Tricks for reading paywalled articles

Turns out that iCloud Keychain is a huge trojan horse for any iPhone theif who can guess your device password.


Right, that’s definitely a risk. That was a good set of articles today from WSJ on the risks and the one you linked, how to protect yourself.

(This is the other article from Joanna Stern. Both seem to be free from the normal WSJ paywall.)

Unfortunately I couldn’t access either of them.

Both articles are available on Apple News+:


There is also a video version of the first article on YouTube

Most of the Wall Street Journal is behind a paywall. However, they also provide access to some articles via Apple News. If you go to a WSJ URL, you can then attempt to access the Apple News version via the Open News item in the Safari share sheet (accessible via the File menu if you haven’t put an icon for it in the toolbar).


Hmm, I was able to read the article I linked directly from Twitter.

Thanks, Alan – I was able to view them that way with no problem, even though I have the standard Apple News, not Plus. (I am not sure what the difference is.)

Thanks, Doug, but when I click that link and then the link in the Tweet that appears, I am told I need a subscription to the WSJ to read the article.

EDIT: Now I see I can view a video version of the article, just not the article itself.

Right, it’s strange that I could read these articles within the Twitter app. I don’t subscribe to WSJ; if I follow the link I posted earlier, I can’t read the full articles, either. It’s only in the web view within the Twitter app (on my phone; the only device I use to look at Twitter) that I can read them.

I’ve found that the Wall Street Journal puts all its videos on YouTube, so I’ll often link to them there, rather than sending someone into the paywalled article, even though usually (always?) lets you view a video at the top.

I totally get why publications do paywalled articles, but I hate being fed a link that implies I can read the article and then have it pulled away from me after I click through. If the link came with an indication that the article was paywalled, I wouldn’t feel betrayed.


Two quick ways to read a paywalled article is to use or the Internet Archive. One or the other is almost always successful. I’ve written myself a little Shortcut that opens a page in which makes the process quick (via share sheet on iOS or a keyboard shortcut on the Mac).


Another trick (doesn’t work on all sites) is to click the button for “Reader View”.

Many sites implement their paywall by popping up a window over the article text. But the entire article is present below the popup. If you activate reader view (and then maybe reload the page while in reader view), it often displays the full content.


Those are both very useful. Another one that I use constantly is called “12-foot-ladder” (presumably a play on a 10-foot paywall). To use it just go here and enter the URL for the paywalled article:

Very handy and consistently reliable.


Most paywalled sites that provide access to a few initial articles can be surmounted by removing your cookies for the site. In Mac Safari, you can do that by going to Settings>Privacy>Manage website Data and searching for the relevant domain. Click ‘remove’ and you should be good to go. On mobile systems, you can do the same thing by goint to Settings>Safari>Advanced>Website Data.


Or just browse the site in a Private window. This is what I do for sites like that. When you find another article you want to read, cmd-click the link and it will open in a Private tab behind the one you’re browsing. Since it’s a new private tab, it has no record of the cookies etc from the first page you read. It’s very quick to open several articles on a site and then read them one-by-one without having to open Preferences and remove the cookies manually.


In both Chromium-based browsers and Firefox, there is an extension called ‘Bypass Paywalls Clean (C)’. Mozilla has taken it out of their add-on store because it works so well. You can download it from Github and install it manually, and it will autoupdate with fixes every week. Go to magnolia1234 / Bypass Paywalls Firefox Clean · GitLab and scroll down to Installation for a link and instructions. Or for Chromium browsers, go to magnolia1234 / Bypass Paywalls Chrome Clean · GitLab
Some sites, eg The Times (of London) manage to defeat it, but articles can be read as archives, best achieved with the add-on Web Archives (I switch off all options save for
And for scientific papers, the extension Unpaywall will often find an unlocked copy if only an abstract is visible without a subscription to the journal in question.
Combine these with uBlock Origin and the web becomes a rather civilised place. BTW, if I like the content of a site and want to support it (like this place!) I pay up, and so should you.


Another is “Remove Paywall


That’s great! Thanks. Much easier to remember that URL when I’m doing it on the fly.

I wrote a javascript bookmarklet to open a page in Be sure to strip out any query terms. If doesn’t have the page, it provides links for checking the Wayback Machine ( and Google Cache. In Google Cache, sometimes only the text version (vs the full version) shows the article. Another trick, as mentioned elsewhere, is to check the reader view. Some sites – notably the NY Times – reveal the article if javascript is turned off (via a toggle add-on), although the pix may not show. Not an everyday resource, but Sci-Hub ( provides access to science articles via their doi codes.

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Is your bookmarklet available? If not, what is the process for creating it?