How To Download Videos from Facebook Messenger

Posted by Jamie on April 3, 2019

Ever wanted to download videos from Facebook Messenger? Wanted to keep a video on your phone rather than trusting it to the social network? Proud of a video you made or took part in and want to keep it on your device? This tutorial will show you how.

For a while, you could watch a video in Facebook Messenger and hit the download icon at the bottom of the page. Then after a couple of updates, that option seems to have disappeared. It has for me anyway. What was once super simple is now slightly more difficult. I imagine Facebook wants to keep you on the platform as much as possible and would rather you watch the video on the app rather than on your phone.

The internet has other ideas though and has come up with two alternatives. There are more options but they tend to involve downloading and using random software. None of these options requires anything but a browser or web app.

So if the download option has gone from your Facebook Messenger, you can still download videos.

Download videos from Facebook Messenger

Before the download icon disappeared you could play the video within Facebook Messenger and would see a download option at the end. Alternatively, on iPhone you could press and hold on the video and see Save as a dialog option. If you no longer see that option, all is not lost as there are other ways to get what we want.

Open the video in another tab

This works best on desktop but can work on mobile too. Open the video in a separate tab, let it play and then right select the video and Save As… I use Windows for saving videos so I let it play, right click with the mouse and select Save As. I give the video a name and select a save location. That’s it.

The video should download to your PC and be viewable in your video player. It should save as an MP4 by default so should be universally watchable.

Use a browser trick

This is a widely publicized hack that lets you download videos from Facebook Messenger. It extracts the URL of the video, switches it to the mobile version of the page and lets you inspect the element and download the video. It works like this:

  1. Navigate to the video you want to download.
  2. Right click it and select ‘Copy video URL at current time’.
  3. Paste that URL into a browser tab, remove the www. part and replace it with m. to access the mobile version.
  4. Load the page and play the video.
  5. Right click and select Inspect or use Alt Option + Cmd + J on Mac.
  6. Located the video URL, ending in MP4 and copy it.
  7. Paste that into another tab and let it play.
  8. Right click that video and select Save Video As.

This process is used across the internet on all kinds of websites to isolate the video file to download. It works on most browsers that have a developer console and while there are a few steps, it is actually very straightforward to do.

Use FBdown.net to download videos from Facebook Messenger

FBdown.net is a video downloader website that can make short work of downloading videos from Facebook Messenger. You still need to capture the video URL using Steps 1 to 6 but instead of downloading it from a browser tab, you can use this web app instead. If you find that Save As isn’t working, this is where you need to go.

  1. Follow Steps 1 to 6 above to capture the video URL.
  2. Navigate to net.
  3. Paste the URL into the center box and hit Download.
  4. Download the video and save it to a location of your choice.

As long as you captured the video URL correctly, the website will locate and identify the video and then download it onto your device. It works on mobiles and on desktops and seems to be fast and effective. I tested it twice using the Brave browser on Windows 10 and it took seconds to download a 30 second video from Facebook Messenger.

There are apps and software tools that also offer to download videos from Facebook Messenger. They may work and they may be completely fine but I’m always of the opinion that if you can do something without installing more apps or programs, all the better!

Do you know of any other ways to download a video from Facebook Messenger? Tell us about it below if you do!

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