Unlock the Secret: How to Read Paywall Articles for Free

A person using a laptop with a blurred paywall article in the background.

Have you ever clicked on an article only to find a big wall asking you to pay? This is what we call a hard or soft paywall. Our blog will show you how to read Paywall articles for free.

Keep reading, it’s easier than you think!

Key Takeaways

  • You can use the incognito mode in your browser to read paywalled articles without hitting limits. This trick makes websites think you’re visiting them for the first time.
  • Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) help you access articles behind paywalls by hiding your real online location. Surfshark VPN and NordVPN are good options for this.
  • The Wayback Machine lets you find older versions of articles that are free to read, even if the current version is behind a paywall.
  • Bypass Paywall Clean, uBlock Origin, and Postlight Reader are browser extensions that can help you get around article paywalls safely and easily.
  • Disabling JavaScript in your browser settings might also let you view content that’s usually locked behind a paywall, offering another way to access information without paying.

Understanding Article Paywalls

A person peering through a locked gate with news articles behind it.

Article paywalls are like doors that news websites put up to keep their stories just for people who pay. Imagine walking into a library where most books are locked up, and you need a special key to open them—that’s what an article paywall does on the internet.

News sites like The New York Times and The Washington Post use these barriers because they need money to make their stories. They give some articles for free but ask you to subscribe if you want more.

Some walls are hard, meaning you can’t get in without paying at all. Others are soft, letting you read a few pieces before the door closes. Think of it as getting free samples at a store; once you’ve had a taste, they hope you’ll buy more.

This way of charging online has become big as newspapers and journals move from paper to digital platforms.

Paywalls ensure that only subscribers gain full access while casual visitors get limited or no entry.

Different places have different rules about how many articles they let through for free—if any at all—before asking for money or subscription details.

How To Read Paywall Articles For Free Various Methods to Bypass Paywalls

Learn how to bypass paywalls with these simple methods:

  • Use incognito mode in your web browser.
  • Try a virtual private network (VPN) for anonymous browsing.

Would you like me to continue outlining the other sections of the blog?

A person working on a laptop in a busy coffee shop.

Using Incognito Mode

Incognito mode is a great trick to read articles without hitting paywalls. It stops the site from saving your browsing history, cookies, and data. This means you can access content as if you are visiting for the first time.

Many websites limit how many free articles you get by tracking visits with cookies. By using private browsing, these limits don’t apply.

Open an incognito window in web browsers like Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge to start reading right away. Sites often forget who you are in this mode, letting you dodge soft paywalls easily.

Remember to close and reopen the incognito window for each article if the website blocks after one view in private browsing mode.

Using a Virtual Private Network (VPN)

After trying incognito mode, using a VPN can be your next step. A VPN hides your actual online address. It makes sites think you are browsing from somewhere else. This can let you see articles behind paywalls.

Surfshark VPN and NordVPN are good choices. They have many servers and block bad ads and malware.

A VPN is like a secret tunnel for your web browsing.

Using a VPN changes how websites see you online. Sites can’t tell where you really are. This trick might let you read without hitting the paywall. Always choose a reliable VPN to keep safe while reading online.

Enabling “Reader Mode” in Browser

Turning on “Reader Mode” in your web navigator can help you get past paywalls. This feature works well with soft paywalls. It strips away clutter like ads and pop-ups, focusing only on the text and images of the article.

Safari, Mozilla Firefox, and Chrome are some navigators that offer this mode. You just have to click a button or tap an icon in the address bar.

This trick also makes reading easier by showing you just what you want: the article. Next, let’s talk about how removing browser cookies plays a role in accessing content behind paywalls.

Deleting Browser Cookies

Transitioning from enabling “Reader Mode” in the browser to focusing on browsing privacy and security, deleting browser cookies is a simple way to bypass paywalls. Browser cookies store your online activity information, so clearing them can help access paywalled content for free.

Deleting browser cookies is crucial when aiming to bypass paywalls as it removes stored data that websites use to track user behavior. As highlighted in the important facts, using incognito mode or certain VPN services can also automatically delete these cookies for better privacy and security.

This action helps users access content without being restricted by paywalls while safeguarding their online activities.

