How To: See Locked Private Profile Picture on Facebook


Long back, security experts and hackers found a serious security flaw on Facebook which allowed them to view private photos on Facebook with a small tweak. Facebook security flawed in that. Developers started to develop browser scripts which allowed people to see locked private profile pictures. A locked profile picture refers to a one which cannot be viewed in theater view or enlarged view. People even can’t comment on it. This privacy holds good when a person doesn’t wants to share a high resolution photo what he uploads.

People want to have privacy on their photos. There are people who keep pictures as their profile picture that does not contain pictures of them. That may be purely due to privacy of their own self. But still if they think that they want people to find them easily, then they should have their own picture as their profile picture. It is lucky for such people that Facebook provides a privacy feature to make a profile picture private.

As Facebook have common type of URLs everywhere for photos, it made me to guess the public URL of the enlarged URL of the locked profile picture. By changing some parts in URL, we can view the picture in enlarged form. All you need is to, learn the structure of two URLs. One is the short 160 x 160 px image which you will see this on people’s timeline. The other is, the public URL of the same image which is enlarged. This enlarged image will be in the full resolution what the profile owner has uploaded.

The below is the structure of an enlarged profile URL.

https://fbcdn-sphotos-f-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-fb/123456_123456789012345_1234567890_n.jpg

The last part of the profile picture determines some property of your picture. The letter n which is defined before the extension of the image determines the size of the picture whether the public URL refers to a thumbnail or full size image. The n can be replaced with the letter t to view the thumbnail sized image. Each picture on Facebook is determined by a unique ID by Facebook. The number 123456789012345 determines the actual fbid of a picture.

When we copy the public URL of the image i a locked profile picture, the URL will be twisted somewhat like the one below which contains the size of the image too.

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https://fbcdn-profile-a.akamaihd.net/hprofile-ak-prn1/c154.33.412.412/s160x160/12345_123456789012345_1234567890_n.jpg

Facebook has hosted images at Akamai for making the site to be more faster while loading. If you wonder why Facebook is so fast that any other site when it contains many elements on their site, then this will be the answer.

To view a locked private profile picture on Facebook, you just need to change some elements in the public URL of the image. Here are the steps to view a locked private profile picture.

Step 1: Go to your friend’s timeline whose profile picture cannot be enlarged. That is, one who have kept their Privacy Settings to “Only Me”.

Step 2: Right click on their profile picture and click on Copy image URL.

View locked profile picture on facebook

Step 3: Copy the image URL and paste in a text editor like Notepad.

Step 4: Remove the following part of the URL in the image URL you have copied.

https://fbcdn-profile-a.akamaihd.net/hprofile-ak-prn1/c154.33.412.412/s160x160/

And, replace them with the following:

http://sphotos-c.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/

If the above URL string doesn’t work, try with the below.

https://fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-cryptlife/

Step 5: The last part of the picture URL will be always the same. Now, just launch the URL which you have made changes. You will be getting the full size of the image that is locked or made private.

I don’t know why Facebook should provide a public URL for all pictures but it will be nice if this flaw is fixed.

Share your thoughts here. If you have any comments or queries, please comment below. Do not forget to share this URL.

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53 Responses to “How To: See Locked Private Profile Picture on Facebook”

  1. Vivek Nath.R
    January 3, 2013 at 8:17 pm #

    Bro, this is quite interesting trick.

  2. Selem
    January 21, 2013 at 3:53 am #

    Awesome :p

  3. Venkat
    January 23, 2013 at 2:05 am #

    Nice trick. Facebook uses many predefined image sizes. Like we can replace n with ‘o’ for larger one if any. ‘a’ for profile pic size. Etc…

  4. tatia
    March 2, 2013 at 12:40 am #

    i don’t understand,please help me.!

    • Arjun
      March 2, 2013 at 2:37 pm #

      Okay, let me say this in brief.
      1. Copy Image URL of the locked profile picture as shown in the above picture (in the post).
      2. Paste that URL in Notepad.
      3. Replace https://fbcdn-profile-a.akamaihd.net/hprofile-ak-prn1/c154.33.412.412/s160x160/ with https://fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-cryptlife/
      5. Now, copy and paste the URL in the web browser’s address bar. You are done!

  5. Mit Prajapti
    March 8, 2013 at 11:41 am #

    Hi, Arjun.

    I am not test this tutorial. but now in this day is this work perfectly can u tell me plz.

    • Arjun
      March 8, 2013 at 9:50 pm #

      Yes, it works fine now. You can test it.

  6. Arthur
    March 9, 2013 at 12:22 am #

    It doesn’t seem to work for images that have only 5 digits in the first set of numbers in their url. I get Service Unavaliable.

  7. Dom
    March 9, 2013 at 7:52 pm #

    Doesn’t work.

  8. Cas
    March 10, 2013 at 12:55 am #

    Works perfectly. Just tried it on a locked profile!

