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 2.7 billion active monthly 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 sign in using Facebook so that 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. As of 2020, Facebook is absent from the Microsoft Store, with Facebook instructing Windows users to access its service through a web browser instead of a dedicated app. (For what it's worth, Facebook on the Mac is a browser-based experience, too.)

If you've got a mobile phone, though, you can download the Facebook app to directly access the social network. 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. If you've already got a user name and password for Facebook, you can just log into the mobile app using that information, though you can also create an account through 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's browser interface includes a built-in chat feature that's proven quite popular. If you want to chat from your phone, you'll need a separate app — 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.

Once you figure out how to download Facebook on your phone, you'll likely want to enable two-factor authentication for some measure of security. From the main menu, select Settings & Privacy, then tap on Settings. In the Security section, head to the Security and Login Page, where you can turn on two-factor authentication.

What you can do with Facebook

Facebook ushered in a new look in 2019 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. 

More Facebook tips

How to make your own Facebook avatar | How to use Facebook Dark Mode on Android, iPhone and desktop | How to send a GIF in Facebook Messenger | How to change password on Facebook | How to set up two-factor authentication on Facebook

Philip Michaels

Philip Michaels is a Managing Editor at Tom's Guide. He's been covering personal technology since 1999 and was in the building when Steve Jobs showed off the iPhone for the first time. He's been evaluating smartphones since that first iPhone debuted in 2007, and he's been following phone carriers and smartphone plans since 2015. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics, old movies and proper butchery techniques. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.