It's useful to know how to download videos from Facebook. Video sharing is one of the main reasons that people keep coming back to Facebook, but it’s not in the social network's interests to let you download video to watch elsewhere.
Although there's a button next to clips on the website that says “Save video," all this does is add the video to your “saved video” bookmarks to watch later on Facebook. That’s not ideal if you need to share personal videos with friends and family who don’t have a Facebook account, or you just want access to a video to watch offline.
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Fortunately, there is a way around this, on both desktop and mobile. Just bear in mind that companies may not be thrilled about you downloading their clips, so you certainly shouldn't download and share copyrighted content.
Additionally, private video uploads could well be private for a reason, so you should check with the person whose Facebook video you plan to download before proceeding.
With those caveats out of the way, here’s how to download Facebook videos.
How to download videos from Facebook on desktop
1. In your desktop browser, go to the Facebook website and find the video you want to download. For the purposes of this guide, we’ll use the most recent video on the official Tom’s Guide Facebook page.
2. Click the video that you’re interested in. When the clip starts playing, click the three dot button on the right-hand side of the video.
3. In the drop-down menu that opens, click “Copy link." It’s the fourth item down.
4. Paste this link into a new browser tab. It may be shortened to an "fb.watch" link. If so, press Enter so it expands and you should be left with something that looks like the link in the screenshot below.
5. Now change the URL in the address bar so that “www” is changed to “mbasic."
So, in the example above, https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=267770804789936 becomes https://mbasic.facebook.com/watch/?v=267770804789936.
Press Enter, and you’ll be presented with an ugly mobile view, as seen below.
6. Right click on the video and select “Open link in new tab."
7. In the new tab, the Facebook video will be the only thing on display. Right click it, and choose “Save video as” to download the video to your computer.
How to download videos from Facebook on mobile
Downloading Facebook videos on mobile is a whole different kettle of fish, and while there are apps that claim to do it, a far simpler way is to use the website FBDown.net. This works on Android and iOS, but you'll need to download the Firefox browser on an iPhone or iPad, as the FBDown.net site doesn't load properly in Safari.
Bear in mind that this method only works on publicly shared Facebook videos.
1. Open the Facebook mobile app and log in.
2. Find the video you want to download, and press the ‘Share’ button underneath.
3. Swipe across until you find the option labelled “Copy Link." Tap it.
Paste the video URL into the box in the middle of the page, and press “Download."
5. On the next page, press the link to download in either “Normal Quality” or “High Quality." This will impact the file size and how much space the video takes up on your mobile device.
6. This will open another page showing just the Facebook video. Long-press the clip and then tap “Download video” when the option appears.
The video will now be saved to your mobile device, where you can play it offline and keep it for as long as you want.