In this post I explain how to quickly get the birthdays of your Facebook friends and add them to the calendar you use (in my case Google Calendar).
A bit of background
I don’t like the way Facebook behaves. Facebook has proven over the years that it is morally defunct and that it can’t be relied upon to act responsibly with
users’ our data.
I have been trying to limit how much I use Facebook.
I’m trying to minimise how much I use it but noticed one of the main things I use it for is to check if it’s someone’s birthday.
So if I can get the birthdays another way I have one less reason to use it. Great.
Below are the steps I took to extract all the birthdays from Facebook.
The steps to take
I recommend doing this from a desktop/laptop, not from the Facebook app.
1. Get birthdays
First, you need to extract the birthdays from Facebook. It is surprisingly quite straight forward
Log in (preferably in an incognito window). Go to the ‘Events’ page.
There should be a panel in the right sidebar (see Figure 1), below the “Upcoming birthdays” panel, that contains a link labelled Birthdays. Click on this link to download.
2. Import into calendar
Now you have the set of birthdays downloaded open up your calendar of choice
Find the add calendar button. In Google Calendar, find the magical three dots (see figure 2). Clicking on this opens up a popup.
In the dropdown menu, choose the ‘Import’ option.
You should now be on a settings page.
Choose the “Select file from your computer” option. Then select the file you downloaded from Facebook.
Weirdly, when I did this the file had been saved as the name of one of my Facebook friends.
The file should end in
That is it. You should now have the birthdays of all your Facebook contacts in your calendar.
Which means; no excuses for forgetting them (con) and even fewer reasons to use Facebook (pro).
I’m always on the lookout for ways to untangle myself from Facebook. If you have any tips please do share in the comments.