Skip to main content

What you can export from Facebook and how

unlock facebookHot on the heels of the overnight success that is Google+, Facebook has been shutting down exporting tools left and right. The site’s taken a beaten for this, and been labeled as trying to keep a iron-clad grip on your data – which it definitely is and probably should. But that doesn’t make it any less frustrating as a user to know that for the most part, you aren’t able to quickly and easily transfer the data you’ve accrued from one social networking profile to another.

While few tools will remain for this specific purpose, there are a few workarounds you can use if you want to pull information from Facebook – which some privacy advocates would advise you to do.

Download your info

Facebook downloadFacebook isn’t the most helpful when it comes to pushing information to another social networking site – in fact, it’s the least helpful. But if you want your Facebook-created data for keeps, there is an option provided on the site. Under your account settings, there’s a link prompting you to download your information. Keywords: Your information. Anything you’ve ever shared on the site will be included – and nothing more. Facebook’s policy specifically says you can’t take anything created by another user. Also important to note is the fact that you can’t pick and choose what you download: Just want photos? Wall posts? Too bad, it’s all or nothing. If we’re being cynical, we’d say this is to dissuade users from doing it.

Tagged photos

PhotoGrabberPhotoGrabber is a useful application that will pull all the pictures you’ve ever been tagged in. Why would you need copies?  There are plenty of situations in which they would become unavailable to you: If you deactivate your account but still want access to friends’ photos you’re in, if a friend makes all their photos private, if someone shuts down their Facebook account…etc. Or, of course, if you want to grab all those tagged images at once instead of downloading them one at a time and move them on over to, oh say, Google+ (don’t worry, we won’t tell). PhotoGrabber will pull all images (unless protected from third party apps) and deposit them on your hard drive.

Your photo albums

fbdownloaderGiven that whole you-can’t-pick-and-choose clause of Facebook’s provided downloading function, you might want to look into how to grab individual pieces of content if you don’t want everything you’ve ever done on the site since college reproduced. If you want to move photos from Facebook to Google+, Move2Picasa makes a copy for you and is incredibly easy to use. FbDownloader is a similar service but puts them on your own system. It has a function much like PhotoGrabber’s as well.


This is a big and nearly impossible one. Facebook has been busy continuously blocking tools that import contacts. There remains one tiny loophole thanks to Yahoo, however. Create a Yahoo email account, and then choose the contacts tab. From there, pick import contacts and choose the Facebook logo. Then go to tools, and choose export. Download the file as a CSV. Then import these contacts into Gmail, and you should be able to add them to your Google+ circles.

yahoo contact import
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Editors' Recommendations

Molly McHugh
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Before coming to Digital Trends, Molly worked as a freelance writer, occasional photographer, and general technical lackey…
Facebook’s redesign of Groups borrows from a popular, younger rival
facebook hacked

Facebook Groups appears to be getting a makeover that may have taken inspiration from apps popular with a younger crowd, such as Discord.

On Tuesday, Meta announced that it is testing and adding new features to Facebook Groups that enhance a lot of its current capabilities. Among these new experimental UI changes to Groups are a new sidebar and a new in-group menu.

Read more
The new ways Meta will pay you to make content for Facebook and Instagram
facebook hacked

Creators on Facebook and Instagram will soon have more ways to generate revenue from their content.

On Tuesday, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg shared via a Facebook post (and in a series of comments on that post), a few updates on monetization for creators on Facebook and Instagram. These updates included expansions to existing monetization options, as well as a few new ways to make money.

Read more
WhatsApp now lets you control who can see your profile
The WhatsApp app icon on a phone with other messaging apps.

WhatsApp is now letting you decide who gets to view certain aspects of your profile.

This week, Meta's popular messaging and calling app announced via a tweet that it is offering new privacy options for its users, including the ability to choose "who from your contact list can see your Profile Photo, About, and Last Seen status."

Read more