By Christian Cawley

How much personal data do you store on Facebook?

More and more of us are keeping sole copies of contact details and photographs uploaded from mobile phones on our Facebook account, something which could lead to disappointment should Facebook become unavailable for any reason (there are several scenarios in which this might occur, incidentally).

In order to get around this problem and to enable users to keep a copy of their uploaded data, Facebook offers an archive facility. Using this, you can download all of your Facebook data to your computer and store it to disk. Alternatively, you might upload it to an alternative social networking site.

This is a great way to stay in control of the data that you upload, although you should be aware that your archive will only contain information that you have provided…

Download Your Facebook Archive

What’s In the Facebook Archive?

It would be great if the Facebook archive would contain every single thing you’re done on Facebook, from game scores back to your very first comment, but sadly that isn’t the case. The reasons for this are simple – the archive contains your data, not that of other people, so if you commented on a friend’s status or photo then the information will not be available to you. Naturally all of your own photos are available, along with videos you’ve shared, wall posts, messages and chat conversations as well as friends names and any unblocked email addresses.

However, you won’t see photos and status updates for your friends, personal information or comments that you have made on other people’s posts. This makes perfect sense, really, as you shouldn’t expect to gain access to any of these things.

Before proceeding, do understand that the archive contains personal information. As such you should be aware that it will need to be stored somewhere secure.

Where Do I Download My Facebook Archive

Recent changes to Facebook have made it easier to find and download your Facebook archive. To begin, make sure that you are signed into Facebook, and then in the top-right corner click the down arrow and select Account Settings.

At the bottom of the list of options you should see the option Download a copy of your Facebook data, so click this to view the Download your information page. Click Start my archive to proceed – this will lead to a popup box that advises you that it may take some time for your data to be collected. Click Start my archive again – Facebook will then inform you that an email will be sent when your data is ready.

Obviously this can take some time, and the results could be quite bulky, so make sure you have somewhere to save the data to. When you have received the email you will find a link – click this and then enter your Facebook password. The data will then begin to download in Zip format, and once this data is extracted you will be able to view your Facebook archive on your computer via a Facebook style webpage interface!

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