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.

Published by

Arjun

A geek, pursuing Computer Science and Engineering. Highly enthusiastic about exploring technology and sharing on this blog. Also a big fan of rap music.

65 thoughts on “How To: See Locked Private Profile Picture on Facebook”

  1. 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…

    1. 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!

  2. 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.

  3. 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

    1. 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.

  4. 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..

    1. 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).

    1. 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.

  5. 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..?

    1. 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.

  6. 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 😀 ! For me it worked I hope it will work for you too ! Thanks for reading :] !

    1. 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.

  7. 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?

  8. 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.

  9. 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 :)

  10. 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

    1. 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.

    1. 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. :)

    1. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

    1. For your kind information, this trick won’t be available to view a private photo album. This trick just reveals the active private profile picture in full size.

  13. Initially replacing some part of image url worked extremely well.. but now it is not working on any image also on the same image i applied this method.. please help

  14. I use all above tricks but no one is working.The reason is the URL is not matching the URL you given so i request you to please according to present URL give anyother trick.Thanku so much

    1. The present way that Facebook deals with such pictures is that, they have added an additional attribute that checks for the owner of the photo. This is why, it doesn’t work. However, we are looking for a new trick!

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