Have you ever clicked on a web link only to get the dreaded “404 Document not found” (dead page) message? Have you wanted to see what that page looked like when it was alive? Well, now you’re in luck.
Recently the Internet Archive and Mozilla announced “No More 404s”, an experiment to help you to see archived versions of dead web pages in your Firefox browser. Using the “No More 404s” Firefox add-on you are given the option to retrieve archived versions of web pages from the Internet Archive’s 20-year store of more than 490 billion web captures available via the Wayback Machine.
To try this free service, and begin to enjoy a more reliable web, view this page with Firefox (version 48 or newer) then:
- Install the Firefox “Test Pilot”: https://testpilot.firefox.com
- Enable the “No More 404s” add-on: https://testpilot.firefox.com/experiments/no-more-404s
- Try viewing this dead page: http://stevereads.com/cache/ephemeral_web_pages.html
See the banner that came down from the top of the window offering you the opportunity to view an archived version of this page? Success!
For 20 years, the Internet Archive has been crawling the web, and is currently preserving web captures at the rate of one billion per week. With support from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, we are making improvements, including weaving the Wayback Machine into the fabric of the web itself.
“We’d like the Wayback Machine to be a standard feature in every web browser,” said Brewster Kahle, founder of the Internet Archive. “Let’s fix the web — it’s too important to allow it to decay with rotten links.”
“The Internet Archive came to us with an idea for helping users see parts of the web that have disappeared over the last couple of decades,” explained Nick Nguyen, Vice President, Product, Firefox.