Facebook first introduced video support back in 2007 and has since then improved the feature, for instance by adding high definition video support. Users can actually encounter two types of videos; Videos that are hosted on Facebook after they are uploaded by users, and videos that are embedded in messages and wall posts.
Facebook itself has no controls to download videos that are hosted or embedded on the social networking site. Users who want to download videos from Facebook need to look for third party solutions, like scripts, extensions and software programs.
Many popular solutions redirect the user to third party websites where the videos are downloaded. That's not very user friendly. This guide looks at solutions that offer direct downloads from Facebook without third party site redirection.
Browser-Independent: download Facebook videos
Probably the easiest way to download videos from Facebook is to do the following:
- Open the Facebook video on its own page on the Facebook website.
- Replace www in the address bar with m, so that the beginning reads https://m.facebook.com/ instead of https://www.facebook.com/.
- Reload the page.
- Right-click on the video afterwards and select "save video as" to download it to your device.
Firefox users have the largest assortment of tools and extensions at their disposal. I'm going to introduce two different options here, there are however many more available.
The best option is to visit the official Mozilla Firefox add-ons repository and search for Facebook Video Downloads. A list of browser extensions is displayed to you which you can use for that purpose.
All have in common that they display an icon in the browser interface that you can click on to download the video on the page to your local system.
Facebook Video Downloader [update: no longer available] - is another option. This is a userscript which is compatible with the Firefox web browser. It is necessary to install either the Greasemonkey or Scriptish extension first before userscripts can be installed in Firefox.
Visit the userscripts page of the userscript after installing one of the extensions listed above. A click on the Install button installs the script
Userscripts manipulate web pages when they are loaded. Facebook Video Downloader adds a download link to every video page on Facebook.
Please note that you may have to reload the video page once before the download link appears on the page.
The userscript mentioned above may work as well. Chrome like Firefox supports userscripts. No additional extension needs to be installed prior to installing userscripts in Google Chrome. Follow the installation instructions above to install the Facebook Video Download userscript in the Google Browser.
An alternative is the Windows software Google Chrome Cache Viewer which displays all cached items in the web browser. Videos, like other media, are cached on the local hard drive. Just sort the display by content or file size and select File > Save Selected Items to save the Facebook video to another location on the hard drive.
Please note that the video needs to be playing before it appears in the cache viewer.
Opera users can utilize a similar software called Opera Cache View by the same developer. It basically offers the same functionality as the Google Chrome software.
Guess what, Internet Explorer users can use IE Cache View from the same developer for exactly the same functionality. Just start the video on Facebook, open the software program, look for the video and download it.
Video Cache View is another alternative. The application supports multiple browsers and filters their cache for videos. This makes the identification of the Facebook video a lot easier.
We have shown how to download Facebook videos directly with extensions, userscripts and applications. The guide offers at least one solution for every popular web browser out there. The solutions sometimes may be limited to the Windows operating system, but that's what the majority of Internet users are using.
If you have a different solution for download videos from Facebook let us hear about it in the comments.