How to back up your Tumblr before the porn ban

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On Monday, Tumblr announced that it’s removing all adult content from its site on December 17th. Any explicit sexual content and nudity that’s already on the site will be hidden and users won’t be able to post any more adult content.

That means reblogs and public posts will all be hidden. You’ll need some way of saving all your posts. Tumblr does offer an export tool, but it’s buried under multiple pages in the Help Center.

First, head into your Dashboard and click on your account menu, which is represented by a person icon. Click on the Settings gear on the account menu. From there, you can select which blog you want to export from a list on the right. Tumblr lets you have multiple blogs per account, but you’ll have to go through the same steps to export each one.

Image: Tumblr

Once you’ve selected a blog, scroll all the way down to the Export feature and click on it. Tumblr will then start to process your backup. The process could take some time — it will likely depend on how many posts you’ve got. For instance, I started downloading my data yesterday and it’s been a full 24 hours, but the backup still isn’t ready.

After the file is ready to be downloaded, the processing message will disappear and you’ll see a “Download backup” button instead. Tap that to get a ZIP file.

The ZIP file will include:

  • a Posts folder that contains each reblog, draft, private post, flagged post, and any other hidden posts as HTML files
  • a Media folder that contains the media from your posts and in any of your messages, including photos, GIFs, audio, and more
  • all your posts and conversations in XML format

Many users have reported Tumblr incorrectly flagging posts as “explicit,” including images of cute dogs, turtles, illustrations, and vases, so it’s quite possible that other posts that don’t expressly contain sexually explicit or nude content may still be taken down. If you’re at all concerned about losing your Tumblr archives, it’s a good idea to export your blog just to be safe, no matter what you’ve got in it.