Download All Your Photobucket Images / Galleries (Mac Solution)

If like me Photobucket (I won’t even link to the trash) has shafted you by deciding to effectively take ownership of your photographs and content – and break who knows how many of your internet links, whether they be on social media, blogs, albums from yesteryear – we are running out of time until their next shafting!

It is a long story behind this saga but it can basically be summed up as follows – of course this is just my opinion – but here goes…

The Photobucket Story So Far:

  1.  Photobucket Got Greedy.
  2. Photobucket froze millions of users out of their accounts – then decided to charge extortionate prices to let people back in.  In the region of $400 a year to be a Premium member!  Or if you didn’t want to be Premium you could pay $99 / year to be ‘allowed’ to link to your own photos elsewhere – such as on this blog!  The result was the internet became flooded with this image :

    Photobucket held the internet to ransom in 2017 - 2019
    Photobucket held the internet to ransom in 2017 – 2019
  3. The internet obviously reacted with fury as billions of images had just been effectively deleted.  Well established forums lost years of valuable photos and posts – imagine a Tutorial on a car site with no photos – that is the reality!  Only that car site with the tutorial – was actually millions of sites and millions of tutorials, threads, content that could never be replaced.  Original Posters (OPs) abandoned threads, abandoned writing content, it was a disaster for many really decent sites – all Photobuckets fault.
  4. Photobucket reacted – they allowed the ‘hotlinking’ of images again – and the internet got its content back – but honestly the damage was done.  There was a caveat though – the images were only back temporarily.  The Photobucket fat cats decided to give users a ‘grace period’ to get their accounts in order and more importantly pay up!

    Photobucket Price Plans 2019
    Photobucket Price Plans 2019
  5. If you didn’t pay up you went to a free account – which they claim to be approximately 250 images.

To be fair – at those prices I would have paid.  But the disgraceful, underhanded behaviour displayed by Photobucket means I never will!

They probably don’t care – so screw photobucket – the web is better without their advert riddled pathetic excuse of a host anyway.

Problem Number 2 :

But here is the next big problem, they had around 15,000 of my images – and I want them back.  However in the usual sneaky Photobucket way they have not made it easy for the image owners to get their own images back.  They actually removed the option to download your albums, yep you read that correctly – they made an actual move to stop you simply downloading your albums, knowing all too well then that many content owners will be forced to pay up, simply because manually and individually downloading thousands or tens of thousands of images is not an option.

So I got my final warning on 1st March 2019 – telling me my D-Day is 4th March 2019.  The notice went straight to my Spam folder – so at least I know it is working properly!

Photobucket Final Warning
Photobucket Final Warning

Bravo Photobucket – you are at the top level of shiftiness right there!

Step up the good people of the internet!

Thankfully there are some really smart people using the internet and using it and computers for good!  Those people have come up with a work around that led to me downloading every image of mine from Photobucket – thousands of images in hundreds of albums in an evening.  There is a lot of clicking but the basics of it are :

  1.  Make a txt folder file on your Desktop called photobucket_files.txt
  2. Make a folder on your Desktop called ‘photobucket
  3. Place photobucket_files.txt into the newly created photobucket folder.
  4. Select your images on Photobucket.  You can select many images and albums at at time by clicking into the first album – then click on the first image – then click on ‘Select All.’  (Make sure the total at the bottom of the screen updates.)  Now click into the next Album on the sidebar and this time just click directly on ‘Select All’ – let the totals update and repeat.
  5. Depending on your computer and connection depends how many you can do at a time but the most I tried (and it worked) was just over 3000 images in a batch.
  6. Now Click on ‘Get Link’
  7. When the links appear you want those in the ‘Direct Link’ box.  Right click and ‘Copy’ (cmd+c did not work for me).
  8. Paste these direct links into the photobucket_files.txt file you have made.
  9. Open ‘Terminal’ and run the following :
    cd ~/Desktop/photobucket
    cut -d\/ -f 7 photobucket_files.txt | grep "\." | while read file; do grep "${file}$" photobucket_files.txt; done | while read file; do curl -O --referer "" ${file}; done
    cut -d\/ -f 7 photobucket_files.txt | grep -v "\." |  sort -u | while read dir; do mkdir ${dir}; cd ${dir}; grep "/${dir}/" ../photobucket_files.txt | while read file; do curl -O --referer "" ${file}; done; cd -; done

That’s you – you are done – watch in awe as ‘Terminal’ sucks all your images from the dirty grasp of Photobucket and pops them into your folder on your Desktop with your album structure still in place.

Thanks to the OP :

So before you go and try this please read this post – the original that I used : (It has images and a full detailed guide of what you need to do)

I did not make this script and full credit goes to the people that did – they saved me a whole heap of time and have got me Photobucket free!  If you are Windows User there is also some good tips for this workaround on your machine.

Thanks to the OP – you legend!

Missing Galleries Warning :

For me moving on with this site, you may see this image appear where I have noticed broken links thanks to Photobucket – if you do see this image and you want / need to see the content as intended please Contact Me and I will move that post up towards the top of my workload.

Missing Gallery Warning
Missing Gallery Warning

About The Author

I am a road race loving, adventure motorcyclist, with a huge bit of techie built in.  I am currently trying out a bit of photography.

Motorcycling | Technology | Photography

10 thoughts on “Download All Your Photobucket Images / Galleries (Mac Solution)”

  1. Thank you very much for this easy to follow instruction. I’m not well versed in tech stuff, so this really helped me out. What wasn’t clear from the describtion is that the .txt file belongs into the folder. Have a nice day

    • Hi and thanks for your feedback.

      I have added in an additional step into the instructions to hopefully clarify the point you have raised for any future users.


  2. Hey, any idea why I get the text “curl: (3) Illegal characters found in URL” over and over again in terminal when I try this? Only one of my photos downloaded to the folder, and I got that info repeatedly when I try.

    • I found this comment in the original posting which will hopefully solve your issues…

      For anyone who finds this, I found that the original script kept giving me an error when I tried to download my files,
      curl: (3) Illegal characters found in URL

      Turns out, this can be easily fixed if you change one thing in the commands. The last command should be:
      cut -d/ -f 7 photobucket_files.txt | grep -v "." | sort -u | while read dir; do mkdir ${dir}; cd ${dir}; grep "/${dir}/" ../photobucket_files.txt | while read file; do curl -O --referer "" ${file%$'\r'}; done; cd -; done

      Notice the "%$'\r'" that was added after the last {file}.

  3. Hi i got this message ‘cut’ is not recognized as an internal or external command,
    operable program or batch file. Do you have any idea about this, thanks in advance for your help.


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