How To Download & Backup Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, And More

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Sign with Could you imagine what would happen if one day we woke up and Facebook was gone? What would happen to all your precious memories and photos?

We live in a digital world and we are constantly sharing things. But as privacy concerns become more prevalent and novelty wears off, more people are backing off social media, including Facebook.

But don’t forget to backup your digital life before you jump ship. (Even if you don’t go cold turkey, it’s a good idea to clean up your “social media self” and archive a copy of your files periodically).

Article Overview

Why Should I Back Up My Social Media Data?

One time my Instagram account got “compromised” and the account was deleted. Not only did I lose all the precious photos I took, I lost all my captions and comments too.

Just because it lives on social media doesn’t mean it’s safe there forever. These free social media services host all of your content for free, but it’s a good idea to have a backup copy too.

How To Back Up Each Social Media Network

At time of writing, here are the instructions to back up the following services:

*Require third-party sites or apps to allow you to back up. 

We will do out best to revisit this article and update it as new social media or other online communities provide backup methods.

Facebook

Visit the Facebook DYI (Download Your Information) page in desktop or mobile and login. Alternatively, under your settings click on “Your Facebook Information.” Select what data you want to download. You’ll be able to select which types of data, format (HTML or JSON), as well as media quality (a higher media quality will result in a larger file size). Click “Create File” when ready – the file will be password protected.

Facebook will notify you when the download is ready (and each download is only available for 1 week).

Facebook will notify you when the download is ready (each download is only available for 1 week).

Facebook Backup Download Screen

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Instagram

Visit the Instagram Privacy & Security section on your desktop computer. Under the gear icon click on “Privacy and Settings.” Scroll down to the bottom and click on “request download.” Add the email address where you’d like the data to be sent.

Instagram Data Request Screen

Instagram will then email you links to files containing your photos, comments, profile information and more (the process can take up to 48 hours). Depending on how large your account is, the download may be split into multiple parts as it was with mine below.

Instagram Data Download Screen

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LinkedIn

Visit the member data settings page on LinkedIn’s website, or login, click on your photo (top right) and browse to “Settings and Privacy” under “how LinkedIn uses your data.” From there you’ll find a section for “Getting a copy of your data” which you can then select and decide which data you’d like to request an archive of. You will be prompted to re-enter your password for security reasons.

LinkedIn Data Request Screen

They will then email you when the download is ready. They say 24 hours but mine only took about an hour, and the download was in multiple parts.

LinkedIn Data Download Email

How To Backup Pinterest

There is no direct way on Pinterest to download a backup of your pins and data. However, there is a work-around if you want to download the pins from each of your boards. Download an image downloader extension to your browser (for instance, I use this Image Downloader extension for Chrome). Then you can select the pins (or images) to download (or click “download all”). It’s more of a manual process but does the trick.

Pinterest download Pins using extension

Twitter

Twitter has a Your Twitter Data page that provides more or less the same backup functionality as the other major social media channels. Login via your desktop browser, go to your “Settings and Privacy” under the main menu on the left side, and then click on “Your Twitter data.” Enter your password to request an archive in ZIP format.

Twitter data download request screen

The ZIP file will be emailed to you or be available via download on this page within 24 hours.

Note that with Twitter, once you make a backup request, you can’t do so again for 30 days.

YouTube & Vimeo

There is no mass export option for YouTube and Vimeo, but you can download individual videos from your account and save them (you must be logged in to do so). Open the settings of the video you wish to backup and there will be an option to download the video (see screenshots).

How to Download Video

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Store Your Data Safely In The Cloud

Now that you’ve backed up your social media data where should you put it? Your hard work will have been in vain if your computer housing the backups dies. We recommend you safely store your files on the cloud using an online backup service. That way you have a copy of everything in case your computer crashes or gets stolen. Most of these services are relatively affordable (some even free) and can act as a backup repository for not only your social media data, but anything else you wish to store such as photos from your camera, backups of your favorite DVD’s, and more.

Let These Social Media Management Tools Do The Heavy Lifting For You!

We compare tools like Sprout Social, Buffer, Hootsuite, Agorapulse, eClincher, and more in our best social media management tools review. They offer a one-stop place to post, analyze and schedule all of your social media efforts. Think of all the time you’ll save not having to log in and out of dozens of accounts and websites regularly.

Have you ever backed any of your social media data up? 

About The Author:

Sadie has over 15 years of experience in digital marketing, graphic and web design, social media strategy, email marketing and more. She is a 4th generation small business owner and has worked with a wide range of brands from fortune 500 companies to startups and entrepreneurs.

Sadie is a self-proclaimed Apple/Mac guru and keeps up with all the latest tech trends at conferences including South by Southwest. Sadie has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Texas at Austin's Moody School of Communications and a concentration in Business from the Red McCombs School of Business.

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Julian Ranger

You can also use SocialSafe to do all the accounts you mention automatically – it’s a free download.

It works with Facebook, Facebook Pages, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Blogs and more.

It also gets more data than the networks give you directly, e.g. Twitter gives you Tweets only whereas SocialSafe gets you Tweets, DMs, Mentions, Followers, Following, Favorites and Profile.

Erin

I had no clue that you could back up your sites so easily and for free! Will definitely try these out for the new year and make sure I have an extra back up saved on a cloud or external hard drive as well. Thanks for sharing these useful tips!