If you’ve been on Facebook for a few years now, chances are you’ve shared a bunch of photos and videos with your friends and family thus far, many of which might no longer be stored on your iOS device or Mac.
Unfortunately, Facebook doesn’t make things any easier by not providing a straightforward way to download the photos and videos users have uploaded to the service.
But worry not, our loyal fans, the iDownloadBlog tutorial series comes to the rescue. In this detailed tutorial, you will learn about five different techniques that will help you get those Facebook photos and videos onto your iPhone, iPod touch, iPad or Mac without too much hassle.
Before we begin…
There are four different approaches to downloading your photos and videos from Facebook to an iPhone, iPod touch, iPad or Mac, each bearing its own distinct advantages as well as a set of annoying disadvantages.
- One photo at a time, via mobile app—With Facebook’s universally hated mobile app, you can browse and save any previously uploaded photo. It also lets you watch uploaded videos, but not save them to a mobile device.
- One photo at a time, via mobile interface—For those who would like to stay away from Facebook’s iOS app, using the mobile interface may be the best solution for saving photos to their Camera roll, but not videos.
- One photo at a time, via desktop interface—You can save both your uploaded photos and videos to your computer using any desktop browser.
- Facebook archive—A great, albeit a tad cumbersome solution for folks who wish to download their Facebook photos and videos in one fell swoop.
- Third-party apps—Yes, there’s an app for that. Many, many apps to be precise.
Depending on your personal needs, you might want to prioritize one of the aforementioned methods. If you know of other ways to elegantly save Facebook photos and videos, we’d like to hear from you in the comments.
One photo at a time, via mobile app
The easiest way to save your own photos (but not videos) from Facebook onto an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad involves using the official iOS app, which can be downloaded at no charge from the App Store.
Step 1: Open the Facebook app on your iOS device.
Step 2: Tap the More tab at the bottom and then your account name.
Step 3: Tap Photos below your profile information.
Step 4: Tap Albums at the top.
Step 5: Now select an album with the photos you wish to save. Your videos are inside the album named Videos, but unfortunately cannot be saved to your device.
Step 6: Tap on any photo thumbnail inside the chosen album and then tap the ellipsis icon to access additional options.
Step 7: Choose Save Photo to save the image to your iOS Camera roll.
Step 8: Repeat the process for other photos you wish to save.
Tip: If the picture doesn’t actually show up in your iOS device’s photo library, enable Facebook in Settings → Privacy → Photos and Settings → Privacy → Facebook.
One photo at a time, via mobile site
This option is great for people who are reluctant to use Facebook’s mobile app, or don’t need to download their Facebook media to a computer. Because Facebook does not support uploading and downloading videos in a mobile browser, this method is only good for saving Facebook photos to an iOS device.
Step 1: Launch Safari on your iOS device and log in with your Facebook credentials using the mobile interface at m.facebook.com.
Step 2: Tap the hamburger icon at the top, and then hit your profile name.
Step 3: Tap the Photos button found below your profile information.
Tip: If your album isn’t listed, just tap the More Albums option.
Step 4: Select an album with the photos you wish to save.
Step 5: Tap an album, then a photo, and hit the link View Full Size below the image.
Step 6: Safari will open the image file. Tap and hold on the image and select Save Photo in the pop-up menu.
This shall immediately save your image in the iOS Camera roll.
Tip: If you own an iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus, you can press the image lightly and then drag your finger upward to reveal the Save Image option.
Step 7: Repeat the steps for all of the remaining photos that you wish to save.
One photo at a time, via desktop site
The key advantage to using your computer for accessing the Facebook interface lies in the fact that not only can you save photos, but videos as well.
Step 1: Launch Safari on your Mac—or any other modern web browser, for that matter—and log in with your access credentials at www.facebook.com.
Step 2: Now click your profile name in the upper-right corner of the desktop interface, then click Photos below your profile information.
Step 3: Click Albums at the top.
Step 4: Now select the album containing the photos and/or videos you wish to save (your uploaded videos are inside the Videos album).
Step 5: Click a photo in the album to show it in Facebook’s photo viewer.
Step 6: Choose Options below the photo, and then Download in the pop-up menu.
Step 7: To save a video you uploaded to Facebook, first select your Videos album.
Step 8: Next, choose a video from your album.
Step 9: When the video loads, click Options at the bottom of Facebook’s built-in video player, and then select Download HD to grab a full-resolution version or Download SD to download a lower-resolution version of the original video.
Step 10: Safari will load the video and start playing it. Now right-click the video player and select Download Video As… in the pop-up menu.
Step 11: Choose a folder on your computer to save the video file to, give it a recognizable name and click Save.
Download your Facebook archive
Facebook permits people to download a ZIP archive which contains all of the photos and videos they posted to the social network, along with copies of their messages, wall posts, events, pokes and other user data.
Depending on your Facebook activity, your archive may weigh in at anywhere from a few megabytes to tens, even hundreds of megabytes. To download an entire archive of your Facebook account, do the following.
Step 1: Access your Account Settings by logging into Facebook on your computer. Then click the arrow in the top right corner and select Settings in a menu.
Step 2: On the next screen, click General in the lefthand column.
Step 3: Now click a “Download a copy of your Facebook data” link at the bottom of your General Account Settings. You’ll be taken to a confirmation webpage.
Step 4: Click the green button labeled Start My Archive to proceed and follow the on-screen instructions. Any photos or videos that you deleted on Facebook won’t be included in your archive.
Step 5: When your download is ready, you shall receive an email message from Facebook with a download link that will expire in a few days. Click it to begin downloading the ZIP archive to your computer.
Step 6: With the archive downloaded, go to the Downloads folder on your Mac (it’s located inside your account’s home folder) and open the ZIP file.
Step 7: Your Mac will extract the ZIP file and show you the list of folders and files. Now open the local page “index.htm” in Safari, or any other browser, and click the Photos or Videos link in the lefthand column.
Step 8: Lastly, click a photo or video thumbnail in the righthand column to see your media in its original resolution. You can now right-click any file and select the option to save the photo or video to your computer.
Alternatively, you can browse the archive’s Photos and Videos folders in the Finder, and select the ones that you wish to keep, as pictured below.
If you want to download your Facebook on an iOS device, you’ll need to use a third-party browser or file manager with built-in download manager functionality, such as iCab Mobile or Readdle’s Documents 5.
These apps can handle ZIP files with ease, allowing you to explore your Facebook archive, browse its folders and save individual photos and videos directly to your Camera roll. Don’t forget to delete the ZIP file when finished to free up storage.
Detailed information about the various data categories that are available to you in Facebook archives can be found in a support document.
Use these App Store apps
To quote Apple’s App Store advertising tagline, there’s an app for that. For the purposes of this tutorial, we’re going to use the FB Video Downloader and Photo Album Downloader apps, both of which can be downloaded at no charge in the App Store.
These apps let you download hundreds of photos and videos to your device with just a few taps. I’m sure other apps exist that do the same thing more elegantly so search for them in the App Store and share your suggestions in comments below.
How to download Facebook photos with Photo Album Downloader
Step 1: Download Photo Album Downloader to your iOS device.
Step 2: Launch the app and connect with your Facebook account.
Step 3: Tap My Photos, then select an album.
Step 4: Tap Select and mark the album photos you want to download.
Step 5: Tap Start Download.
After granting the app permission to access your photo library, the selected photos from your Facebook album will get downloaded straight to your Camera roll.
How to download Facebook videos with Photo Album Downloader
Step 1: Download FB Video Downloader to your iOS device.
Step 2: Launch the app and connect with your Facebook account.
Step 3: Tap Start Download to begin.
Step 4: The app will show the clips in your Videos album on Facebook. Tap one or more videos you would like to save to your device.
Step 5: Tap the Download button to save the selected videos.
Again, the app will ask permission to access your photo library. You will find your downloaded videos in the Videos album within iOS’s Photos app. These may not be the prettiest apps to look at, but they get the job done and don’t cost a dime.
Important notice on Facebook media quality
Facebook automatically resizes your uploads so if you post a 13-megapixel photo taken with your iPhone 6s to Facebook, and then download it later—you’ll get a scaled down version. This is something you should keep in mind if you tend to use Facebook as a backup for your media.
Regardless of their original resolution, all photo uploads are automatically resized for 2,048 horizontal pixels (make sure to select the High Quality option when uploading images to Facebook). Your cover photos are 851-by-315 pixels.
“To avoid compression when you upload your cover photo, make sure the file size is less than 100KB,” advises Facebook.
Video uploads are currently restricted to 1080p at up to thirty frames per second, with an aspect ratio no larger than 1,280 pixels wide and divisible by 16 pixels.
Uploaded videos must be less than 45 minutes long and smaller than 1.75 GB. “The longer your video is, the larger its file size will be. This may affect the quality of the video,” reads a notice in Facebook’s support document.
We’re asking you to be so kind as to share your own tricks for saving Facebook media so chime in with your recommendations in the comments below.