You’re halfway through an interesting article in your favorite publication when you’re smacked with a paywall. If you can’t afford to pay a subscription price right now, or if you’re experiencing trouble paying, the methods listed below can help you get around paywalls and view subscription-based content for free.
Before we go any further, it’s important to note that not all paywalls are created equal. As a result, one solution may not work for all websites’ paywalls. It’s also worth noting that this article is simply educational; we’re not advocating for bypassing paywalls.
How to Get Free News Articles
Depending on the sort of paywall used by the website administrator, the strategy to utilize will differ. Regardless, we’re confident that at least one of the methods listed below will allow you to access content that requires a subscription.
1. Put a stop to the page’s loading.
This is a simple strategy that works on a variety of web pages. The trick is to prevent your browser from fully loading the web page as soon as the paywalled content’s text element is displayed.
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Enter the web page URL in the address box, press Enter, and as soon as you see some text on the screen, click the x icon (or use the Esc key).
Stopping the website may not load all content elements, notably multimedia items such as photos, animations, and videos, which is a significant constraint.
It’s worth noting that the success of this strategy is contingent on the order in which the website’s page elements are loaded. If the website loads the barrier before the content, for example, this method is unlikely to work.
2. Delete the Cookies on the Page
Select the option that allows you to check the cookies and site data for all websites in your web browser’s Privacy or Security area. Then, in your browser’s cookies management window, look for the website and select Remove All.
Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and Mozilla Firefox are all affected. For additional instructions, see our tutorial on clearing cache in any web browser.
On websites with hard paywalls, such as Medium, this approach may not work. You’ll have to manually clear the cookies every time you reach the free article limit with soft paywalls.
One more thing: If the publisher is tracking your behavior with more advanced techniques (not simply cookies), this strategy will not work. IP addresses, Browser Fingerprinting, WebRTC (Web Real-Time Communication), and other technologies are among them.
3. Use the Incognito Mode Exploit
As previously said, not all paywalls are created equal. You might be able to browse subscription-based material using incognito or private browsing if the website has a soft paywall. This will fool the website into thinking you’re a new visitor, allowing you to access free content before the paywall loads.
This method is far superior to manually erasing a website’s cookies. Because most web browsers don’t send pre-existing cookies to the page you’re visiting in incognito mode, this is the case. During private browsing sessions, the website will briefly place new cookies on your device, but they will be deleted when you leave the incognito window.
To open an incognito tab in Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge, press Ctrl + Shift + N (or Command + Shift + N on macOS).
Ctrl + Shift + P (or Command + Shift + P on macOS) launches a private browsing window in Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer.
To browse the paywalled webpage in Safari, press Command + Shift + N to open a private browsing window.
4. Use the Internet Archive as a Backdoor
For reference, there is internet archiving software that saves copies of online pages and social media posts. Archive.is Archive. today and Archive.ph are viable solutions for accessing paywalled content and reading subscription-based news items for free.
In your browser, go to the archive website, type the webpage URL into the specified dialog box, and click Save.
The “Screenshot” tool in the tools above transforms the webpage to a PNG image. To save the page as an image file, select the Screenshot option at the top of the result page.
5. Use Extensions to Remove Paywalls
You may access subscription-based newspaper articles for free using third-party browser add-ons. We tried a few of these extensions and noticed that the vast majority of them are ineffective. The ones that do aren’t available on the Chrome Webstore, so you’ll have to find them elsewhere.
We did the legwork and discovered that the “Bypass Paywalls” plugin for Chrome and Firefox is effective. This extension allows you to view articles from hundreds of newspapers, including The New York Times, Wired, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and others, that require a subscription. It’s also free, albeit you’ll need to manually install the extension on your browser.
The extension is hosted on GitHub, so go to that website and download the ZIP file for the extension.
The file can be extracted from any location on your computer.
Press Enter after pasting chrome:/extensions into the address bar of Chrome.
Toggle Developer Mode on or off.
Select Load unpacked from the drop-down menu.
Select the extension folder from the folder you extracted in step #2 and click the Select Folder button.
To pick all preloaded websites, check the Select all/none option on the “Supported Sites” page.
If a publication isn’t listed among the preloaded websites, go to the “Custom Sites” page and manually type in the URL.
You may enter as many websites as you like, one per line. It’s worth noting that the “Custom Sites” feature isn’t available in Mozilla Firefox.
Save may be found at the bottom of the window if you scroll down.
You should no longer see a paywall if you go to the website or reload the page.