How to read paywalled articles with some simple and free steps

How many times have you been redirected to an interesting article and immediately blocked by a paywall? Many, the same happened to us too. This is why we offer you this short article with some techniques to read articles protected by paywall for free and without inconvenience.

With some extensions, through a website, or thanks to a simple trick, below we show you how to read paid articles without having to pay any subscription. Really useful, don’t you think?

Read for free with some extensions, via a website, or thanks to a simple trick

Let’s start with what we believe to be the simplest and most effective methodology, where it works. Use the browser’s reading mode: fast, simple, and operative. Firefox Reader View for clutter-free web pages is built-in and, in Google Chrome, you have to enable a special flag to enable it. Here are the steps to do it:

  • open Google Chrome browser on your desktop
  • type chrome://flags/#enable-reader-mode in the address bar
  • select the Enable option from the drop-down menu
  • restart the browser

Often, simply using reader-mode is enough to bypass the paywall. Often, but not always, so in some cases a particular web-app could help us.

This is the site https://outline.com/ or a useful web service that can make you read and write down without distractions.

Outline - Read and annotate without distractions
Outline – Read and annotate without distractions

Quite simply, enter the URL of the article with a paywall, click on ‘create outline’ and that’s it. In practice, this is the equivalent of the browser’s reading mode, but in the web-app version.

On websites with a limited number of free articles, the free article limit can normally be bypassed by removing cookies for the site. You can do it manually or using the Cookie Remover extension for Google Chrome or for Mozilla Firefox.

A more elegant and, above all, very effective solution (both for limited free articles or paywalled articles) is to use a special extension for your favorite browser, we are talking about Bypass Paywalls web browser extension for Chrome and Firefox. Bypass Paywalls is a web browser extension to help bypass paywalls for selected sites.

Bypass Paywalls web browser extension for Chrome and Firefox.
Bypass Paywalls web browser extension for Chrome and Firefox.

Just install the extension, enable it and start reading your favorite articles, paywalled or not. If a particular website is having problems try unchecking ‘General Paywall Bypass‘ in extension’s options.

Another way to read articles behind a paywall is to use a simple trick with any browser and any operating system: the Print to PDF function.

Example of Seeking Alpha paywalled article printed as PDF
Example of Seeking Alpha paywalled article printed as PDF

As soon as the site loads, just a few seconds before the paywall appears, press CTRL + P to start the page print command. Then select print as PDF and print. Here is your beautiful article that is ready in all its glory as a PDF file, readable, usable, shareable.

Sometimes the simplest solutions are the best, don’t you think?

References and Resources

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