2 hacks to breakthrough a pesky pay wall

Don’t you hate it when you click to read an article and find that except for the first few lines it’s hidden behind a pay wall?

I’ve recently stumbled on two ways to (sometimes) dig my way under the pay wall.

I was trying to read an article on the Adweek website the other day when I ran into this problem. Usually I just turn around with my virtual tail between my online legs and forget about it, but this time a light bulb went off and I decided to look at the raw code for the page.

Lo‘ and behold! The full article was embedded in the code.

Yes, reading it was something of a pain at first. I copied it, put it in Microsoft Word and did a find and replace to put paragraph breaks into the copy and that made it quite easy to read.

I sort of understand why that hack worked. I don’t know why my next hack worked…maybe you do.

I wanted to read an article in the Wall Street Journal when I slammed up against their pay wall. I tried looking at the code, but the article itself wasn’t there.


For some reason I decided to try another browser so I grabbed the URL from Safari, launched Chrome, and pasted in the address.


I had the full article in front of me. I was happy, but confused. Why did that work?

I thought that maybe the WSJ gives me a few free articles each month and I had used my quota on the Safari browser, but not Chrome. As a tiebreaker I decided to fire up Firefox and see what the outcome would be.

Blocked again.

I went back to Chrome and opened a couple more WSJ articles with no problem. They wouldn’t open for me on Safari or Firefox.

I don’t know why the WSJ was Chrome friendly, but I won’t look a gift horse in the mouth. In any case, try the “view code” and switching browser hacks when you run up against one of those pesky pay walls.


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