Tuesday, February 4, 2014

How To Save Your Facebook Look Back Video To Your Hard Drive

Taking a page from the Google Photos, Facebook began rolling out a special videos for its users in order to celebrate its 10 year anniversary. Each user's "Look Back" video highlights 15 or so of their most-liked photos, statuses, and life events set to a jaunty tune. It's a neat little reminder of how we've all used Facebook over the past 10 years to document our daily lives. Unfortunately, while Facebook allows you to share your Facebook LookBack video with your friends, it doesn't make it very easy to download it to your hard drive. But, if you're a little savvy, you can download it without much of a problem.

How To Download Your Facebook Look Back Video:



  1. Open the link to your video: http://facebook.com/lookback
  2. Press Ctrl+Shift+J to open your web browser's console (if you are on a MAC, go to the Tools menu and pick Javascript Console). A little split screen thingy will come up towards the bottom of your screen
  3. Now, you're going to have to paste in some code. Copy it down from: http://bitbin.it/HYqn7wG1
  4. Paste that code into the console. You might have to press CTRL V to do it. 
  5. Hit Enter. 
  6. A link will appear directly under where you've pasted the code. Click that link. Your video will open in a new tab. Let it play to the end. 
  7. Hit CTRL S and save your Facebook LookBack video to your hard drive.
If anyone needs clarification on how to do this or what the pasted code is doing, feel free to leave me a comment and I'll be happy to help.

For those of you who are interested, I saved my Facebook LookBack video and uploaded it to Youtube. It can be found below:




18 comments:

  1. Thank you so much, best directions I found!

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  2. How about on a mac?

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    Replies
    1. Instead of CTRL SHIFT J just go to Tools->Javascript Console

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  3. On a Mac, perhaps it depends on which browser you are using. In Safari 7.0.1, there is no Tools menu. I have the Develop menu active (not sure if that's standard or if I activated several years ago). In the Develop menu, select "Show Web Inspector" (Error Console, Page Source, or Page Resources will work equally well). When that window opens, click on Console. Then paste in the code from http://bitbin.it/HYqn7wG1 and the bottom of the window and click enter. Click on the link that appears below the pasted in code. When the video starts playing in a new tab, you can stop it at any point, ctrl-click or right-click or 2-finger click on the video and choose Download Video or Download Video As..., and save the video (.mp4 file) to your hard drive.

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, it depends on what browser you're using. I know the Java Console exists on Chrome and Firefox on the Mac. I didn't check Safari. Thanks for your info.

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  4. I am curious about what the code does. Can it be modified to convert other flv video to mp4?

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    Replies
    1. It's not really converting anything. It just constructs a connection to the actual video file (which is obscured by Facebook) and outputs it to you in the form of a direct link.

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  5. I get something that says
    Uncaught TypeError: Cannot call method 'split' of undefined

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    Replies
    1. Sounds like you missed a line somewhere.

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  6. use " ant video downloader on firefox " , takes 3 seconds

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    1. Great idea, Tony. I was unaware of it. Seems like a very useful Firefox add-on.

      Here's the link for those of you who'd like to try it: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/video-downloader-player/

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  7. The add-on will not download the edited version, only the original. Blocked by Facebook.

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    Replies
    1. Which add on? Which edited version? I'm not quite getting what you mean here. Could you elaborate?

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  8. Sorry...the ant video described above. It will download the facebook video as is, but if you edit to your liking, it will not download it...it says you have to play it. So I played it, and it continued to advise me to play it. I believe that Facebook is on to people trying to save it without sharing it and is making it impossible. If you do the console method on the mac, the data is filled with red warnings...

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    Replies
    1. The ANT add-on not working doesn't surprise me because of how Facebook had been obscuring the link to the video in the first place.

      I didn't know you could edit the video to begin with. I will look into this.

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    2. Yes, you can edit somewhat, but only using the few photos they supply. I still didn't want to share it on my timeline, but wasted a lot of time trying out people's advice on how to save it on desktop....they may have worked on February 5th, but no longer. All blocked. I tried firefox because that's where Ant works, but also tried VLC. No luck. Haven't tried YouTube, but I'm done....so many photos I would have preferred to use.

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    3. Thanks for alerting me to the edit ability. I just went and did that and was still able to save it using the method I provided above.

      I'd say that your best bet would be to snag a Windows machine with Chrome running on it and use the steps above.

      Otherwise, give me about 24 hours and I'll see how to better tweak the instructions for Firefox on the Mac.

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    4. Thank you! I don't have access to a PC. Also tried this:
      http://kimworld.com/how-to-download-and-share-your-facebook-lookback-video/
      and it looked good, but then started getting these:
      The page at 'https://www.facebook.com/lookback/edit/' was loaded over HTTPS, but displayed insecure content from 'http://interncache-prn.fbcdn.net/t40.2820/1601837_796315527048916_336429555_n.jpg': this content should also be loaded over HTTPS. Never an indication of mp4, as suggested... I also paused my adblocker, in case that was part of the problem. No go. Again, thanks for anything you can do!

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