Topic: Capturing Facebook

Basic Facebook Captures

New Facebook status as of February 15, 2021

In 2020 Facebook converted all users over to its new layout, called New Facebook. Functionality for basic Facebook captures is unchanged in New Facebook. Please see our page on New Facebook updates for the latest status on Page Vault's capabilities and new solutions.

Important notes before starting on Facebook

You will need a Facebook account

In order to view content on personal profiles, you will need a Facebook account. Many firms have an account for this purpose; if yours does not, please see our article on creating examiner accounts for social media platforms.

Business pages are typically viewable without an account, although you will be prompted to log in or sign up to see more (this prompt can be dismissed and you can keep viewing the business page).

Turn off video autoplay

By default, Facebook will automatically play videos posted on a user’s timeline. Video autoplay significantly slows down collections and drastically increases resource use, which can cause the browser to crash. For the best capture experience, please make sure Facebook video autoplay is turned off.

Method 1: Use Page Vault's Built-In Option
  1. Navigate to Facebook and log in (the option will not be available if you are not on a Facebook page)
  2. Click on the hamburger menu in the right corner of the capture menu bar. A menu will appear; select "Turn off video auto-play..."
  3. A dialog box will appear to confirm that you want to have Page Vault turn off video auto-play for you. Click yes.
  4. A new tab will open, navigate to your Facebook settings, and turn auto-play off for you. You can now proceed with your Facebook captures.
Method 2: Manually Turn Off Auto-Play
  1. Navigate to Facebook settings (in the far left corner of the Facebook menu bar)
  2. Select Videos from the left menu options (at the very bottom)
  3. For Auto-Play videos, select “Off” from the drop-down menu

Make a Facebook Timeline Capture—with expanded comments and replies

Profiles and Pages are where Facebook aggregates all the information on a single person or entity. The Timeline is the main section of the profile or page, a chronological listing of the user’s posts, updates, and shared media. 

The most common capture on Facebook is of the Timeline of a personal profile. 

How to capture a facebook timeline

  1. In the Page Vault Browser, navigate to the Facebook timeline that you would like to collect. 
  2. You’ll see that when you are on a Facebook page, a new button is available in the upper left corner, labeled Expand. Click this button.

  3. A dialog box appears with three options (see below for explanations on all options). To capture the Timeline with all comments and replies opened to see, keep the radio button set to ‘Scroll to the bottom and open comments’. (For other options, see "Facebook Expander Options" below.)
  4. Optional: If you would like the capture to immediately initate after scrolling and opening, then check the box marked ‘Capture after expanding’ which will bring up your list of folders. Select the folder in your account where you would like to store the capture and click ‘expand and capture’. 
    If you do not select “Capture after expanding and save to folder…” the Expander will scroll and open, but will NOT capture the content and will require you to use the regular “capture” button to use the regular capture dialog box. 

Page Vault’s Expander tool will now open all posts comments and replies on the page. If you selected to capture after expanding, the capture will then automatically be saved into the folder that you selected.

Note that if the timeline is very long, this may take several hours to complete, or may even crash the Page Vault Browser due to the size of the timeline. If this is a personal profile—not a business page—see our help article on breaking timelines down by date ranges if you think you have a timeline that is too large.

Facebook Expander Options

  • Scroll to the bottom: Will scroll the page to load additional posts on the timeline. Will not expand any comments or replies.
  • Open comments on currently loaded posts: This option will open all the comments and replies for posts that have already loaded. It will not keep scrolling further down the page.
  • Scroll to the bottom and open comments: This option will scroll the page to load additional posts on the timeline, and then open the comments and replies available.

Having issues with Facebook Expander? See our Troubleshooting guide.

On this page

Can't find what you need?
Contact customer support >>