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How to download Facebook photos

facebook cameraFacebook is kind of a big deal when it comes to sharing photos, and why wouldn’t it be? The social networking site pretty much gives users free reign over their images while providing a free cloud-based hub from which to share them with the rest of the world. With more than 300 million photos uploaded to the social networking site daily, Facebook has become one of biggest online photo directories on the planet. So let’s be honest, chances are you’ve probably uploaded a picture or two.

However, there are several options for saving your photos elsewhere should you decide to delete your account permanently or sever your ties with the online giant for the time being. Below are the two best options for downloading your pics for offline use or to share them using other online services.

Using Facebook

Facebook makes it a snap to download all of your precious photos right from your account settings. Unfortunately, the service only allows you to download a copy of all your Facebook data — photos, posts, friends, the whole nine yards — and there is currently no option to single out any specific type of content. It’s still a great method if you’re looking to bypass extra software, browser extensions, and the like.

Step 1: Access your Account Settings and download options.

Click the small gear icon in the upper right-hand corner of your Facebook homepage and choose Account Settings from the drop-down menu. Then click Download a copy of your Facebook data at the bottom left-hand corner of the page to be redirected to your download options.

Facebook Account Settings

Step 2: Choose the archive type.

Facebook gives you two options when it comes to downloading your personal data: the default primary archive or an expanded archive.

The primary archive, sometimes referred to as “downloaded info,” includes various timeline information such as posts, messages, photos, and a few other tidbits. The primary archive is the most basic choice for downloading all of your photos. Simply click the Start My Archive button to begin the process.

The expanded archive includes everything from the primary archive with some technical additions such as cookies, ads clicked, and a host of other information you most likely can do without. Click the expanded archive link in the middle of the download page to access the expanded archive options, re-enter your password, and click Start My Archive from the popup window.

Facebook Photo Archive Type

Step 3: Wait.

Pending button will appear on the download page while Facebook generates your personal archive.  The site will send you an email when the archive is ready, so feel free to leave the page and peruse the Internet. The process can take a decent chunk of time depending on how much data you have (especially photos). The bigger the archive, the longer the wait. Sit tight.

Photo pending

Step 4: Download the archive.

You will receive an email from Facebook when your personal archive is ready for download. Click the accompanying link or access the download page again from the General Settings when you’re ready to download the file. Then re-renter your password  one last time and click the green Download Archive button to download all of your information as a .zip file.

Step 5: Check out your photos!

Open the .zip file — aptly titled after your name — and click the photos folder to access JPEG versions of all your Facebook photos. The archive even categorizes the photos by album for greater clarity and navigation. Oh the memories.

facebook photos

Next Page: How to download your Facebook photos using Pick & Zip

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