Ways To Bypass News Paywall: Easy Guide

By | January 6, 2024
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If you are the type that doesn’t like to read much, then you’ll probably close the tab when an article asks you to pay a subscription fee before reading the content. Or you will try to find the information elsewhere or ditch the entire idea. This is called a News Paywall and is mostly found on news websites and publications.

What Is News Paywall

A news paywall is a service that allows publishers to charge a subscription fee to access content or allow them to read. A very familiar feature is when a website prompts readers to purchase a subscription to access the article. Many news websites and publications use this service as a means to generate some revenue.

Although there are soft paywalls that allow you to read some content, for instance, limit you to several articles every month, allowing access to some content. But hard paywalls restrict content access, only allowing subscribers to read.

Well, you can use different ways to beat this limitation and bypass the news paywall to access the content without paying, as you’ll find out different ways to get this done in this comprehensive guide.

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How To Bypass News Paywall

Basically, you can use several methods to read news articles on news websites that have paywalls without subscribing or paying anything. This will depend on the nature of the website, the platform(browser), and the type of content.

Also considering whether it uses a soft or hard paywall and the device you’re using (PC, macOS, or Android). Here are the most effective ways to bypass the news paywall.

Using Reader Mode

Depending on the device you use or the browser you are accessing the content from, you may have the option to use reader mode. This prevents accessing the content fully online and gives you the text only to read.

Block The Webpage From Fully Loading

You can easily beat a paywall by stopping the webpage from fully loading. Paywalls normally appear when the page finishes loading or after scrolling down the content. And sometimes, after you have read a number of articles.

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Blocking the page from fully loading can prevent the paywall popup from appearing, allowing you to read the article without subscribing.

Disable JavaScript in Your Browser

Almost all websites use Javascript. In fact, Especially websites that have more automated features like popups and queries.  Most of news websites use JavaScript to lock content with paywalls, and you can bypass the paywall by disabling the javascript in the browser settings.

Note that this method can beat most websites but some can detect when javascript is blocked and may block you from viewing content.  Others simply won’t load. But it’s worth trying. You should use a different browser so that you won’t need to disable and enable JavaScript on several websites.

Disabling All Cookies

Sites that entice you with a few free articles then block you using a paywall always use cookies to track your reading. When you disable them, the site will assume that you’re visiting for the first time and allow you to access the content.

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Remember not to delete the cookies but rather disable the cookies to remove the paywall on news sites, If you delete cookies, the website can detect the activity and block you.

Use 12ft Ladder To Extract Article Text

12ft Ladder is a free service for reading and annotating news articles. It does a good job of removing ads and other digital clutter. You can simply enter the URL of an article in the search bar on 12ft Ladder homepage.

Alternatively, you can insert “https://12ft.io/” before a news article’s URL and 12ft Ladder will auto-extract the text from the article, giving you not only the article blocked by a paywall without additional ads.

How To Bypass News Paywall With Chrome Extensions

If your browser does not have built-in Reader Mode, then you can install one using the browser extensions. Using Chrome, Reader Mode is one of the incredible tools to use as it offers the ability to allow you to read and listen to articles on the internet.

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I read a ton of articles on the internet while researching for my next article. It is the easiest way to bypass a paywall and remove clutter, ads, and distractions. Naturally, this saves me a ton of time, as well as money. Install Reader Mode with these steps:

  1. Open Google Chrome and visit the Chrome web store.
  2. Search for “Reader Mode” by readermode.io
  3. Click on the Add to Chrome button, it will be installed on your browser.
  4. Open the article with the Paywall you want to bypass.
  5. Click on the Reader Mode icon right-hand side of the URL bar, if you can’t find click on the small puzzle icon it will list all the installed extensions.

Read Also: How To Enable Dark Mode On TikTok


How To Bypass a hard paywall

If you have followed the previous method to bypass a paywall and it’s now working, now it’s time to bypass a hard paywall manually, we will be using a process called user-agent spoofing.

  1. Right Click Anywhere on Webpage > Inspect Alternatively, you can use CTR+Shift+I on Windows, and CMD + Opt +J on Mac.
  2. Choose More Tools > Network Conditions Click on the three vertical dots in the upper right corner. Uncheck Select Automatically Checkbox
  3. Choose Googlebot from the Built-In User-Agents List.
  4. Click and hold on the refresh icon left-hand side of the URL bar and click on Hard Reload/Refresh the web page.

Alternatively, you can use the Chrome extension User-Agent Switcher and Manager. That said, I try not to use browser extensions when the browser can do the action I want. This is to avoid overloading the browser with tons of add-ons. By following this method you can bypass a hard paywall.

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These are some of the easiest methods to bypass a paywall for free, now you can continue to access the content you have been trying to access without paying or subscribing to hundreds of media outlets. Kindly share this article with your friends and family members if you find it useful.