How to Download all your Photos and Data from your Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp accounts

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Instagram has just activated its own tool to download all the data on the social network, just as on Facebook. Today we will see how you can download all your photos and data from your Instagram, Facebook, and even WhatsApp accounts.

The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is revolutionizing the Internet and forcing a large number of websites to adapt their terms of use and provide a method for users to download user data. It must be implemented before May 25, 2018, and Facebook has already done it already one month in advance.


In the past we’ve seen how you could download Instagram photos to your PC, but the process was unofficial and implied that you do it one by one. Downloading all your official photos is easier, because it is a single file with all your data.

  1. The first step is to log in with your Instagram account. If you already had the session started, you will go directly to the next step.
  2. And then, you must add the email address where you want to be notified when your backup is ready. The form is automatically filled with the email of your Instagram account, but if you want you can change it. Take note that the backup can take up to two days to be ready.
  3. At this point, you will see a message like the previous one, which tells you that everything has gone well and now you just have to wait. Instagram notifies you that the copy may take up to 48 hours to be ready depending on how many photos or data do you have on your account, although in my test I have had it ready in just a few minutes. Stay tuned to your inbox.
  4. At some point you will receive an email message like the previous one, where you are told that the file is ready to be downloaded. Press Download data, which will basically take you to the beginning of everything.
  5. After entering your username and password again, for security reasons, you will return to the beginning page, where there is now a new link called “Download data.” Click to start the download, which may be larger or smaller, depending on how much content you’ve shared on Instagram.
  6. The copy is downloaded to a ZIP file that you must unzip to view its contents. Most content is in json format, a format widely used to store data in a structured way, but not too much to read the data by yourself unless you use a viewer like this. These are the included files:

• comments.json : includes all the comments you’ve made on Instagram
• connections.json : blocked users, follow-up requests, your followers, who you follow and what hashtags you follow
• contacts.json : the list of contacts that Instagram stores.
• likes.json : includes a list of all the photos and comments that you have done I like.
• media.json : includes metadata about all the stories, photos, videos, profile photos and photos sent with Direct.
• messages.json : includes information about conversations on Instagram Direct.
• profiles.json : the information of your most recent profile.
• searches.json : your history of recent searches.
• settings.json : the settings you use on Instagram.

Of course, you can now see all the photos and videos you’ve shared on Instagram, private messages, Stories, and the last photo you used as a profile picture. They are classified in folders by type, and within each folder there are subfolders for each month, which makes it easier for you to look for specific photos.


Now on Facebook, the process is very simple as well, and you just have to look for the option in the configuration. Of course, it still needs patience, because depending on the amount of data, Facebook could take several hours to have the download file ready with the backup of all your data.

  1. To download your photos and personal data from Facebook you will need to enter the configuration. For that, press the icon of the down arrow that you have in the top right, and then click on the option Configuration to enter the settings menu.
  2. When you are in the configuration menu, click on the General option in the right column to make sure you are in the general settings of your account. Once there, you can find the “Download a copy” link under the General Settings menu. Click on the link to download a copy with all the data that Facebook has about you.
  3. You will go to a screen in which Facebook will warn you that the backup of what you have shared in the social network will include your publications, photos and videos, also your conversations and some more data. To continue, press the Create my file button.
  4. A screen will open in which you will have to write your Facebook password to confirm the action. When you do, you will go to the next step, where you only have to click on the Create my file button to confirm the whole process and have Facebook start collecting your information to send it to your personal email. Keep in mind that this may take a few minutes or longer.
  5. After a few minutes or hours, it will depend on each user, Facebook will send you an email with a link to the content download page. And if you did not access your email, it will also show you a notification on Facebook telling you that the download is ready. Regardless of how you are notified, you will reach a download screen where you only have to click on the Download file button.
  6. And that’s it. You can now download a compressed backup in ZIP format. You only have to right click on the file and choose the option to unzip it with the program you are using. Once you do, you can now access all your data.


WhatsApp also included the tool to request and download all the data from your account. Just like on Instagram and for a long time on Facebook, now you can ask WhatsApp to generate and let you download a report with all the details of your account and settings, although the chats are not included. To save chats, you need to use other tools.

  1. The first step is to go to WhatsApp Settings. You can access them from any of the WhatsApp tabs, by tapping the menu button.

Remember that this file with your WhatsApp data does not include the chats, which explains why to ask for it you must go to the Account section instead of to Chats. According to the GDPR WhatsApp is obliged to let you download the data that it saves from you. However, the chats are not included because it is not a service based on the cloud like Telegram or Facebook Messenger.

  1. In the Account sub-menu you will find a new option that was not before, Request info. of my account. If it does not appear, make sure you have the latest version installed. If you are on Android, you can install the beta version to make sure.
  2. Now, you can finally request your report by clicking Request report. Keep in mind that the result is not immediate, but it may take up to three days to be available. When it is, you will receive a notification on WhatsApp to download it. It will also be a ZIP file.

The report of WhatsApp is much shorter than that of Facebook. It includes basic information that WhatsApp has about you, such as your name and phone number, the IP address of the last connection, what device and operating system you use, when the account was registered and with which operator. It indicates that you accepted the changes in the 2016 and 2018 license terms and if you decided not to share your data with Facebook to improve the service.

The most personal information you will find in the document is your last profile image, when you have changed it, the phone numbers of your WhatsApp contacts and the names of the groups you are part of and if you have activated the double blue check or not.

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