Facebook first introduced video support back in 2007 and has since then improved the feature, for instance by adding high definition video support. Users can actually encounter two types of videos; Videos that are hosted on Facebook after they are uploaded by users, and videos that are embedded in messages and wall posts.
Facebook itself has no controls to download videos that are hosted or embedded on the social networking site. Users who want to download videos from Facebook need to look for third party solutions, like scripts, extensions and software programs.
Many popular solutions redirect the user to third party websites where the videos are downloaded. That’s not very user friendly. This guide looks at solutions that offer direct downloads from Facebook without third party site redirections.
Firefox users have the largest assortment of tools and extensions at their disposal. I’m going to introduce two different options here, there are however many more available.
Download Helper – This is a Firefox extension. Extensions are add-ons for the browser that are often developed by third party companies and individuals. Add-ons can be directly installed in the browser if they are compatible with the installed version of the web browser.
Download Helper is available at the official Mozilla Firefox add-on repository. Users who want to install it should make sure they run the latest official version of the web browser.
They then need to open the add-on website linked above in the browser. A click on the Download Now button starts the download and installation of the extension.
This spawns a software installation window. A click on install adds the extensions to the Firefox webbrowser. A restart is required to complete the process. Download Helper can be used to download videos from many different websites. The list includes popular video portals such as Youtube and also Facebook.
The tool indicates downloadable videos in the Firefox status bar. A click on the down arrow next to the icon shows all downloadable videos. Just select the Facebook video from the available options and it will be downloaded.
Facebook Video Downloader – is another option. This is a userscript which is compatible with the Firefox web browser. It is necessary to install either the Greasmonkey or Scriptish extension first before userscripts can be installed in Firefox.
Visit the userscripts page of the userscript after installing one of the extensions listed above. A click on the Install button installs the script
Userscripts manipulate web pages when they are loaded. Facebook Video Downloader adds a download link to every video page on Facebook.
Please note that you may have to reload the video page once before the download link appears on the page.
The userscript mentioned above may work as well. Chrome like Firefox supports userscripts. No additional extension needs to be installed prior to installing userscripts in Google Chrome. Follow the installation instructions above to install the Facebook Video Download userscript in the Google Browser.
An alternative is the Windows software Google Chrome cache veiwer which displays all cached items in the web browser. Videos, like other media, are cached on the local hard drive. Just sort the display by content or file size and select File > Save Selected Items to save the Facebook video to another location on the hard drive.
Please note that the video needs to be playing before it appears in the cache viewer.
Opera users can utilize a similar software called Opera Cache View by the same developer. It basically offers the same functionality as the Google Chrome software.
Guess what, Internet Explorer users can use IE cache review from the same developer for exactly the same functionality. Just start the video on Facebook, open the software program, look for the video and download it.
Video cache review is another alternative. The application supports multiple browsers and filters their cache for videos. This makes the identification of the Facebook video a lot easier.
We have shown how to download Facebook videos directly with extensions, userscripts and applications. The guide offers at least one solution for every popular web browser out there. The solutions sometimes may be limited to the Windows operating system, but that’s what the majority of Internet users are using.
If you have a different solution for download videos from Facebook let us hear about it in the comments.
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