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Facebook curates our lives, not just in our words but in the photos and videos we upload. If you want a record of your Facebook photos – whether you’re thinking of leaving the site or simply want your own copies – then we have some excellent news. It’s easy to download Facebook photos, including all of the images and videos you’ve ever uploaded to the site, in one ZIP file.
To begin, log into Facebook and navigate to the main menu (accessed via the downward-facing arrow in the top-right of the homepage). Click on Settings and, on the General Account Settings page that appears, there will be an option to “Download a copy of your Facebook data”.
Once you’ve clicked on the link, you will be asked to reenter your password as a security measure. After that, click the Start My Archive button and the message below will appear. There’s no way of picking and choosing what you’d like to download – you get the whole caboodle, including a list of your friends (and former friends), messages and even pokes.
You will also receive an email confirming that you’ve requested a copy of your data. Now’s the time to make yourself a nice cup of tea/coffee/Ovaltine/Bovril – it’ll take Facebook a few minutes (ten in my case) to pull everything together.
Download Facebook photos: What happen’s next
Once everything has been squashed into a ZIP, you will get the email below. Click the blue link at the bottom (which I’ve blurred out – better safe than sorry).
You will then be taken to the download page, where you should click the big green Download Archive button.
The download may take a few minutes (it is everything you’ve ever put on Facebook, after all). Once it’s done, unzip the file and head to the separate Photos folder inside. Here, divided into folders with seemingly meaningless numeric names, will be all of the photos you’ve added to the site.
Note that the “Photos of You” (i.e. the ones you’ve been tagged in) aren’t included as they technically belong to the person who uploaded them. To also get these, you can either use the laborious method of downloading them one by one – which, on the plus side, allows you to be discerning about what to save for posterity – or use one of the many Chrome extensions or pieces of software that claim to be able to download them in bulk. However, we can’t vouch for these tools and you should always be wary of entrusting your personal data to an unknown service.
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