Every once in while we all come across members only websites. Some popular examples would be Quora and Financial Times etc. They offer some content for free, but if you browse more, then you get a pop-up asking you to create a free account or pay to read more content. And off course there is no option to close that pop-up. (see the screenshot below)
Now there is no problem in returning value to the publisher by paying or creating account. But let say, I need quick information and don’t have any plan to revisit the website in future, then there is no point in becoming pro member. Right! So here are some quick workaround to browse content without sign-up.
Related : How to get access to blocked websites
See blocked content on Websites
1. Remove pop-up using Inspect Elements
This works fine on most website that forces sign-up, and hide content. For instance let’s take Quora- a popular question answer website that offer content to it’s members only. If you come to this site from Google and try to read more than one page, a pop-up will appear asking you to sign-up. Now to bypass it, follow the steps:
Go to the page with pop-up. For chrome users, right-click on the page > Inspect elements. (If you are using other browser then do a Google search on how to get inspect element)
In the inspect element dialogue box, move your cursor to line of code until pop-up window (covering the content) gets highlighted. Once done, delete that line of code.
Sometimes there is another transparent layer on page’s body, that make the links unresponsive. Delete that as well.
And that’s it. Now you can read the content, without sign-up. If you accidentally delete other element like picture or something then refresh the page to start again.
Check out this gif that show how to use use Inspect element.
2. Use proxies
What if I am using smartphone ? Mobile browser don’t have inspect element option (at least not yet), so the above workaround won’t work. To overcome this issue, one can use proxy service like Google translate. It doesn’t work as good as inspect element but still worth a shot.
Copy paste the url of the ‘website in question’ to Google translate. Select language English to English and tap on translate. Since we are translation nothing, it will give you an error. Don’t panic, at the bottom of the page there is a link which says ‘Show original’. Click on that and the page will load without sign-up window.
If you not fond of using Google translate then you can use proxy websites. Google the keyword ‘proxy websites’ > select the first link > copy paste the url and you are good to go.
3. Revisit the website from Google
There is limitation to above workarounds. If the webmaster is smart, then it won’t work. But there is an alternate method suggested by Digital Inspiration.
News website like Financial Times (even quora), allow visitors from Google to browse the page for free, which would otherwise required sign-up. They do this to make sure that website receive traffic from Google while also making money from regular visitors.
Copy paste the url on Google search > click on the first link > you will brought to the same page but without pop-up. You can repeat this, as many times you want. The website will assume that you have come from Google and thus show you content.
Note: Website are getting smarter. Sometimes even copy pasting the url won’t work (like in case of Financial Times), as the url has authentication code that stop Google to recognize the page. In that case, copy paste the post title with the website name and click on first link. That’s it. You can now read the article.
So we have seen some loopholes, that allow us to see blocked content on websites. I am using them for long time, and most of the time it work. Usually when the website is new or when they are not serious about people viewing their content.
However if you dealing with authority websites that really don’t want you to see their content, then none of the above methods will work. A simple way to tell is by looking at the page. If the content on the page with pop-up box above it, then it’s worth trying.