How to Get Past a Paywall to Read an Article for Free

It's something most of us have done before. Many websites have implemented paywalls over the years. To read their articles, one must sign up and pay a monthly subscription. Some websites have a metered paywall that allows you to view a limited number of articles before asking for money. Others have a hard paywall where you will have to pay for each article.


Paywalls are most common on news websites. This is because advertising income alone is no longer sustainable and news companies are looking for direct revenue streams like monthly subscriptions. Paywalls are not something we oppose, and probably you aren't. If you have the money to pay for articles, you should. There are many ways to get around paywalls online, whether you have lost your password or are in a hurry.

While you may be able use some of these techniques today, it is possible to do so in the future. Websites will likely tighten their restrictions on bypassing methods. I hope you will support the websites you read by signing up to memberships. But if you can't, here are the best ways to bypass the paywalls online.

Paste the headline into Google

Sometimes the simplest methods are often the most effective. Many paywalled websites offer free access to their articles for people who arrive via Google search. Copy the headline and paste it into the Google search box. Click the article to access it free of charge.

Use a redirect on Facebook

Paywalled websites allow readers to access articles from Facebook for free. This works even if they don't have a Facebook account. Open the article you wish to read, and then go to your browser's address bar. Now paste before the URL of the paywalled article and open the page. You will see a Facebook redirect page. Click Follow Link to open this website. You should now be able to access the paywalled article.


Incognito Window: Open the link

Another way to access paywalled articles is to do so in an incognito browser. This works only with metered paywalls. You can read the articles on any website after you have used your monthly article quota. If this happens, you could open them in an incognito browser to continue reading.


jаvascript should be disabled in your browser

jаvascript is used by some websites to hide content behind paywalls. You can bypass these se blocks by disabling jаvascript from your browser. Disabling jаvascript may cause websites to crash. Some sites may not allow you to view comments while others may not load at any time. If you only need to view the content of the post, it is worth the effort.


You should use a different browser to do this, so you don't have to enable and disable jаvascript every time you switch between them. After you have chosen your secondary browser, we recommend our guide on disabling jаvascript in different browsers.

You can edit a few elements of the webpage

You can edit elements with your browser if you are familiar with HTML and CSS. You are basically editing the page to remove banners that block content from subscribers. It's similar to opening the curtains to see the beautiful view outside.


While it works on some websites, others have created a hard block that only allows you to see the article if your account is paid. It's worth a try to see if it works.

Right-click on any website and choose Inspect Element. You can then search for and hide the infected elements or modify them. Although the exact element may vary from one site to another, it is often called display, subscribe, or paywall. Reddit has a great GIF that shows how you can do it.


An annotation service is available

Annotation services can be used to remove clutter from websites and add notes or highlights just like you would in a magazine or printed book. These services may be used to bypass paywalls. One such service is Outline.


Copy the link to the paid article into the Outline website. To let the site do its magic, click Create Outline. The site will take you to a new page which loads the entire article. This is the way to bypass the paywalls. Each article that you load through Outline's website is assigned a new URL. Keep these pages in your bookmarks for later.

Outline has been blocked by some sites from accessing their sites. In these cases, you might try a URL shortener such as to get around the problem. To bypass the block, simply paste the URL shortened on Outline.


Use browser add-ons

Many browser extensions allow you bypass paywalls on many websites. Bypass Paywalls works on Chrome, Edge and Firefox, or Bypass Paywalls Clear (Firefox). Unpaywall (Firefox and Chrome) is a great choice for academic articles.


You can bypass the paywall with these iPhone shortcuts

This last method works only with iPhones. Apple's Shortcuts app is free and allows you to run automation routines directly on your iPhone. It also has tools that can be used to bypass paywalls across various websites. These shortcuts are not available for all websites. AntiPaywall, Bypass Paywall or Cookie Bypass are all options.