Facebook messages allow us to stay in touch with friends and family around the world. From sharing funny stories to sending important information, these conversations can be meaningful memories we want to save.
But over time, Facebook messages can get lost or deleted. To prevent treasured conversations from disappearing forever, it pays to regularly export and back up your Facebook messages.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore everything you need to know about exporting, saving, and printing your Facebook messages.
Why Save Your Facebook Messages?
Here are some of the top reasons for exporting and saving your Facebook messages:
- Preserve meaningful memories and important conversations – Facebook messages often contain cherished interactions you’ll want to look back on over the years. Saving them prevents precious memories from being lost if your account is ever deactivated.
- Access messages offline – By exporting Facebook messages, you can view conversations without an internet connection. This makes them handy for searching even when you’re offline.
- Backup your data – Backing up your Facebook data to an external location protects you in case of hacking, data loss, or if you can no longer access your account.
- Print special messages – Printing out meaningful or funny conversations allows you to post them on the fridge or save them in a scrapbook.
- Legal documentation – In rare cases, Facebook messages may be needed to provide evidence or documentation. Having an export allows easy access.
3 Methods to Export Facebook Messages
There are a few different ways to go about exporting your Facebook messages. Here are the top 3 methods:
1. Use Facebook’s Export Tool
The easiest way to export Facebook messages is directly through Facebook’s settings:
- Go to Facebook.com and log into your account.
- Click the down arrow at the top right and select Settings.
- In the left column, click Your Facebook Information.
- Under Download Your Information, click View.
- Click Create File. Deselect everything except Messages.
- Click Create File again.
- Once the file is ready (can take a few minutes to many hours), click Download.
- Your Facebook messages .JSON file will download to your computer.
This exports your messages in one simple JSON file you can easily access. However, it may take some time before your export file is ready.
2. Use a Third-Party App
Various third-party apps allow exporting your Facebook messages quickly:
- Social Book Post Manager – Browser extension to export Facebook messages in PDF or Excel formats.
- Backup for Social – App to backup Facebook messages in HTML or CSV files.
- Mailstore – Email archiving software that can export Facebook messages to PDF or HTML.
When using third-party software, be cautious and only use reputable apps that won’t compromise your privacy. Check user reviews to pick a trusted solution.
3. Copy and Paste Into a Document
If you only need to export a few specific Facebook conversations, you can manually copy and paste them into a Word doc or text file:
- Go to the Facebook message thread you want to save.
- Highlight and copy the conversation.
- Paste it into your document or text file.
- Repeat for any other messages you want to export.
While time consuming, this method works if you just need to quickly export a few messages without advanced tools.
4 Ways to Save Your Exported Facebook Messages
Once you’ve exported your Facebook messages, you’ll want to save the files properly to have them backed up and accessible. Here are some recommended storage locations:
- Google Drive or Dropbox – Saving your exported message files to cloud storage means you can securely access them anywhere.
- External hard drive or USB – Storing your Facebook message files on an external device keeps them protected even if your main devices are lost or damaged.
- Printed copy – For especially important messages, print out a physical copy to store in a safe place.
- Your computer – You can save your exported Facebook messages locally on your computer or laptop for easy access when offline. Just be sure to have backups in case of hardware failure.
Wherever you choose to save your exported messages, be sure to keep backup copies in multiple places to protect against data loss.
How to Print Your Facebook Messages
In some cases you may want to print out certain Facebook conversations to keep physical copies. Here’s how to print Facebook messages:
- If you used the Facebook export tool, open the .JSON file in a text or code editor. Copy and paste the message content you want to print into a Word doc or text editor. Then print directly from that file.
- If you used a PDF export tool, simply open the PDF file and print it directly or select message threads to print.
- For HTML exports, open the file in your browser, select the conversation, and use your browser’s print function.
- For Excel or spreadsheet exports, highlight the columns with message content and print the selection.
- If you copied messages into a document, print that file directly.
Make sure to review the print preview first to check formatting. You may need to make adjustments to fit longer conversations across multiple pages.
Also, if you cannot print PDF, here are the top fixes for your reference.
Key Takeaways: Top Tips for Exporting, Saving & Printing Messages
To recap, here are some key tips to keep in mind:
- Export regularly – Don’t wait until it’s too late! Export your Facebook messages monthly or quarterly.
- Use Facebook’s tool – The native export option is easiest if you need your full message history.
- Or try a third-party app – For faster exports or specific formats like PDF, third-party tools get the job done.
- Back up in multiple spots – Store exported messages both locally and in the cloud for safe redundancy.
- Print selectively – Only print your most special messages to keep and post.
- Review before printing – Check the print preview and adjust formatting as needed.
- Export in a usable format – JSON, HTML, PDF and TXT keep messages readable and searchable.
Following this advice will help ensure you always have access to your most important Facebook messages and conversations.
Frequently Asked Questions about Exporting and Saving Facebook Messages
Here are answers to some common questions about exporting and saving Facebook messages:
Can I export only some of my Facebook messages rather than all of them?
Yes, some third party tools like Social Book Post Manager allow you to select specific threads to export. You can also manually copy/paste certain messages into a document.
Do my exported Facebook messages include photos and attachments?
The native Facebook export includes attachments. For third party tools, check their features to see if they preserve attachments. Printed messages do not include attachments.
Is there a size limit for exporting Facebook messages?
Facebook’s native tool has a data size cap. Very lengthy conversations may require multiple exports. Apps may split large exports into multiple files.
Can I export Facebook messages from a certain date range?
Facebook’s tool and some third party apps allow setting a custom date range for exporting only messages from that period.
Do I need to request permission to export someone else’s Facebook messages with me?
If the messages are directed privately to you, no special permission is needed. However, exporting all messages from someone else’s account requires their consent.
Is it safe to use third-party apps to export my Facebook data?
Be very cautious with third-party apps, as some could mishandle your data or privacy. Thoroughly research an app’s credibility and user reviews first.
What’s the easiest way to find my exported Facebook messages?
Save exported message files to a dedicated folder or tag them with “Facebook Export” so they’re easy to find when needed.
How often should I export my Facebook messages?
It’s smart to export your Facebook messages every 1-3 months. That way you have regular backups but aren’t overwhelmed with constant redundant exports.
Your Facebook messages contain meaningful interactions and memories you’ll want to cherish for years to come. By learning to properly export and backup your messages, you can ensure you always have access – even if they are accidentally deleted or your account is deactivated.
Regularly take time to export and save your favorite Facebook conversations using the tools and techniques in this guide. With a little effort, you’ll have peace of mind knowing your priceless messages are protected and available anytime you want to reminisce.
So be sure to safeguard your memories and export your Facebook messages today. Your future self will thank you!