  9. easy
    March 15, 2013 at 5:22 am #

    same result when you just remove “s160x160″ from the URL

    • Arjun
      March 15, 2013 at 8:59 pm #

      That’s okay! But please provide your original name. No one can do anything with the name. :)

  10. Karan
    March 15, 2013 at 11:48 pm #

    Awesome :D
    I’m your Fan Dude :D

  11. des
    March 16, 2013 at 11:34 am #

    what if you want to see pictures that arent displayed at all but you know they are there because it tells you there are more

    • Arjun
      March 16, 2013 at 12:37 pm #

      No. We don’t have a trick to view such pictures. If such bug prevails on Facebook, it may spoil people’s privacy. Facebook should be knowing about this.

  12. roxy
    March 31, 2013 at 7:39 pm #

    it’s not working, it says Service Unavailable – DNS failure
    tried it in chrome and IE.

    • Koji
      April 10, 2013 at 8:03 pm #

      yeah, agreed. 2 days ago it was okay, but now “Service Unavailable – DNS failure” :/

  13. Acip
    April 7, 2013 at 1:37 am #

    worked perfectly.. thanks. then how to view private pictures in an album.. say profile pictures album has 20 pics but when u click it shows only one pic.. Thank you..

    • Arjun
      April 20, 2013 at 10:02 am #

      Hi, You cannot view private profile picture album completely but you can view the active private profile picture with full resolution (what he/she has uploaded).

  14. John
    April 7, 2013 at 4:18 am #

    Roxy, just remove “s160x160/”. Does the exact same thing, only it works.

  15. Aley
    April 20, 2013 at 4:14 pm #

    not working.. says DNS failure

    • Arjun
      April 20, 2013 at 6:01 pm #

      I don’t know why some people say that it works and some do not. It works perfectly on profiles which I have tried but still, try an alternative method.

      Step 1: Go to the person’s timeline.
      Step 2: Copy the Profile Picture URL. (Right click and choose Copy image URL. Do not copy the URL from address bar of your browser)
      Step 3: Paste the copied URL in a notepad or any text editor.
      Step 4: Open his or her cover picture in theater view.
      Step 5: Copy the image URL. (Right click and choose Copy image URL. Do not copy the URL from address bar of your browser)
      Step 6: Paste them in the same notepad.
      Step 7: Now it’s time to modify cover picture URL. Just copy the last part of the profile picture URL and replace in the last part of the cover picture URL.
      Step 8: Now copy-paste the modified URL in the browser’s address bar and hit enter to view the profile picture.

      Please notify me whether this alternative method works or not.

    • Pikou
      November 9, 2013 at 11:46 pm #

      your image adress must look something like this
      https://fbcdn-profile-a.akamaihd.net/hprofile-ak-frc3/c0.17.180.180/s160x160/xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx_a.jpg

      then you must change this part
      https://fbcdn-profile-a.akamaihd.net/hprofile-ak-frc3/c0.17.180.180/s160x160
      with this part
      http://sphotos-c.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-prn1
      and then replace the last
      _a.jpg
      with
      _n.jpg

      Thank me later.

  16. Asif Khan
    April 21, 2013 at 2:39 am #

    Arjun yeah thnx the last method work very good.. but it only show the profile picture not the rest of the pictures included in that album…how can u see full private album pics..?

    • Arjun
      April 21, 2013 at 1:22 pm #

      As of now, we can’t view the full profile picture album which is private. You can only view the picture at full resolution with this trick. If such tricks are available, I’ll post here on this blog. Please stay tuned.

  17. Ungureanu Raducu
    April 21, 2013 at 9:45 pm #

    Hi , thanks for this tutorial , unfortunately your method didn’t help me , but I got a easier way to see locked profile pictures .

    First of all you will need a profile picture id , let’s say as an example this : 31456932_12734583583276066_204699662_n.jpg ( the id is random so you can’t work with it ) . You can get it by using Copy URL option .

    Once you are done with that , take this link : “http://sphotos-c.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-prn1″

    Now open a new tab in your browser , paste the URL given and then add the respective photo id . So it will look like this : http://sphotos-c.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/31456932_12734583583276066_204699662_n.jpg .

    Now you will get the full photo resolution :D ! For me it worked I hope it will work for you too ! Thanks for reading :] !

    • Arjun
      April 21, 2013 at 10:15 pm #

      Thank you Ungureanu! Thanks for sharing. You are awesome! The problem is that Akamai hosts pictures on different sub domains and thus it works on some profiles and in some, it doesn’t but people can choose this sub domain too to try out on their friend’s profiles. And again Thanks, I have updated the URL string above so that people can choose from two alternatives.

    • babar
      August 26, 2013 at 8:30 pm #

      hey i didnt understand it can you plz tell me some easy way?

  18. Fábio
    April 24, 2013 at 8:22 pm #

    This work great.
    If all images are public with certain links, there is like a script that download all images from https://fbcdn-sphotos-(a,b,c,d,…)-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-(ash1, ash2, prn1…)/xxxxx_xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx_xxxxxxxxxx_n.jpg ?
    or is it hard to get a valid xxxxx_xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx_xxxxxxxxxx?

