Facebook recently announced that it has two billion monthly users — and yes, that’s billion with a “b” — making it by far the largest social network on the planet. To put that in perspective, there’s only about 7.5 billion people, period, which means over one quarter of the entire world is on Facebook. So, there’s a really good chance you have a Facebook account, and if you have a Facebook account there’s an equally good chance you have years and years of photos, videos, posts, and memories that you’d hate to lose. Here’s how to download every single thing you’ve ever posted to Facebook, all at once.
Facebook makes it incredibly easy to download everything you’ve ever put on its site. The company calls it simply your “Facebook data,” but what it really is is an archive of your entire social media life, complete with every post, message, photo and video you’ve ever posted there. There’s plenty of great reasons why you might want to download your Facebook info, including:
- Saving all your photos and videos locally, so you can enjoy them without an internet connection.
- Reliving memories without having to shuffle through pages and pages of your Facebook profile.
- Hanging on to all your past posts if you ever decide to delete your Facebook account.
- Checking out just how much Facebook has learned about you over the years.
- Just for fun!
It’s a super simple process, but it can take a bit for Facebook to actually prepare your entire archive. To get started, click the upper right corner of your Facebook page to bring up the menu, then click “Settings.”
From the main “General Account Settings” page, look all the way at the bottom of the list to find a link labeled “Download a copy of your Facebook data.” Click it, then click “Start My Archive.”
You’ll be prompted for your password — a handy safety feature to keep pesky hackers from stealing your entire digital identity — so enter it and click “Submit.” You’ll get a notice that says it’ll take some time to gather all your posts and media, so click “Start My Archive” and if everything went smoothly you’ll see a notice that says “Download Requested.”
Now, Facebook will put everything you’ve ever posted on the site into a simple downloadable file and then send a link to your email address to download it. Depending on how long you’ve been on Facebook (and how many selfies you upload every Saturday night) it could take hours or even days for your link to show up, but when it does you can click it, download the folder, and then browse all your precious social media posts right from your desktop.