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How to download videos from Facebook

How to download videos from Facebook
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

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. 

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

How to download Facebook videos on desktop - Tom's Guide

(Image credit: Alan Martin)

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. 

How to download Facebook videos on desktop - click three dot button

(Image credit: Alan Martin)

3. In the drop-down menu that opens, click “Copy link." It’s the fourth item down.  

How to download Facebook videos on desktop - copy link

(Image credit: Alan Martin)

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.

How to download Facebook videos on desktop - paste link

(Image credit: Alan Martin)

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.

How to download Facebook videos on desktop - enter mbasic

(Image credit: Alan Martin)

6. Right click on the video and select “Open link in new tab."

How to download Facebook videos on desktop - open in new tab

(Image credit: Alan Martin)

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 Facebook videos on desktop - save video as

(Image credit: Alan Martin)

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. 

How to download Facebook videos on mobile - open the app

(Image credit: Alan Martin)

2. Find the video you want to download, and press the ‘Share’ button underneath. 

How to download Facebook videos on mobile

(Image credit: Alan Martin)

3. Swipe across until you find the option labelled “Copy Link." Tap it. 

How to download Facebook videos on mobile - copy link

(Image credit: Alan Martin)

4. Open your mobile browser (remember, to use Firefox if you’re on an iPhone) and head to www.fbdown.net

Paste the video URL into the box in the middle of the page, and press “Download." 

How to download Facebook videos on mobile - fbdown

(Image credit: Alan Martin)

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. 

How to download Facebook videos on mobile - choose quality

(Image credit: Alan Martin)

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.

How to download Facebook videos on mobile - download video

(Image credit: Alan Martin)

More Facebook tips

Alan Martin

Freelance contributor Alan has been writing about tech for over a decade, covering phones, drones and everything in between. Previously Deputy Editor of tech site Alphr, his words are found all over the web and in the occasional magazine too. When not weighing up the pros and cons of the latest smartwatch, you'll probably find him tackling his ever-growing games backlog. Or, more likely, playing Spelunky for the millionth time.

  • 2LittleFishies
    Thanks!! This works, however... When I watch the original video on Facebook there is a choice in quality for HD and SD quality. When I do what you described it definitely looks like it downloaded the SD version. Is there a way I can download the HD one? Thanks!
    Reply