How To Download Your Facebook Photo Archive

How To Download Your Facebook Photo Archive

Even if you’re not ‘quitting Facebook,’ it’s a great idea to periodically download your data and take back ownership of your photos and videos.

The process is similar to downloading your Instagram assets but more robust to encompass all the different types of data collected. You can do this on desktop or mobile but the resulting file can be very large file, from 100-200MB for an occasional user to several gigabytes for regular users.



On Mobile:

  1. Click the Settings menu > Settings & Privacy > Privacy Shortcuts.
  2. Under the heading, “Your Facebook Information,” select “Access your information.”
  3. Look for the “download your information” link and check mark the types of data that you want to harvest.

On Desktop:

  1. Click the small blue arrow to reveal the menu.
  2. Click Settings.
  3. Then click My Facebook Information in the left column and look for the Download Your Information heading in the right column.
  4. Check mark the categories you’d like
  5. Click Create File.
  6. Once the file is ready you’ll come back to this same location to download it.

A couple of caveats to consider. First, Facebook hasn’t always saved full-resolution versions of the photos you upload so while your downloaded collection might make for a handsome album, you shouldn’t consider it the master collection. Copies of the same images saved offline will usually be higher quality.

Second, you’ll notice that filenames are randomized and the file creation date will be the day you downloaded them. Other metadata, like location, may also have been stripped in the storage and download process. On the bright side, comments and other activity are still nearby in accompanying folders. Keeping this structure in tact is a good idea if you plan to upload this archive to any other services to make books or videos from your Facebook archives.

The real fun begins when bring your new Facebook archive to us. You’ll be amazed what we can make IRL!

How To Download Your Instagram Photo Archive

How to Download Your Instagram Photo Archive

You may never have expected your Instagram account to be such a valued keeper of memories. Intended or not, it could be home to many of your best shots and thoughts. So, what if you want them back? The method is pretty simple. And periodically archiving your digital activity is a good practice to keep even you’re not planning to jump ship.

Instagram provides a tool that takes care of all the heavy lifting and emails the results to you.

You can start the process from mobile or desktop by navigating to the settings (gear) icon in your account. Here’s a shortcut

Once there, enter the email address associated with the account that you’d like archived. It doesn’t have to be the account that you’re logged into but you’ll need the password for the specified account next.

That’s it! Allow up to 48 hours for Instagram servers to process your request and watch for an email containing the download link. Most users receive it within the hour. Just don’t miss it, because you only have four days to download the archive before the link expires, and you can only access it via the link in the email, not through your account settings.

After downloading, extract the .zip file and you’ll find your photos and videos sorted by month.

Because Instagram is photo-centric, it’s the best platform to start with, but the process for Facebook and Google is similar.