Popular video sites often make it difficult to download content, usually for copyright and income reasons. Instead, they’d rather you share a direct link or post it to your feed, where you’ll continue to rack up those pre-video ad dollars. But if you’re looking to secure a permanent copy of a clip you saw on Facebook, you probably have your reasons. And since we trust you, we are here to tell you how to download them.
If you have installed software that you use to download YouTube videos, such as 4K Video Downloader, you can give it a try. Most of the tools that work for YouTube, Vimeo, and others also work with Facebook URLs. But there is an easier way to start.
Facebook provides a “Save Video” link in the ellipsis menu next to almost all videos. But that’s not for saving the video to your local storage, it just “saves” it to Facebook in a section of your account called “Saved Videos”, where you can create collections to watch later. If the owner deletes the video, you will no longer have access to it.
The steps to put a Facebook video on your computer are a bit complicated, but not difficult. First, in your browser, click the three-point ellipsis menu on a video and select Copy link. (You may not see this option if the video is listed as private.)
Paste it into a new browser tab and watch it forward the shortened link (starting with https://fb.watch/) to something that starts with https://www.facebook.com/watch/. In the address bar, change “www” to “mbasic. “
A mobile Facebook page on the desktop.
That forces the browser to load the mobile version of the page for you. Right click on the videoand select Open link in a new tab. In this new third tab, all you will see is the video, and you can right-click again and select Save video as to put it on your PC.
Raise the resolution
The downside here is that you’re not getting particularly high-resolution video this way.
The easy solution is to not make this complicated and use FDown.net (formerly FBDown.net, but they dropped a letter for simplicity). It has advertisements to keep the lights on, but some are advertisement traps with “Start” or “Start Download” boxes, so don’t click on them.
Paste the Facebook URL you snagged by selecting Copy Link from the ellipsis menu. The site will analyze all content for you and provide links to get the “Normal Quality” version (the same you get with the steps above) or an “HD Quality” video. I used it to take a movie trailer and the normal quality was a 4.6MB blocky file; the HD was a gorgeous 27MB file.
You can click the links or right-click to select Save Link As. The More options box can try to force a standard definition or high definition download, and also do an audio correction.
If you use the Google Chrome browser and find that you use FDown.net a lot, consider taking its extension called Video Downloader PLUS. Puts a download button directly on the video if it’s downloadable. However, that is one of the many extensions from many developers that allow Facebook downloads. Try a few and pick one of your favorites.
If you come across a video that you can’t download on Facebook, try FDown.net/private-downloader.php first. If that fails, try a screen recording tool to capture it as it plays.
It turns out that FDown.net shines on mobile devices too, be it Android or iOS. The caveat is that it doesn’t work with the Safari browser on iOS. It’s not great with Chrome either, according to the developers. They recommend using mobile Firefox. It won’t work on private videos either, but you may not know they are private until the very last step.
FDown.net on Mobile Firefox
Find a video on Facebook (in any browser) and click the option to Share that. Then on the share screen, find the option to Copy link. Then open Firefox, load FDown.net, paste the URL and hit download. You will see the options to get a video in normal quality or HD quality again; tap and hold your finger on what you prefer and you will get an option that says Download link, Then a download now confirmation.
This places the video in the Downloads section of the Firefox browser. You can access that through Firefox’s hamburger menu at the bottom right (all three lines). Click on the video link; it will probably look like a long string of numbers. On iOS, you can tap Save video to put it on your device’s camera roll.
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