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Home Facebook Related Why You Should Download a Copy of Your Facebook Information (And How to Do It)

Why You Should Download a Copy of Your Facebook Information (And How to Do It)

by Brett M. Christensen

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

If you are a Facebook user, there is likely to be information on your profile that you wouldn’t want to lose.

For many of us, Facebook has rather insidiously, and over many years, become ever more tightly integrated into our daily lives. We share a lot of ourselves on the platform. Photographs and videos, comments, messages, friends lists, events. Meaningful conversations and treasured memories.

We put our trust in Facebook to keep our data safe and secure. Often without a second thought. But, given the company’s sorry history of privacy violations and security breaches, and the utterly contemptible way that it treats its users, that trust is no doubt misplaced.
Even if we are vigilant, there is always a chance that ex-friends or partners, online criminals, or other malcontents could hijack our accounts and we could be locked out and unable to view or retrieve our data. Supposedly, Facebook can help you regain control of a compromised account. But, over the years. I’ve heard from plenty of people who have never been able to get back into their hacked accounts.

And, of course, a major systems meltdown could occur that resulted in lost data for at least some users. Given the number of minor glitches that plague Facebook, such a meltdown would not be all that surprising.

Moreover, at the risk of being a little morbid, the Grim Reaper could be lurking just around the corner for any one of us. We could unexpectedly die or become permanently incapacitated. Our friends and loved ones may want to retrieve our information for posterity. But, they may not be able to access our Facebook accounts and, given Facebook’s often abysmal levels of support for its hapless users, it’s entirely possible they may never manage to do so.

So, it’s a good idea to download a full copy of your Facebook information, store it in a safe place, and let those close to you know how to access it if the need arises.

You can choose to download your information in either HTML or JSON format. HTML allows you to view your information in a web browser or other compatible software. JSON allows you to transfer or import your data into another service or programmatically interact with it in various ways.

If all you require is a backup copy of your Facebook information, HTML is the best option. But, it’s probably worthwhile to download both versions just in case your requirements change in the future.

Note that the following instructions describe accessing Facebook from a computer web browser. The file download option will likely not be available if you are using Facebook on a mobile device or via an app.

Here’s how to create your download file:

1: Click on the down arrow located at the top right beside the “Quick Help” icon and click “Settings” in the drop-down menu:

Download Facebook Data 1

2: In “Your Facebook Information” click “Download a copy of your Facebook information to keep, or to transfer to another service”:

Download Facebook Data 2

3: Choose the date range, format, and media quality for your download. The page will select all of your information by default. However, if you want to exclude some types of information, you can uncheck the boxes in the “Your Information” section. When you are ready, click the “Create File” button:

Download Facebook Data 3

4: After the file has been created, you will receive a notification from Facebook to inform you that the download is ready. You may also receive a Facebook email with a link to the download file:

Download Facebook Data 5

5: You can then download the file from the “Available Files” tab on the Download Your Information” Page:

Download Facebook data 5

When you click the “Download” button, you’ll be prompted to enter your Facebook password. You’ll then be able to download the file in .zip format.

And that’s it! Remember to keep your backup files in a safe and secure place. And, create new copies from time to time to keep your backups current.


Importance Notice

After considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.

These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.

Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.

And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.

When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.

I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.

A Big Thank You

I would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.

I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.

Closing Date

Hoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.

Thank you, one and all!

Brett Christensen,