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Access News Articles for Free: A Guide to Unlocking Paywalls

by Brave Jhon
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Access News Articles for Free: A Guide to Unlocking Paywalls

1. Try Incognito mode to bypass a soft paywall.

Viewing a site in Incognito or Private prevents the site from storing cookies on your computer, phone, or tablet. If the news site you want to view relies on cookies to prevent readers from viewing more than a certain number of articles, you can usually read more free articles in Incognito or Private mode. Here’s how:

  • In any web browser on a computer, press Ctrl + Shift + N (PC) or Command + Shift + N (Mac).
  • Chrome for Android or iPhone/iPad: Tap the three dots at the top-right or bottom-right corner, then tap New Incognito tab.
  • Safari for iPhone/iPad: Tap the two overlapping squares, tap the number of tabs at the bottom, then tap Private. Now tap + to create a new private tab.

2. Install Mercury Reader for Chrome or Edge.

Mercury Reader clears the clutter (and often, the paywall) from any website. This extension is made for Google Chrome, but it’ll work in Microsoft Edge, too. You can simply activate the Mercury Reader extension any time you see a paywall to instantly strip the paywall from just about any news site, including the New York Times, The Atlantic, and more. Just go to, click Install Mercury Reader for Chrome, and click Add to Chrome (even in Microsoft Edge).

  • Once the extension is installed, head over to a paywalled article you want to read. Then, click the puzzle piece icon at the top-right corner of your browser and select Mercury Reader.
3. Try Safari’s Reader Mode on your Mac, iPhone, or iPad.


Depending on the news site, you might be able to read it without paying in Reader Mode. This feature is available in Safari on any Apple platform. Reader Mode is meant to hide ads and give you a cleaner reading experience, but sometimes it also strips news articles of its paywall features. Just open an article with a paywall, then click the Reader icon on a Mac (the sheet of paper in the address bar) or tap Aa and then Show Reader on the menu.
4. Try 12ft.io in any browser.

This free web-based tool can remove the paywall from many news sites. You don’t have to install anything, and you can use the site on any computer, phone, or tablet. Just go to, paste the URL of the article you’re trying to read, and click or tap Remove Paywall.

  • While 12ft.io isn’t guaranteed to work for all news sites, it has a pretty good success rate for most of the sites we’ve tried.
  • Once the content loads, you’ll see a notification asking you if the paywall is gone. You can help the developers by selecting Yes or No on the notification.
5. View the archived version of the site or article.
There are several web-based tools that create text and graphical copies of websites. Depending on the news site you’re trying to read, you may be able to use one of these sites to take an instant snapshot of an article and display it without the paywall. A few reliable sites you can try:

6. Paste the headline into Google.


Try searching the web for the article’s exact headline. Depending on the news site, you might be able to pull up the article if you access it directly from its link on the Google search results page. If you still get a paywall, try right-clicking the link in Google and selecting Open link in incognito windowOpen link in InPrivate windowOpen Link in New Private Window.

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