Wayback Machine Chrome extension now available

The Wayback Machine Chrome browser extension helps make the web more reliable by detecting dead web pages and offering to replay archived versions of them.  You can get it here.

For the past 20 years, the Internet Archive has recorded and preserved web pages, and hundreds of billions of them are available via the Wayback Machine.  This is good because we are learning the web is fragile and ephemeral.  For example a 2013 Harvard study found that 49% of the URLs referenced in U.S. Supreme Court decisions are now dead.  Those decisions affect everyone in the U.S., and the evidence the opinions are based on is disappearing.

When previously valid URLs don’t respond, but instead return a result code of 404, we call that link rot.  The Wayback Machine Chrome extension is designed to help mitigate against link rot and other common web breakdowns.  

By using the “Wayback Machine” extension for Chrome, users are automatically offered the opportunity to view archived pages whenever any one of several error conditions, including code 404, or “page not found,” are encountered.  If those codes are detected, the Wayback Machine extension silently queries the Wayback Machine, in real-time, to see if an archived version is available.  If one is available, a notice is displayed via Chrome, offering the user the option to see the archived page.

The Internet Archive considers the privacy of our users to be of critical importance. We try not to record IP addresses, and we have fought National Security letters.  You can rest assured that the use of the Wayback Machine Chrome extension will not expose your browsing history.  In addition we are in conversation with Google about adding a proxy server as an additional layer of protection.

Thank you for giving the Wayback Machine for Chrome extension a try.  You can test it with this URL: http://www.pfaw.org:80/attacks.htm  We are committed to supporting better web browsing experiences and welcome your feedback and suggestions about how we can improve.  Please send us your bug reports, feature requests and other feedback directly to info@archive.org.

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29 Responses to Wayback Machine Chrome extension now available

  1. Pingback: The Internet Archive launches Wayback Machine Chrome extension to combat link rot – Game News

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  7. Mike Ellsworth says:

    Great to see this for Chrome!

  8. Pingback: ​Google Chrome gets Wayback Machine extension: End to the pain of 404 errors? – TECH BLOGS

  9. Martin says:

    I tried to use the extension on two different machines, and different Chrome channels, but it is not working at all. The test URL provided shows no notification to open the page using the Wayback Machine.
    Can you please verify?

    • Mark Graham says:

      Hi… can you please email info@archive.org so we can help you make this work?

      Please note that your browser must support JavaScript and that Privacy Badger might cause problems.

      Thank for giving us the opportunity to help you!

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  12. The test URL was munged by the Google Play Store. Several users complained.
    The test URL was folded to a second line. This is the one that works:
    http://www.pfaw.org:80/attacks.htm

  13. Pingback: ​Google Chrome gets Wayback Machine extension: End to the pain of 404 errors? | All About Tech in News

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  16. Paul Pival says:

    Can you please include a single page upon which this extension is known to work? I was not impressed in my initial playing: http://distlib.blogs.com/distlib/2017/01/sorry-the-new-wayback-machine-extension-for-chrome-sucks.html

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  19. Noah Swartz says:

    Very cool! Where do I submit feature request?

  20. Hi there to all, the contents existing at this web page are really remarkable for people knowledge,
    well, keep up the good work fellows.

  21. Pingback: L'Internet Archive s'attaque au fléau des pages 404 avec une extension Chrome - Tech - Numerama

  22. Max says:

    That’s great! Where can we find the sources of this chrome extension?

    Whenever an extension requires read/write on all the content I view, I prefer to fork it myself.

  23. Pingback: L’Internet Archive s’attaque au fléau des pages 404 avec une extension Chrome – Tech – Ebuzz Apps

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  25. Why does the new version require permission to “read and change all data” ?

  26. It would be great if this extension didn’t continuously log message to the console. It’s getting annoying seeing the pointless “Message received” messages so often when trying to use devtools.

    Other than that, seems really nice!

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