News is just in that Facebook has added a new feature to allow users to download their profile information to their computer. The feature is called download your information, and available from the user's account settings.
To access the new feature, users need to click on the down arrow icon in the upper right corner of the Facebook profile screen and select settings from the opening context menu.
Download Your Information is a new option that you find under General Account Settings.
Update: Facebook has recently renamed the option to "download a copy of your Facebook data".
This new tool can be used to download all profile information, including videos and photos, wall posts, messages, friend lists and other contents to the local computer system.
When you select the option, the download your information page opens up. It highlights what the archive includes and displays a "start my archive" button to initiate the generation of the archive. Note that you need to enter your password before the archive is generated.
Here is a short list of data that is included in the archive:
This is an automatic process that may take a while, depending a lot on your activity on Facebook. It will take longer for accounts with lots of postings, photos and videos.
Facebook users are notified via email that their download is ready. The email contains a link pointing to the download. To download the information to the local computer, the account password needs to be entered.
The data is then downloaded to the PC as a zip file. This file needs to be unpacked before the information can be accessed. The downloaded information are a basic version of the Facebook profile, a local Facebook profile so to speak without interaction possibilities.
It links to all relevant information in a sidebar. Here it is possible to open wall posts,photos, the list of friends, notes, events, messages and videos.
Take a look at the official video announcing Download Your Information below.
The new feature is rolled out to all Facebook accounts in the coming days. This option may be interesting for users who want to close their Facebook account permanently. Before doing so, they could download all relevant information from Facebook so that they still have access to their photos, videos, messages and other data they have posted or received on Facebook.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.