    • Arjun
      April 25, 2013 at 7:49 am #

      Yes. The last part is the hard thing to get.

  19. Mindis evil
    April 26, 2013 at 1:16 am #

    Thanks for the information share… However it didnt worked for me so here is what i did.

    Lets say you got below URL.
    fbcdn-profile-a.akamaihd.net/hprofile-ak-prn1/c154.33.412.412/s160x160/12345_123456789012345_1234567890_n.jpg

    Now as you said in your post there are photo attributes in here hence with the little concentration you can say that the size of photo which is locked is s160x160 where s stands for small i guess :-)

    Just remove it and paste the URL without that, You will see nice big photo which is locked.

    fbcdn-profile-a.akamaihd.net/hprofile-ak-prn1/c154.33.412.412/12345_123456789012345_1234567890_n.jpg

    Hope it would simply the stuff you wanna do.. Keep exploring.

    Regards,
    MINDIS Evil.

    • Arjun
      April 26, 2013 at 7:06 am #

      Thank you for sharing with us. You’re awesome.

  20. Nazeer
    April 29, 2013 at 10:15 pm #

    thanku guyz i want to see whole album of profile how could i access …

  21. swapnil sonkar
    May 18, 2013 at 3:01 am #

    itz better u download fb photo zoom, it will automatically zoom the photo to itz original size, incase u want to save d photo, press the print screen button and paste it in paint and crop the additional stuff, then save it :)

  22. Paris
    May 28, 2013 at 8:42 am #

    this works great! How do I see private album photos or private timeline? If any of you guys here ever crack that stuff, please share with us here =P thanks all =D

  23. RAHULR
    June 4, 2013 at 11:50 pm #

    Hi Arjun
    How can i access pvt photos when there is no coverage image ? and has only profile photo.

    • Arjun
      July 20, 2013 at 4:11 pm #

      You can get the cover picture link from other profile. You just need to get the structure of cover picture URL. You may depend on any profile for that.

  24. Chris
    June 20, 2013 at 1:25 pm #

    fb photo zoom and hover over the photo, right click and save

  25. karar ali
    June 29, 2013 at 2:07 pm #

    but what if I wanted to see the person other profile PICs ? plz help

    • Arjun
      June 30, 2013 at 1:59 pm #

      Other private profile pictures are still locked. We can only get the active one which the person has set as his/her profile picture. But we are looking forward to view more profile pictures. We will post on this blog once we’ve found. please stay tuned. :)

  26. Sanan
    July 11, 2013 at 3:19 pm #

    Arjun Bhai what about the hidden pictures in albums please tell me

    • Arjun
      July 20, 2013 at 2:38 pm #

      All pictures in the album cannot be viewed using this trick. If Facebook had such serious bugs, it may become a serious privacy issues to people around the world. We suspect that Facebook should be clever in hiding pictures on the album. If any such methods are available, we will post here, in this blog. Please stay tuned.

  27. balodero
    August 18, 2013 at 1:33 am #

    Greatest trick ever … love it
    hope u get us a trick to view the whole profile pics album … that will be amazing

  28. Tom
    September 9, 2013 at 7:52 am #

    remember the little c in teh url means the image is cropped, even if it look big it is still cropped a bit, change the c to an l (small L) and you get full non cropped size.

    A better and faster method I use is this one.

    Here is the url you have to use:
    graph.facebook.com/PROFILE ID/picture?width=2000&height=2000

    Now replace the PROFILE ID text with the users profile ID, like if I go to Bill Clintons FB page it says this in the address billclinton?fref=ts – remove the “?fref=ts” part so that you only have “billclinton” – now use that in the link above where it says PROFILE ID and voila.

    Sometimes a users profile ID contains a mix of numbers instead, depends how they set up their profile.

    • Arjun
      January 12, 2014 at 2:52 pm #

      Thank you for sharing. :)

  29. jack scott
    October 1, 2013 at 1:31 pm #

    is there any way to do it from mobile.?

  30. dhruv
    October 17, 2013 at 2:30 pm #

    HOW TO VIEW THE COMMENTS BELOW THE PICTURE?

  31. Aravind
    October 24, 2013 at 7:10 am #

    Hy bro, i need your help to unlock one’s photo,,, give me a message to my email and i will tell you the details… thanks

  32. dhanesh
    January 12, 2014 at 1:35 am #

    picture size little bit enlarged not full size,, do u have another way to make it full size image?

  33. Anonymous
    February 28, 2014 at 8:41 pm #

    yeah it works well done bro good job..
    but how to see someone’s private albums which don’t contain any thumbnail

  34. athul
    April 22, 2014 at 2:19 pm #

    my gf hide her picture on fb.. so i cant see the picture what to do… pls help me

  35. wath
    May 31, 2014 at 11:46 am #

    Thanks man. It is working.

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