How to Save Videos From Facebook

Like a video enough to save it to your computer? Follow these steps

save facebook videos
Getty Images (filadendron #852562474)

A major part of the Facebook experience is watching videos in your feed, some prerecorded and others streamed in real-time via Facebook Live. By following the steps below you can save Facebook videos to your hard drive, smartphone or tablet and view them offline any time you wish.

Save Videos From Facebook Using Desktop or Laptop Computers

download facebook videos
Screenshot from Windows

If a video appears in your Facebook timeline after being posted by a friend, family member, company or other entity you can download it as an MP4 file and store it locally for future use. In order to do so you must first trick Facebook into thinking that you're viewing the social media site on a mobile device, an unconventional but necessary workaround. The following steps will work for the majority of FB videos, including those originally recorded via Facebook Live, in most major web browsers.

  1. After navigating to the video that you wish to download, right-click anywhere within the player.
  2. A pop-up menu should appear, overlaying the video player and offering a few options. Select the one labeled Show video URL.
  3. Another pop-up will display containing the direct address, or URL, for the respective video. Click on this URL to highlight it and copy it to the clipboard. This can be done by right-clicking and selecting the Copy option or by using the keyboard shortcut specific to your operating system; such as CTRL + C on Windows, Chrome OS, and Linux or COMMAND + C on macOS.
  4. Paste the URL into your browser's address bar, replacing any text currently residing there, by right-clicking in the edit field and selecting the Paste option from the sub-menu that appears. You can also use the following keyboard shortcuts to paste the new URL: CTRL +​ V on Windows, Chrome OS, and Linux or COMMAND + V on macOS.
  5. Now that the address bar is populated with the new URL, you'll need to modify it slightly by replacing www with m. The front portion of the URL should now read instead of Hit the Enter or Return key to load this new address.
  6. The video should now be displayed in a mobile-optimized page. Click on the play button.
  7. Internet Explorer only: A pop-up dialog should appear at the bottom of your browser window. Click on the Save button to download the video file to your default location.
  8. With the video playing, right-click anywhere within the player again. A new context menu will now appear, offering different options than those given in step 2. Choose the one labeled Save video as.
  9. Pick the desired location where you'd like to save the video file and click on the Save or Open button, which varies based on operating system. The complete video file will now be stored on your hard drive in MP4 format.

Save Videos That You Posted on Facebook

save your facebook videos
Tim Robberts/Getty Images

You can also download videos that you yourself posted to Facebook. This can come in handy if you accidentally deleted or lost the original video file.

  1. Hover the mouse cursor over the More link, located in the header on your main Facebook profile page in the same row as the Friends and Photos options. When the drop-down menu appears, click on Videos.
  2. Located in the Videos module should be a section labeled Your Videos, containing each one that you've uploaded to Facebook in the past. Place your mouse cursor over the video that you wish to save locally.
  3. A small icon that looks like a pencil should appear in the upper right-hand corner of the video's thumbnail image. When clicked upon, a drop-down menu will be displayed. Choose either Download SD or Download HD from this menu to retrieve the video as an MP4, with the option chosen dictating whether the file will be in standard-definition or high-definition (if available) resolution.

Save Videos From Facebook on Android or iOS Devices

Friendly for Facebook
Screenshot from iOS

Saving videos from Facebook is possible on Android and iOS smartphones and tablets as well. The steps to retrieve these files are much different than on a computer, however.

Friendly for Facebook, available for free in the App Store and Google Play, adds a bunch of new features to the FB experience–one being the ability to save videos to your phone or tablet.

After locating the video that you wish to save to your Android device, tap on its play button. As the video begins to play, a button labeled Download will appear in the lower right-hand corner of the screen. Select this button to save the video to your Android multimedia gallery. You'll be prompted to grant Friendly access to your photos, media and files, a necessary action if you wish to complete the download. This should work no matter who made your Android phone: Samsung, Google, HTC, etc.

iOS (iPad, iPhone, iPod touch)
Friendly places a custom button to the right of Share whenever a Facebook post contains a video. This button, represented by a cloud with a down arrow in the foreground, presents a menu with several options when tapped.

To save the video as a local file on your device, select Download Video to Camera Roll. You'll need to grant Friendly access to your photo library to complete the download process.