How to download your Facebook data

With all the news about Facebook recently, you might be
wondering, what exactly does Facebook know about me from my
profile? Sure, you can peruse your profile online, but that
doesn’t tell the whole story. One way to see what Facebook has
on you is to download your Facebook data.

The ability to download your Facebook data isn’t really new,
but not many users know that you can do it. It only takes a few
minutes; how long depends on how big your data files are. Here
are the steps to download your Facebook data.

If you’ve decided that you want to leave Facebook completely,

here’s how to delete, disable, or limit your Facebook

Downloading your Facebook data

1. Go to your Facebook page and click on the downward-pointing
arrow at the top right corner of the page. It is located next
to the Quick Help (?) icon. Select Settings.

facebook settings menu

2. Go to the General Account Settings (it should go there by
default). Below the list that includes your Name, Username,
etc., look for the link that says, “Download a copy of your
Facebook data.” Click it.

facebook data download link

3. The next page that appears will have a “Download Your
Information” heading. Click the Start My Archive link.
You’ll then see a notification saying it may take a few minutes
to create your archive.

Facebook will send emails to the address you have in your
profile to let you know that your data was requested, and then
another email to notify you that your data is ready to

facebook data generating

4. Check your email for the download notification. It will have
a link you need to click. This is done to help make sure that
the data request is legitimate.

5. After you click the email link, your browser will go back to
Facebook’s Download Your Information page, but now there is a
Download Archive link. Click it to start the download process.

facebook download archive

6. A window will pop-up, asking for your Facebook password.
Enter it and click Submit to proceed.

7. The download will begin. The file size varies, depending on
how much information you have put in Facebook. The more active
you are, the bigger the download.

How to read your Facebook data

Facebook provides your data as a local mini website. All the
files are in a folder, and if you open the folder, you’ll see
an index.htm file. Open it, and it will launch in your browser.

facebook data profile IDG

The first page that opens is your Profile page, which gives you
a summary of your personal information on Facebook. Click on
any of the links below your profile picture to see what else is
in your Facebook data. Some points of interests you might want
to check out sooner than later:

  • Messages has a history of all the Messenger
    messages you’ve ever had. Even if you didn’t respond to a
    message, it’s in there.
  • Security displays when you were on Facebook.
  • Ads shows what Facebook ads you clicked on
    and what advertisers have your contact info.
  • Applications shows a list of what apps and
    services are using in conjunction with Facebook.

If you see information you want to change or get rid of, you
can’t edit any of this information through the archive. You
have to do it through your Facebook account.

This story, “How to download your Facebook data” was originally
published by PCWorld


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