How to backup a Facebook profile

Facebook brings us a lot of information to share: thoughts, interests, private messages, chat conversations; Facebook knows who our friends are, their contact information, it knows our events and has all our photos and videos uploaded by us or our friends. It has a short repository of our information that you can request and download.

How do I get a copy of these data? What are the types of data that you can download? Does the archive also contains content and deleted messages? On this article I try to answer these common questions explaining how to perform a backup of your Facebook profile.


Download a copy of the data

All you need to do to download a copy of the data on Facebook is to connect to your account settings (click here to go directly) and click on the link “Download a copy” (see image).

From the open page just click on the middle button “Start My Archive” and enter the password to confirm the identity and the request for data.


After receiving the request, the system will generate the archive of your Facebook profile and send you an email on the email associated with the account with a link to download it. For safety reasons, the link will only work for a few days after being sent. If you waited too much time from the receipt of the email the link will become broken and you will need to request a new copy of the data by repeating the procedure.

READ ALSO: How to back up a Facebook page

Within 1-2 hours maximum the archive should be ready and the time obviously varies by the amount of content on the profile. Sometimes you just have to wait a few minutes and the archive is already available. What informations have been registered in Facebook?


You will find an index.html file inside the archive that will help you to navigate through the information downloaded. Unfortunately, some information that were previously possible to download (now no longer in existence) are no longer present in the new archive.

The contents deleted are in the archive? 

In paragraph 2 of the Declaration of the Rights and Responsibilities (accepted by every user at the moment of registration), under the second paragraph reads:

When you delete IP content, this are deleted in a similar way when you empty the recycle bin on your computer. However, it is possible that the removed content are stored in backup copies for a specified period of time (although not visible to others).

The contents you delete are stored in backups on Facebook’s servers, but they are not given to the users. The only ones capable of receiving this information are the authorities, and only if they’re authorized by Facebook. Yet, for years there has been a battle between Europe and its Facebook regarding information that Facebook holds!