How to Download Your Photos from Facebook

Facebook isn’t the best place for keeping your photos, but its convenience makes it a decent space for sharing them. If you want to download a photo you’ve uploaded (or even one your friend has uploaded), here’s how.

Download Individual Photos

RELATED: Do I Own a Photo If I’m In It?

Find the photo you want to download on Facebook. This can be any photo you can view on Facebook, no matter whether yours, a friend’s, or a complete stranger’s that has made their photos public. Just remember, unless you took the photo yourself, it doesn’t belong to you and you can’t do whatever you want with it.

Hover over the image until the photo’s (and the Like, Comment, and Share buttons at the bottom) appear.

Click the “Options” link in the bottom right corner, and then select the “Download” command.

The photo should now download in the highest resolution Facebook has on their servers.

On mobile apps, the process is similar. Open the photo you want to save, tap the three little dots in the top right corner, and then tap the “Save Photo” command.

Download All Your Photos At Once

Facebook also has a tool that lets you download all your data—including wall posts, chat messages, About You information, and, of course, photos. On the Facebook site, click the downward facing arrow in the top right corner, and then select the “Settings” option. You can also go directly to Facebook.com/Settings.

Click “Download a Copy of Your Facebook Data” at the bottom of the “General Account Settings” page.

Next, click the “Start My Archive” button.

You need to enter your password to verify. You’re then told that it will take Facebook a few moments to gather your data, and that they’ll email you when the archive is ready.

When the email arrives, click the link it provides.

On the resulting page, click the “Download” button, type your password again, and your archive will start downloading. If you’ve used Facebook a lot, the download could be quite large. Mine was 1.58 GB!

RELATED: Everything You Need to Know About Zip Files

The archive downloads as a .ZIP file. Extract it, and then navigate to the “Photos” folder.

Here, you’ll find subfolders with every album and photo you’ve ever posted to Facebook. There are also HTML files you can open to show a rough, offline version of Facebook in your browser that might make the photos easier to scan.

It might take a while to dig through and find the right photos, but they will all be there.

Harry Guinness writes occasionally when he’s not busy skiing, sailing, partying, lifting weights, or otherwise dodging responsibility. His main areas of interest are himself, gin, and crazy people with interesting stories to tell. When people won’t pay him to write ill-thought-out opinion pieces, he covers photography, technology, and culture. You can follow him on Twitter.