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How to save Facebook conversations

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Oh my God, what a scare! If I just think back to the nightmare I had tonight I start to sweat… it was definitely the most terrifying dream of my life. What have I dreamed of? Zombie? Serial killer? Worse! I dreamed that my Facebook account was deleted at any moment and I lost all my data. A real drama!

Luckily it was just a dream and that we have a chance to save Facebook conversations with a click. How, didn’t you know? A function introduced some time ago by the most famous social network in the world allows you to download every single information that has been published over time on it: photos, status updates, comments, events, private messages and notes, all contained in a single, convenient archive that can be consulted offline.

If you want to know more, take five minutes of free time and keep reading: find all the information you need right below. The procedure is designed to be implemented from a computer but, if you want, you can open the web version of Facebook in the browser of your smartphone (or tablet) and download your data even on a portable device. The choice is yours.

Saving Facebook chats: standard procedure

The most effective way to save Facebook conversations is to use the download tool made available to us by the social network. As already mentioned, with this tool not only the chats are downloaded, but also all the other information that we have posted or shared on Facebook: photos, comments and so on. Another important thing to know is that all messages are grouped on a single page and therefore navigation between discussions is not particularly easy.

Having made these necessary premises, let’s take action! The first step you need to take to download all your messages and photos from Facebook is to connect to your profile on the social network, click on the arrow located in the blue bar at the top right and select the item Settings from the menu that appears. On the page that opens, select the icon General from the left sidebar and click on the item Download a copy which is located at the bottom to access the page that allows you to request the download of your data.

Now you have to press the button Start my archive, after which you have to type the password of your Facebook account in the box that opens and you must first press the button Send and then on Start my archive to start creating the archive with all your data.

At this point, Facebook will warn you that it may take some time to recover your data. In fact, you may have to wait an hour or two (depending on the amount of information to be retrieved) to receive an e-mail message containing the link for downloading the data from Facebook.

How to save Facebook conversations

After the necessary time, access your e-mail box, open the e-mail received from Facebook (has as subject Your Facebook download is ready) and click on the confirmation link it contains. On the page that opens, click on the button Download archive, type the password you use to log into Facebook in the field Password and press on Send to start the data recovery procedure.

To ascertain your identity and allow you to download the backup of your messages and photos, Facebook may ask you to recognize some friends in photos. Then put the check mark next to their names and click on the button Submit to confirm your answers (you can skip a maximum of two by clicking on the button Skip). After four or five “identifications”, you will be allowed to continue with the procedure and download your backup: to do so, click on the green button Download now.

How to save Facebook conversations

Once the download is complete, you will find all your data, images, status updates, comments, events and private messages from your Facebook account in a zip archive ( To view them, open the archive you just downloaded, extract the contents into any folder and run the file index.html present in the extracted folder (name surname).

A web page will be displayed with all the details and data of your Facebook account. To browse your backup, use the links located on the left side of the screen: Diary to view the messages of the bulletin board; Photo to view photos; Friends to view a list of your friends; Note to view the notes and, above all, Messages to view private messages.

How to save Facebook conversations

As already mentioned, the messages are all grouped on the same page and are sorted according to the date they were sent (from the most recent to the oldest). To quickly find conversations with a particular person, use the search function included in your browser.

Save Facebook chats as screenshots

Do you think the above procedure is a bit too complex? Not interested in saving all Facebook conversations but want to save only a few? In this case, the simplest solution you can adopt, although not very elegant, is to capture the screen of your PC or smartphone and save the chats of your interest in the form of screenshot.

If you prefer to act from the computer, you can use Nimbus Screenshot and Screencast. This is a free browser extension Chrome which allows you to capture the entire Web pages (automatically scrolling for the parts that are not displayed on the screen). It is actually also available for Mozilla Firefox but unfortunately in my tests it was not effective as the scrolling did not work.

To capture a screenshot of a Facebook conversation with Nimbus Screenshot and Screencast, install the extension in Chrome, then connect to and log in with your Facebook account data.

On the page that opens, select the chat to “capture” from the left sidebar, scroll up the conversation in order to get to the starting point of the discussion, click on the Nimbus located at the top right and select the item Whole page from the menu that opens. You will get an image including the whole discussion and you can decide whether to edit it directly in the browser or to save it as it is (by clicking on the button Done and then on Save as image).

How to save Facebook conversations

On a smartphone, you can take a screenshot of Facebook conversations using the specific function included in your phone’s operating system (on iPhone just press Home + Power, while on Android the combination to use is almost always Power + Volume down) and using apps to join the various parts of the chats.

Among the apps you can use to merge screenshots of Facebook chats I recommend you LongShot for Android And Tailor for iPhone. Both can be downloaded for free. LongShot also includes a special feature to automatically scroll the Android screen while capturing screenshots, but I personally advise against activating it as it requires too high permissions and therefore could prove to be a potential privacy risk.