It might happen that you are trying to access a particular website, but instead gets greeted with the message: This site can’t be reached. Well, the problem isn’t with your internet connectivity. It has to do with the website being down, its server being busy or maybe the admin has removed that page altogether. But fret not. In this guide, we will be detailing various methods to view a cached copy or old version of a website. But before that, let’s see how this caching process actually works.
How a Webpage is Cached
Google crawlers and spiders crawl a website for indexing purposes. And in doing so, it also stores a copy of the webpage, or rather a snapshot of it, locally on your PC. But some site administrators block a page from getting it indexed by crawlers, by modifying its robots.txt file. As a result, Google won’t be able to store a cached copy of that website. But that’s for a minority of websites.
For the vast majority, you could easily view a cached copy or old version of a website. Let’s see all the different methods to do so. Also, keep in mind that these caches do keep hold of some amount of your device memory. Therefore, it is recommended to clear the cache on Windows using the steps given in our guide.
View a Cached Copy via Google Search
- Enter the desired webpage URL in Google Search.
- Now click on the downward arrow, present right next to the URL and select the Cache option.
- Google will now open the cached version of the website. It will also notify you that it is not the most recent copy of the website, the data might have changed in the meantime.
- You also have the option to view the text-only version of that webpage. The option to do so is present at the header of the page itself. But doing so might disorient the layout too. So make a note of it before going with that option.
So these were the steps to view the cached copy of a website via Google search. The above ste[ps aren’t just limited to Google search, it works for other searches too (like Bing). Let’s now have a look at some of the other methods of viewing an old version of any webpage. Also, here are the steps to Clear DNS Cache in Windows 7/8/10.
From Chrome’s Omnibox (Address Bar)
- Head over to the Chrome browser on your desktop.
- Enter cache: in the Omnibox followed by the URL of the desired webpage.
- It’s better to avoid prefixes like www, http, and https while entering the URL.
- That’s it. Hit Enter and you could now view an old or cached copy of that website.
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Via the Wayback Machine
The Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine stores or hosts a copy of the websites and its data such as images, videos, texts, etc. And it even manages to outdo the other two methods to view cache copy of websites that we mentioned above. The previous two tips allows you to view the most recent cached copy of the website that is locally stored on your device. But the Wayback machine goes a step further. It allows you to view the cached version of the website from any of the desired dates of your choice. This way you could view the earliest contents of a webpage.
To do so, head over to the Wayback Machine’s page. Now type in the desired page URL and click on Browse History. You will now be presented with a timeline. Select the year from that timeline and subsequently the date from the below calendar. It will then present you with the cached copy of that website of that exact date if it exists. Also, here are the steps to Clear Entire Microsoft Edge Browser History on Windows 10.
View Cache Copy via Extensions and Applications
You could even view the cached copies of a website using some extensions and software. Although it doesn’t do much good, considering the fact that you could do the same without installing a third-party app (which would take some storage space as well). Still, I decided to let you aware of this method as well, in case a need arises.
For that, you could either take the help of the Web Cache Viewer extension for Chrome. Or take the help of the ChromeCacheView software for Windows.
So these were the various methods through which you could view a saved or cached copy of any website. Which of the above-mentioned methods stands your favorite? Do let us know in the comments section below.