Recently, there’s been speculation about the U.S. banning TikTok due to privacy concerns. As fellow TikTok enthusiasts, my friends and I quickly took to the app to download all our favorite content. Today, the addictive social media app is still available in the U.S., but concerns remain that it may not be for long.
For many people, TikTok has been a great source of entertainment during lockdown. If you’re like my friends and I, you probably want to save some of the dances, recipes, skits, and some of the other totally indescribable things you’ve encountered there.
We don’t know what will happen in the future, but at Backblaze, we are all about saving precious memories. And social media is one place where things you want to hold on to can suddenly disappear or become inaccessible for reasons beyond your control. In fact, we’ve gathered a handful of guides to help you protect content across a number of different platforms.
But today, our focus is the 15 to 60 second clips you know and love on TikTok. So here are some ways to be prepared in case you can no longer access the app in the future.
How to Download Your Personal TikTok Data
You can request a copy of your TikTok data and download information like your profile (username, profile photo, profile description, and contact info), your activity (videos, comment history, chat history, purchase history, likes, and favorites), and your app settings (privacy settings, notification settings, and language settings). The steps to download your TikTok data are the same for both iPhones and Androids.
- 1. Open TikTok on your phone and go to your profile.
- 2. Click on the three dots that appear at the top right corner.
- 3. Under “Account,” select “Privacy and safety.”
- 4. Click on “Personalize and data” → “Download your data.”
- 5. In “Download your data” you will see more information about what you can download. Scroll to the bottom and click “Request data file.”
- 6. In the second tab titled “Download data,” you will see that your request is pending.
- 7. Once your data is ready for download, you will receive a message in your TikTok inbox that says “System Notifications: The file you’ve requested containing your Tiktok information is now ready for you to download.” Tap that message and select “Download.”
- 8. When the file is downloaded, you can find all your comments, direct messages, activity, and more. To save your TikToks, click on the “Videos” folder → “Videos.txt” file.
- 9. Warning: You are not done yet! The file you’ve received has information about your TikToks like the date you published them, the video link, and the number of likes you got. But it doesn’t include the actual video itself. To archive the video, you need to copy and paste the video link into your web browser, then download the TikTok to your device. Yes, it will take some time to download all your videos, but if they’re worth it, they’re worth the time!
Keep in mind that these are the steps to download the TikToks that you have personally created and uploaded to your account. If you’d like to save TikToks made by other people, keep reading.
How to Download TikToks by Other Creators
The process of downloading other peoples’ TikToks is a little more manual, but unlike requesting your TikTok data like above, there’s no waiting time. Here’s what you’ve got to do:
- 1. Open TikTok on your phone and go to the video you want to save.
- 2. On the right side of the video, click on the arrow which indicates the “Send to” button.
- 3. Under “Share to,” click “Save video.”
- 4. That’s it—the video is now saved to your phone!
Note: Some people may have set their videos to be non-downloadable. They probably have a good reason for that! It should go without saying, if you’re downloading other people’s content, don’t use it for any purposes they might not offer consent for.
You can also use this TikTok Scraper & Downloader for a faster way to download all of your data or other users’ videos that you want to save in bulk. While it’s a more technical option, all of the documentation for how to install and use the Scraper is available on GitHub.
How to Back Up Your TikToks
Once you’ve got all your TikTok data on your phone, it’s time to back it up. Those of you with iCloud may think you’re in the clear. Unfortunately, iCloud is not a backup service; it simply syncs your data with your other Apple devices. This means that if your Mac and iPhone are synced and you lose the saved TikToks on your iPhone, you will lose them on your Mac too. You can read more about using iCloud here.
Since iCloud shouldn’t be used as a backup service, we recommend you use a computer backup or cloud storage service instead. To do this, you first need to transfer your TikToks from your phone to your computer. And then, it’s time to back it up!
Lucky for you, we already have a detailed blog post about backing up your social media content. The post covers the difference between computer backup vs. cloud storage and how you can use Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage to archive your social media data. With Backblaze, you can store as much data as you’d like with no limitations. So whether you’re an avid TikToker with thousands of videos or just getting started on the social media platform, we’ve got you covered.