Topic: Capturing Facebook

Facebook Troubleshooting & FAQs

NOTICE! As of May 2020, Facebook is rolling out changes that can affect Page Vault Browser functionality. Please read this notice!

As a result of recent changes to Facebook, some features have experienced disruption, inculding the date breakdown menthods mentioned below. We are actively monitoring the rollout and updates to functionality and will continue to update this page.

In the meantime, we recommend using Classic Facebook mode rather than using the new layout (if your account has access). To switch back to Classic, click the down arrow in the upper right corner and select "Switch to Classic Facebook" (see below for visuals).

If you experience any issues with Facebook, please let our customer support team know as soon as possible.

Do I have to log in to capture Facebook content?

Almost all of the content on Facebook will require you to be signed into an account to view it. If you do not want to use your personal account, check with your firm to see if you have a generic or “Examiner” account that they use to view and collect Facebook pages.

Facebook freezes when I try to collect the page.

Facebook freezing or taking a very long time to scroll is due to two things: 

  1. Data loading limitations by Facebook; and
  2. All browsers—including Page Vault Browser—have limits on how much content they can load at once. If the user posts very frequently, there simply may be too much content to load at one time in the browser.

Here are some ways we have found to work around these issues.

1. Disable "video autoplay" in Facebook settings. 

Allowing Facebook videos to automatically start playing while scrolling the timelines consumes significant CPU & browser resources, as well as calling from Facebook’s database. To disable:

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

2. Break the Timeline into smaller "chunks" to reduce the amount of content loaded.

All browsers—including Page Vault Browser—have limits on how much content they can load at once. If the user posts very frequently, there simply may be too much content to load at one time in the browser. When you encounter this, we recommend you “break down” the timeline into manageable pieces.

Instructions for the different ways you can do that can be found on our help page “Capturing content from specific date ranges on Facebook”.

Note that there are two types of pages that you cannot break down by date:
  • Business or public person profiles—known in Facebook as “Pages”
  • Personal profiles that have a legacy Facebook data structure
You can see more on both of these below under “Why don’t the date range breakdown methods work on this Facebook timeline?”

We recognize that breaking the profile into chunks will take some additional time, but for extremely large profiles, this may be the only approach. This is the technique our web-capture experts use internally for large Facebook profiles when we handle outsourced projects for clients with Page Vault On Demand.

Alternatively, let Page Vault capture it for you with Page Vault On Demand.

If you’d prefer to have experienced capture professionals make the capture for you, Page Vault can help. Facebook timeline captures start at $269 for Page Vault Browser clients. Quotes are free and require no commitment.

To receive a quote, simply submit an On Demand Quote Request form with the URL you are trying to capture and we’ll send you a quote to have our staff make the capture.

When I click "Expand" on a timeline, it won't even start.

Facebook rolled out a new layout in May 2020 that is impacting some of our expand functionality. If you revert back to Facebook Classic, the Expand button should work again.

To revert back to Facebook Classic

In the upper right hand corner of the screen, click the down arrow to show menu options (see image below) and select "Switch to Classic Facebook."

Why don’t the date range breakdown methods work on this Facebook timeline?

The vast majority of personal user Timelines can be broken down into date ranges, but unfortunately we have found that the breakdown methods do not work on two specific types of timelines.

  • “Pages” for businesses or public persons.
  • Personal profiles that have a legacy Facebook data structure. (We use the term “legacy profile” here for clarity, but note that it is not an official Facebook term.)

You can identify a “legacy” profile by its URL. Legacy profiles have “profile.php?id=” as the identifier rather than a username.
Legacy profile:
Regular profile:

The Navigation Bar method may work on Legacy personal profiles.

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