How To Automatically Archive Every Facebook Photo You’re Tagged In

Facebook is one of the prime places friends and family upload pictures. Chances are someone has tagged you in at least one picture. The problem is that those pictures disappear when the person who tagged you closes his or her account. Here’s how to prevent that from happening.

Here’s the problem: when friends or family members delete their Facebook accounts (or they unfriend you for whatever reason), all their pictures — including any that you’re tagged in — disappear forever. This can be a bummer, especially if you’re the type to rely on family members to take pictures at events. Fortunately, it’s easy to automate and archive those pictures if you set it up beforehand. Here’s how to do it, along with some ideas for getting those photos back after the fact.

Download All the Photos You’re Already Tagged In

First things first: You need to download all the photos you’ve already been tagged in, because you can’t automate a service to grab any older pictures. For that, we like PhotoGrabber, a free app for Windows and Mac that will snag all the photos you’re tagged in one swoop. It’s a little clunky, but it gets the job done quickly.

  1. Download PhotoGrabber and open it up.
  2. Click the “Login” button and login into your Facebook page.
  3. Select “Authorize App” and copy the login token PhotoGrabber gives you back into the PhotoGrabber app.
  4. Select “I want to download” and check the boxes of the photos you want (All tagged photos of the user will get you pictures you appear in, but also selecting “Entire album if it contains a tagged photo” will ensure you get the whole roll of film from an event).
  5. Select “myself” to download pictures you’re tagged in.
  6. Click “Begin Download” and let PhotoGrabber do its thing.

Unfortunately, PhotoGrabber isn’t so good at downloading pictures you’re tagged in through another service (like Instagram), so you might need to pop in and manually download those as well.

Automatically Archive Photos You’re Tagged In with IFTTT

The simplest way to archive any photos you’re tagged in is with the service-linking automation web app If This Then That. With IFTTT, you can set it up so that every time you’re tagged in a Facebook photo, that photo is uploaded to another service of your choosing.

  1. Head over to IFTTT and create an account.
  2. Select “Create a Recipe” and click “this”.
  3. Select Facebook, then “You are tagged in a photo”, then “Create trigger”.
  4. Select “That” and pick the service you want to send the photos to (Dropbox, email, Flickr, Google Drive, Skydrive or Evernote make the most sense).

That’s it. From now on, when someone tags you in a photo, that photo will automatically get saved elsewhere. The benefit is that your family photos, group pictures and everything else will be saved on your hard drive long after your friends remove their Facebook pages.

How to Get Pictures After Your Friends Have Already Deleted Their Account

Using IFTTT to automatically grabphotos is great, but it doesn’t really help you after your grandma suddenly decides she’s sick of all the Facebook drama and suddenly deletes her account.

In order to get these pictures back, you’ll need to ask for them. If they don’t have a backup, chances are they just deactivated their Facebook account, and that means it’s easy to recover those pictures. Ask them to log back in to Facebook (just this one more time!) and click the cog to head over to the settings page. Then click Download a copy of Facebook information to download all the photos. That will get an instant archive they can send over to you. It takes about 14 days to delete your Facebook account, so as long as you catch the missing pictures before then, you’re good to go.

It’s not the simplest method in the world, but if you don’t want those pictures to disappear onto someone’s hard drive forever, it’s your only option — and one more reason to automate the archiving of pictures moving forward.

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