Have you ever requested to download your TikTok data, and waited a few days for it to process, only to find the file is completely empty when you open it? This frustrating issue seems to happen somewhat regularly based on reports from TikTok users.
The good news is – there are some steps you can take to troubleshoot and fix this problem. In this detailed guide, we’ll cover all the reasons your downloaded TikTok data may show up empty, along with actionable solutions to help resolve it.
Why Is My Downloaded TikTok Data Showing Up Empty?
There are a few potential reasons why your TikTok data file appears empty when you attempt to access it after downloading:
The most likely culprit is that the data file became corrupted during the download process, resulting in a 0KB or otherwise empty file. This seems to happen frequently when downloading the TikTok data, likely due to timeouts or interrupted downloads.
If the downloaded zip file itself shows a small file size like 0KB or 1KB, then the file is corrupt and unusable. You’ll simply need to delete it and re-download a fresh copy of your TikTok data.
Incompatible File Viewer
Another possibility is that your TikTok data downloaded correctly, but you are attempting to open the file with an incompatible app. TikTok allows you to download your data in TXT, JSON, or HTML file formats.
If you don’t have the right software to interpret the file type, it may show up blank or unusable. You’ll want to make sure you have a text editor, JSON viewer, or web browser installed that can properly display the file format you selected.
Data Not Fully Processed
In rare cases, it’s possible you attempted to access the TikTok data before it was fully prepared on TikTok’s servers. They mention it can take a few days to collate and process all of your TikTok data for the downloadable file.
If you tried immediately downloading the data after requesting it, the file may not have been prepared yet. Wait for the full processing time stated by TikTok (usually 72 hours) before attempting to view your data.
Restricted Data Types
One last potential factor is that your TikTok account preferences or privacy settings are restricting what data gets shared in the downloadable file. For example, if you have chat history disabled, that content won’t be included.
Double-check what data types TikTok includes, then verify your account settings allow that content to be downloaded. You may need to change some options to have photos, videos, messages, etc included by TikTok before requesting your data again.
How to Fix Empty Downloaded TikTok Data
Here is a step-by-step walkthrough of troubleshooting methods to try when your downloaded TikTok data file appears empty or doesn’t show your expected account content:
1. Check the File Size
The first quick check is to look at the file size of the downloaded TikTok data zip folder or file.
- On Windows, right click it, go to Properties, and view the file size details.
- On Mac, ctrl-click the file and view the Get Info screen.
- On mobile, view the details of the downloaded file in your file manager app.
If the file size shows a very small amount like 0KB, 1KB or 2KB, then the downloaded file is likely corrupt and unusable. Delete it and proceed to re-download a fresh copy.
If the size is substantial (i.e. over 10MB+) then the download likely completed correctly. Next move on to step #2 below.
2. Open File in Correct Application
As mentioned above in the reasons section, one possibility for an empty TikTok data file is that you do not have an application installed that can properly open and display the file format you chose.
When downloading your TikTok data, you have three format choices:
- TXT – Simple text file
- JSON – Structured data file
- HTML – Web page document
Make sure you have the necessary apps for viewing the file format you selected:
- TXT Files – Can be opened with any text editing app like Notepad on Windows, TextEdit on Mac, or Google Docs online.
- JSON Files – Require a JSON viewer app to make them readable. Free options include JSONView, JSON Formatter or Chrome/Firefox browser extensions.
- HTML Files – Can only be opened and viewed using a web browser like Chrome, Firefox or Safari.
If you don’t already have a compatible file viewing application installed, download one before attempting to access your data again.
3. Allow Sufficient Processing Time
According to TikTok’s data download page, requests can take up to a few days to fully process your account content before making it available for download:
Be sure to allow the full 72 hours they recommend before trying to view or check on the status of your requested data. If you attempt to rush and open the file before it’s fully prepared, it may appear empty or incomplete.
4. Redownload Your Data File
One of the simplest fixes is to delete your existing downloaded TikTok data file (since it’s faulty or corrupt) and freshly re-download a new copy. Follow these steps:
- Delete the old downloaded data file from your device.
- Go back to TikTok’s Download Your Data page while logged into your account.
- Scroll down and click the “Download data” button again.
- If a pop-up appears saying existing data will be deleted, click OK to confirm.
- Select your desired file format again.
- Wait for 1-3 days for the fresh file to be compiled and made available for download.
- You’ll receive an email and app notification when your data is ready to download again.
- Download the fresh TXT or JSON file, give it sufficient time to complete, and then attempt to open your data again.
In most cases, replacing the problem download with a completely new file will resolve the issue.
5. Adjust Account Settings
As referenced earlier, one less common reason your TikTok data may show up empty is if your account privacy settings or data permissions are restricting what gets included in the download.
It’s worth double checking which content categories are enabled/disabled for backup in your account settings:
- Tap the Profile icon in the TikTok app.
- Tap the three Lines menu icon in the upper right.
- Choose Settings and privacy from the menu.
- Tap Data and history.
- Review each data type toggle on this page and verify the ones you want are enabled:
- Videos you posted
- Draft videos not posted
- Videos you downloaded
- Favorite videos
- Comment history
- Search history
- Push notification history
Toggle any categories to enabled/disabled as desired. Disabled content types won’t get downloaded.
- Most importantly – tap the big toggle for Download your TikTok data and confirm it is enabled.
- Repeat requesting your TikTok data download if needed to include your now enabled data categories.
So in summary, check each data permission that may be restricting certain content types from appearing in your downloaded backup file.
6. Contact TikTok Support
If you still have issues with an empty data file after trying all troubleshooting methods above, your last resort is to contact TikTok support directly for assistance.
Here is how to reach TikTok customer support:
- Open the TikTok app and visit your Profile
- Tap the three Lines menu icon (☰).
- Tap on “Settings and Privacy.”
- Choose Report a Problem from the menu.
- Look for the “Submit a report” link at the bottom of the TikTok help page and tap on it.
- Complete the support request form with details on the problem downloading and viewing your TikTok data.
You may send anything along the lines of:
I requested to download my TikTok data but the file I received is completely empty. Please help me resolve this issue so I can access my expected account history and analytics information. Thank you
You may attach screenshots if available and tap on Submit.
Their customer staff should follow up to help troubleshoot why your file appears empty and assist with properly accessing your account data for backup or transfer needs.
So that covers the full range of techniques and solutions for fixing an empty downloaded TikTok data file. With the right application and file format set up, adjusting your account permissions, deleting and replacing the faulty file, or contacting TikTok support – you should be able to successfully access your archived TikTok account data without issue.
Let me know in the comments below if any readers out there have encountered and resolved this problem themselves using other methods!