If you are using Facebook, you must have posted much information on it. This information includes not only your status updates – what you feel, what you were doing at a certain point of time, how you enjoyed your holidays, etc. – but also photos, videos and notes etc. Given that Facebook contains many cherished instances of your life, it becomes important that you backup entire Facebook data at regular intervals. This way, you can be sure that you do not lose important memories in case something happens to your Facebook account.
People lose what they had on Facebook due to a hacked account, a blocked account or an account that was deactivated and forgotten. Having a backup copy of Facebook data makes sure you are not deprived of the memories related to your different emotions at different times of your life on Facebook.
Backup Facebook Photos and Data
There are many applications that help you backup Facebook data. The list includes Facebook itself. This article talks of three tools – including Facebook – that help you backup and retrieve your Facebook data.
Facebook – Backup Your Data Using Account Settings
Facebook has a process that when initiated, backs up entire Facebook data and sends you a link from where you can download the archived copy. To make sure that it is you who wants to download your Facebook data, the social networking site sends you an email as soon as you request the backup. The email contains a link which when clicked, starts the process of backing up data. Finally, when the archive is ready, Facebook again sends you an email – to the email address registered with it – so that you can click on it to retrieve the data.
You can opt for two types of archives when you request for Facebook backup. One is the ‘standard archive’ and the other is ‘enhanced archive’.
When you opt for ‘standard archive’ you receive the following in the archive:
- Profile Information – Contact ID, Email ID and Phone Number registered with Facebook and your Facebook email ID
- Information from the Facebook wall – your posts, posts other posted on your wall and pictures you posted to your wall
- Photos you uploaded to your Facebook profile as albums
- Videos you uploaded to Facebook
- Your Facebook Friends’ list with links to each friend’s profile
- Notes you may have created
- Events that you created and events to which, you RSVP’d
- Messages – both sent and received
- Comments that you and your friends made to the posts/images on your wall.
Note that this archive will not provide you with comments you made on others’ wall.
The ‘enhanced archive’ contains all of the above. In addition, it provides:
- Stored IP addresses – of devices that you used to log into your Facebook account
- Login data and time – A list of date and time regarding your logins into the Facebook account
- Pending Friend Requests – A list of friend requests that have not been yet accepted or declined
- Poke Information – A list of pokes you sent and received
Note that in either archive, you do not get the facility to download only a few selected items. You get all the items listed above.
To initiate the backup process log in to Facebook. From Account Settings, select General Account Settings. In the right part of the screen, click on the link that says ‘download a copy’ of your Facebook data (see image below).
Archive Facebook – The Firefox Extension To Backup Facebook Data
The second best tool to back up your Facebook data is the Firefox addon with the name of Archive Facebook. You have to install it from Mozilla Addons Page. Once you install it, restart Firefox. You will see a new menu tab labeled “ArchiveFB”.
If you can see the new menu tab, it means the addon is correctly installed. You have to log into your Facebook account. While on the Facebook home page, click the ArchiveFB menu tab and then select “Archive from the main menu”. You will get a dialog box that asks you what all you wish to back up (See image below).
You get to select from:
- Your wall posts – feeds you and others posted to your wall
- Friends list with links
- Photos that you have uploaded to Facebook as albums. This also includes photos where you have been tagged. This means you get to download your friends’ photos too, if they have tagged you in them
- Your Facebook notes and notes where you have been tagged
- Events to which you have RSVP’d
As you can see, this provides two additional features over the original Facebook backup tool we discussed in section 1 – first is the capability to choose what you wish to download and the second is the capability to download your friends’ notes and photos where you have been tagged.
Depending upon the number of posts and other items, ArchiveFB takes from few minutes to few hours to back up the Facebook data. You will receive a notification towards bottom-right when ArchiveFB is done with backing up data.
Note that the data is saved in the default save location of Firefox. If you wish to uninstall Firefox, copy-paste the backup folder to some other place before you uninstall Firefox. Otherwise, if you are willing to use Firefox only to access the data, you can leave the folder at the default place and use ArchiveFB menu to view the archive.
Back Up Facebook Data To Cloud
There were two contenders for the third place – SocialSafe and Backupify. Both SocialSafe and Backupify place some limitations while backing up your Facebook data. In case of Social Safe, I found the limitations to be more when compared to Backupify. For example, you cannot back up messages using SocialSafe free edition. They have reserved those features for paid versions. The negative of Backupify is that it provides only 1GB of space for backup when you use the free version but it does copy the Facebook messages as well (And Fan Pages too). So let us talk about Backupify in this article. If you are curious, you can compare features of SocialSafe at its website.
Coming to Backupify, it is a cloud based service that allows you to back up your social media accounts to a cloud. That includes not only Facebook but also Twitter and Gmail. You can use up to three accounts for backup with the free account of Backupify.
Among the items you can back up using Backupify are:
- Wall posts and comments, including the ones where you were tagged
- Images that you uploaded and the other images where you are tagged
- Notes that you wrote and other notes where you were tagged
- Videos you uploaded and other videos where you were tagged
- Friend list with links
- Your Facebook Fan Pages
The first step would be to subscribe with Backupify. The next step is to select Facebook icon in the dashboard and authorize Backupify to collect your Facebook data. This is just like other webpages and applications that use Facebook API for authorization (See image below). Once this is done, Backupify will back up all the data pertaining to your Facebook account.
To view the backup, log in to your account with Backupify and browse through the back available. You can also request an export using the link towards the bottom left corner of the screen while viewing the backup. Upon requesting an export, you will receive a zip file containing the Facebook data to your email address using which, you signed up for Backupify.
These are the top three tools I found to be useful to back up Facebook data. If you have any favorites, please share it with us.