Using the Wayback Machine

The Wayback Machine is a valuable tool to access archived versions of articles behind paywalls. It provides free access to articles that are otherwise restricted, enabling users to read scholarly content without a subscription.

By utilizing the Wayback Machine, individuals can bypass paywalls and retrieve the information they need without financial barriers. Furthermore, this method aligns with online privacy concerns by allowing individuals to browse the web while circumventing metered paywalls and hard paywalls.

Additional Techniques for Free Access – Utilizing Facebook Redirect…

Accessing through Library Resources

Libraries offer indirect access to paid magazine and newspaper subscriptions online. This can let users bypass paywalls and read articles for free without a subscription fee.

Trying Paywall Bypass Browser Extensions

  1. Bypass Paywall Clean, uBlock Origin, and Postlight Reader are popular browser extensions for getting around paywalls.
  2. Using Bypass Paywalls Clean allows access to certain news portals without compromising safety.
  3. uBlock Origin functions as a reliable ad – blocker while also working to bypass paywalls on various sites.
  4. Postlight Reader is designed to remove clutter from web pages, making it easier to read articles behind paywalls.
  5. These browser extensions serve as valuable tools for accessing restricted content without paying subscription fees.

Additional Techniques for Free Access

A person reading a newspaper surrounded by open books outside a library.

Looking for more ways to access paywalled articles? There are some extra methods you can explore to unlock free access effortlessly. Keep reading to discover these additional techniques in detail.

Utilizing Facebook Redirect

You can bypass certain paywalls on Facebook by copying and pasting the article’s URL into a new post. Once you’ve posted it, click the provided link to access the full article for free.

By redirecting through Facebook, some websites offer limited free views. This method may not work universally, but it’s worth trying as an additional way to access paywalled content.

Disabling JavaScript in Browser

Disabling JavaScript in your browser is a way to bypass paywalls and access articles for free. When you disable JavaScript, you can view paywalled content without the need to subscribe or make any payment.

It’s an effective method to gain access to restricted material without financial obligations. Additionally, this technique provides an avenue for those who may not have the means to pay for subscriptions.

One approach to bypassing article paywalls involves disabling JavaScript in your browser settings. By doing this, you can view otherwise restricted content without subscribing or paying fees.

Trying Services like 12ft.io or Archive.today

Websites like 12ft.io and Archive.today offer a way to bypass paywalls and access articles without payment. By pasting the article URL into the browser bar, these services provide an unpaywalled version of the page, allowing users to read content that would typically be behind a paywall.

This method offers a valuable alternative for gaining access to protected articles without subscribing or making payments.

Considerations and Legal Implications of Bypassing Paywalls

A stack of newspapers sits behind a locked gate in a bustling city.

Bypassing paywalls violates copyright laws and can be considered theft. It’s crucial to acknowledge the legal implications of using such methods. Supporting content creators by subscribing after accessing articles is vital for sustaining quality journalism and academic research.


Uncover strategies to access paywalled articles for free using tools such as 12ft.io, Outline.com, and Spaywall.

Browser extensions like Bypass Paywalls Clean can be handy too. Surfshark VPN and NordVPN are solid choices for bypassing paywalls.

Remember that some methods may have legal implications, so consider supporting creators by subscribing to their content.


You can use methods like searching for preprint versions on sites like arXiv or BioRxiv, using digital object identifiers (DOI) in Google Scholar, or trying add-ons and extensions for browsers that bypass paywalls.

Using sites like Sci-Hub operates in a legal gray area as it provides access to copyrighted material without permission. It's important to know the laws in your area.

Yes, sometimes switching your browser window to incognito mode or using private browsing can reset the number of free articles you're allowed to view on some websites.

Bypassing paywalls might expose your device to security risks if you download files from untrusted sources or use unreliable proxy servers. Always ensure antivirus protection is up-to-date.

Look into open-access repositories like ResearchGate, join discussions on social media platforms such as Twitter and Reddit where researchers share their work, or check if your local library has subscriptions to academic databases.

See Also: How To Save Instagram Photos Without Screenshot

By James Turner

James Turner is a tech writer and journalist known for his ability to explain complex technical concepts in a clear and accessible way. He has written for several publications and is an active member of the tech community.

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