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How to download Facebook

how to download facebook
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

It's well nigh impossible to be online and not encounter Facebook in some form. Facebook claims to have 2.6 billion monthly active users, making it the most popular social networking app by far. And even if you don't use Facebook on a regular basis, enough apps let you use your Facebook login credential to sign into their apps to where it might make sense to keep Facebook installed on your mobile device.

It's not that hard to download Facebook. The mobile version of the social networking service is available from the major app stories, with one notable exception. Earlier this year, Facebook for Windows left the Microsoft Store, as Facebook says that Windows users should access the service via a browser. (Facebook for Mac is a browser-based experience, too.)

If you've got a mobile phone, though, there's still a dedicated Facebook app you can download. We'll show you how to download Facebook for free and what to expect from the app once you've got it installed.

Where to download Facebook

Whether you use Android or iOS, there's a version of Facebook for your phone or tablet. For desktops and laptops, you'll need to use your favorite web browser to log in to the service. The same user name and password for your desktop experience will also work on the mobile app.

If you've got a less powerful phone or don't want to consume much data when you're using a cellular connection, there's a Facebook Lite version for Android. This is a stripped-down version of Facebook's mobile app best suited for phones without a lot of processing oomph or memory.

Facebook browser interface includes a chat feature. If you want to use that from your phone, you'll need a separate — Facebook Messenger — which lets you chat by text and video for free. As with the main Facebook app, there's a scaled-down version of Facebook Messenger for low-powered Android phones.

Got a Windows device? Then better head to a web browser if you don't already have Facebook installed. As we noted, Facebook removed its app from the Windows store.

What you can do with Facebook

Facebook ushered in a new look last year to place more of an emphasis on groups, since that's one area of the social networking site that a lot of people are satisfied with. The company also says it's taking a more aggressive approach to privacy after a series of high-profile blunders suggested that Facebook has been pretty cavalier with your personal data. 

The mobile versions of Facebook have introduced dark modes, which are becoming increasingly popular ways of reducing battery consumption and eye strain. The iOS version of Dark Mode is rolling out more slowly, however.