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In this series on productivity, author Jess Stratton takes you through the latest tools that will help you run your business and life more efficiently. Each installment covers a particular feature or technique in a different online tool, such as Google Apps, Skype, YouTube, Mint.com, Etsy, and more. Check back every Monday for tips on topics from recording and publishing video chats to managing your finances online.
My name is Jess Stratton, and welcome to Monday Productivity Pointers. Did you know that you can download your entire Facebook profile and timeline locally to your computer? I'm going to show you how. Maybe you just want a nice backup of it or a souvenir to pass on to your kids. Or there could be a more serious reason, such as if you're a law firm and you need access to a Facebook timeline, or even a chat history, for a case. It's very easy. In the very top right-hand side of the screen, once you've logged into Facebook, click on the drop-down arrow and then choose Settings.
Make sure you're in General settings over here on the left-hand side, and then the very last option is to download a copy of your Facebook data. Click that blue link, and you'll be able to find out what's included. Now, depending on the size of your timeline and Facebook data, it may take awhile. You'll need to enter your Facebook password as a security measure. For example, I'm going to click Start My Archive now to get it going. I'll click the blue Start My Archive again. And now, it's telling me that they're gathering my information and I'll get an email when it's ready to be downloaded.
And that's when I'm going to need my additional Facebook password. Also, as an additional security measure, the amount of time that you have to download your data once it's done being archived is measured, and it will expire. Facebook will include all sorts of things in the download, including chat history, ads that you clicked on, IP addresses that you accessed your account from, apps that you've installed, and even places that you checked in to. Once it's downloaded, to access it, you can simply click on the webpage that's now going to be locally on your computer.
I'm going to show you how to do that. I'm back and I've gotten the email that my timeline is ready to be downloaded. So I'm going to click back on that arrow, click back on Settings, click again on Download a copy of your Facebook data, and this time, I'm going to click Download Archive. I need to re-enter my password. Click the blue Submit button and it's begun downloading. To see my archive, I simply click on the folder in Downloads and click right on index.htm.
That's going to pop up my timeline. Now here I can see Contact Info. Here's my wall, photos. I don't have much in here because this is a sample account, but it's that easy. Everything that I'm looking at is actually local on my machine right now, so it's very easy to see everything from my Facebook timeline all in one place. And I can take that folder and bring it anywhere I want. For example, I can back it up to a cloud service.
I can back it up to a USB thumb drive. I can take it into court if I was that law firm that needed it. There's lots of things I can do now that it's been downloaded from Facebook and can be accessed completely offline. It's that easy.
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