What’s New: Importing Pictures from Facebook and Instagram to FamilySearch.org

April 3, 2017  - by 

When I visited my grandma a while back, she told me she had accidentally deleted the internet and needed me to help her reinstall it. Hmmm. Turns out she had actually just deleted the Internet Explorer icon on her desktop! So, imagine my surprise just a few days later when she liked one of my photos on Instagram. The next time I saw her, I said, “Grandma, I didn’t know you knew about Instagram!” When I suggested she start posting her own pictures she replied, “Oh, I don’t have anything to add. Nothing is going on in my life that people are interested in. I just like looking.”

A new feature on FamilySearch.org may be just the way to get Grandma more excited about sharing her own photos. You can now preserve and share your Instagram and Facebook photos directly to FamilySearch. This new integration makes it is easy to choose which photos from these social networks you’d like to link to people in Family Tree and preserve for future generations—a more permanent way for Grandma to leave a photo legacy.

How to Import Photos to FamilySearch

  1. Sign in to FamilySearch.org.
  2. Select Memories in the top navigation.
  3. Choose Gallery.
  4. Click the green plus icon.
  5. Select Instagram or Facebook.
  6. Enter your username and password for the site you chose.
  7. Authorize that site to access your information in FamilySearch.org.
  8. In the window that appears, select the pictures you would like to import, and click Import.

You can now also import photos from Google Photos. Click here to learn how. Each of these features is available on the FamilySearch Memories app as well.

Please be aware that you might encounter problems with this feature in the Edge and Internet Explorer 11 browsers due to the trusted site settings. Try adding FamilySearch.org to your trusted sites list or use another browser.

This integration with Facebook and Instagram makes it that much easier to organize and preserve your important family photos. We’ll see if it’s enough to convice Grandma to take the plunge. I hope so!


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  1. Some years ago, a woman professor at UNI (northern Iowa) wrote a book about the diaries written by female pioneers who moved to Iowa in the 19th Century. The diaries were donated by family members, who usually apologized for bothering the historical association with unimportant diaries. As you already suspect, those diaries were beyond priceless.

    Some of those women admitted they knelt down at night and thanked God for sending a husband who would go out every day and do the hardest most dangerous work to support her so she could be in the house with her babies. And, a lot more like that. It turns out the women were not dragged unwillingly by domineering husbands. In some cases the women were the ones who pressured the husbands to move for a better life like other family members had done.

    Those old photos are priceless, too. But, too often the photos are not identified which is almost an atrocity against mankind. My ancestors had a large number of photos, from the early days of photography. And, we can only guess that some of them are the French ancestors by the clothes.

  2. How do I make a suggestion for all? Many photos have some information written on the back side. When copying photos this can be lost. Copying the back as well as the front, can save important information. Merging the photo and photo copy of the back using Photoshop or equal keeps the photo and information together. When information on digital photos is available, increase the border size and type in the information on the border. Cropping can easily return the photo to it’s original state. l have not found this tip anywhere else. – Byng

    1. Some Family Search Centers have high speed photo scanners with the option to copy both sides of pictures and keep them together. Call your center to see if it is available.

    2. Byng, it would seem you’ve made your suggestion for all. And what a wonderful suggestion! Thanks so much for the excellent advice, that (thanks to you posting it here in 2017) I’m reading 2 years later. ~Ron.V (from Georgia, U.S.A.

  3. AWESOME! This works so smoothly! Instagram and Facebook just bring up tons of pictures I’ve posted in the past. I didn’t remember some of them. Thank you for this great addition that works so well to add photos to my tree! We will love the memories.

  4. Every time I try to load the indexing program I get the followitng error codes.

    java.lang.ClassNotFoundException: org.familysearch.indexing.launcher.Launcher
    at java.net.URLClassLoader$1.run(Unknown Source)
    at java.security.AccessController.doPrivileged(Native Method)
    at java.net.URLClassLoader.findClass(Unknown Source)
    at java.lang.ClassLoader.loadClass(Unknown Source)
    at sun.misc.Launcher$AppClassLoader.loadClass(Unknown Source)
    at java.lang.ClassLoader.loadClass(Unknown Source)
    at com.exe4j.runtime.LauncherEngine.launch(LauncherEngine.java:62)
    at com.exe4j.runtime.WinLauncher.main(WinLauncher.java:101)
    at com.install4j.runtime.launcher.WinLauncher.main(WinLauncher.java:26)

    1. Please use the “Get Help” button at the top right of the page to contact support. They can help you solve this issue.

  5. I would like to suggest that FamilySearch implement a Facebook/G+/Instagram/ in a collaborative way to fill a tree. Not all at family like genealogy but would be more ease and productive to tell them to collaborate through social networks.

  6. Must easier to print screnn save to your downloads they tranfer to memories. I would prefer not give them access to my inforamtion and family

  7. My aunt died this past June. In her drawers were old photos. I know some but there are some I have no idea who they are. Some are tin types. Any suggestions on how to show they for someone to recognize?

  8. My sister has most of the old photos and is always posting new photos of children and grandchildren but she is not an LDS member, only I have an account as I am the only member in my family. Can I get pictures from her FaceBook page on my FS page?

    1. Diane, are you referring to MyHeritage? Ged.com appears to be a website for the GED (General Equivalency Diploma). Why do you ask?