Today Facebook is rolling out two new updates. One of them is concerning user groups, and the other is a feature that will allow you to download ALL of your user data. It reminds me of a lot of filing for Discovery when you are fighting a court case, you get a copy of all the dirt that the prosecution has on you. In this case, you get to see exactly what Facebook knows about you.
The process of downloading your data isn’t difficult, but just like deleting your Facebook account they’ve decided to make it obscure and hypocritical as annoyingly possible. When you download a copy of your Facebook data, it will come in a .zip formatted archive. Windows can easily extract this with its built in software, or you can use a program like 7-zip or WinRar.
Note: This article has been updated to reflect the changes of the Facebook user interface.
How To Download All of Your Facebook DataFrom your Facebook account go into your Account Settings.
Then under General Account Settings, click the “Download a Copy” link.
On the next screen click the Download Archive button. Then it will prompt you to type in your Facebook password again.
After entering your password the second time, you’ll get a message that the archive is requested and an email will be sent when it’s ready to download.
At this point you will have to play the waiting game. The amount of time that Facebook takes to put together your download can vary. For some it will be instant, but for others it could take several hours or days. I think it may have something to do with how many videos or photos you have uploaded to your account. Just keep checking your email periodically until it shows up.
Eventually, the email should show up in your inbox with the title “Your download is ready.” Click the link in your email that is provided by the Facebook team.
As is always important: Check and be sure that the link you clicked in your email really took you to Facebook.com. With all of the Phishing scams out there, I can imagine this new download feature will start up a new chain of password stealing sites that send out copy-cat emails.
Then download the zip file of the data from your Facebook profile to a convenient and secure location on your computer.
This is your all Facebook data. After getting your archive, you’ll be surprised at how much of your browsing history, friend requests, and other personal information and information of your friends is included!
Here’s a look at our Editor-in-Chief’s Facebook archive. Notice how much information it includes. Then when you look deeper into each file, it gets even creepier.
If that freaks you out and you’d rather not be part of the social network, check out our article: