HOW TO: Download your entire history on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

6611841875_e2e938198bLeaving 2012 and entering 2013 gives a good opportunity to close the book on one year, and start fresh.

It’s also a time when I start new photo albums.

Over the past few days, I also thought it high time to download and send to the archive in the cloud my entire history from Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

My history on these services go back two, three, and four years, respectively.


So, here’s how to download a .zip file with your entire Facebook history of status updates and photos.

Yes, it will serve up everything you’ve ever posted on your wall and comments by others, plus messages.

The standard archive does not include, however, comments you’ve made on others’ material.

Be aware, the .zip archive file could be pretty huge.  I’ve been on Facebook since July 2008 and the download file was about 250 megabytes.

1. From any Facebook page (so long as you’re logged in), click on the “gear” icon at the top left of the screen.


2. Then, “Account Settings” -> “Download a copy of your Facebook data.” (left)

3. You’ll need to enter your Facebook password and after a little while, you’ll see a link in the email inbox associated with your account.  Mine took about 15 minutes to arrive.

4. Download the .zip file and click to unpack into its own folder (mine was neatly named “Facebook”).

Within the unpacked file folder, select “index.html”.   You’ll then have a simplified looking home page with your Wall, your photos, your private messages, etc. from the beginning of Facebook time.


Twitter makes it even easier to download every tweet, ever.

Update: As of this writing, the feature has not been rolled out to all accounts, yet.    

1. Just like on Facebook, once signed into Twitter, click the “gear” icon at the top right of the page.

2. Select “Settings” then -> scroll down to “Your Twitter Archive.”

download_twIt too will soon be available and a link sent to the email address on record.

(Example left)

Once you’ve downloaded and extracted the archive file into a folder, you’ll once again open an “index.html” file.

Tweets are neatly organized with a monthly calendar, so if you’re like me, you don’t have to scroll through 25,000 tweets!


Instagram doesn’t allow a direct download from their website, but I used the Instaport service instead.  It worked great!

That took a little while, but once the file was delivered and the .zip file unpacked/extracted, all the photos will then reside in a folder of your choosing.

Happy archiving, and happy new year!


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