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How To Use The Internet Archive Wayback Machine: 9 Steps

Have you ever wondered what a website was like in the past? Would you like to see Microsoft.com when Windows XP starts? Well you can! The Wayback Machine is an archiving tool that contains large collections of archived sites from the past. This article explains how to use the Wayback Machine to find archived versions of your website and how to add your website to the archive for future use.

Check in the site manually

How to Use the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine: 9 Steps

In your web browser, go to https://web.archive.org. Using your computer, phone or tablet, you can tell the Wayback Machine to take a snapshot of a specific website. This feature is useful if you plan to use your site’s current template as a future quote.

How to Use the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine: 9 Steps

Enter the URL of the site you want to save in the field “Save page now “. You can find it in the lower right corner of the page. The URL can be obtained by doing the following:

To get the full URL of the site you want to archive, visit the site in your web browser, then copy the address from the bar at the top of the screen.

Highlight the URL on your PC and press ⌘ Cmd+C (Mac) or Ctrl+C (PC) to copy it. Enter the copied URL by right-clicking in the “Save page field now “and selecting Paste.

Highlight the URL on your phone or tablet, touch and hold the highlighted area, then tap Copy when Copy appears. To paste the copied URL into the “Save page now “, tap and hold the field, then tap Paste .

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How to Use the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine: 9 Steps

Click the Save Page button . It’s a light gray button to the right of the text box. The website will appear with the text “Save Page Now “in the upper left corner. This text disappears when the location is saved.

Wayback Machine cannot archive some websites due to settings. If an error appears, it is usually because the site owner has chosen to bypass the Wayback Machine web crawlers.

View archived sites

How to Use the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine: 9 Steps

In your web browser, go to https://web.archive.org. Wayback Machine allows you to view previous versions of your website on any computer, phone or tablet.

How to Use the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine: 9 Steps

Enter the website you want to view. “Enter a URL or a word related to the home page of the site. “You can enter the full URL in the field.

If you don’t know the address of a website, enter its name (or a keyword that describes the website) in the field.

Entering an address like this produces a https://www.wikihow.comdifferent result than typing https://www.wikihow.com/Use-the-Internet-Archive%27s-Wayback-Machine.

How to Use the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine: 9 Steps

↵ Enteror click ⏎ Return. The search results are displayed in the form of bar charts and calendars.

Search by name or keyword to see a list of recommended sites to explore. Click or tap the URL and continue with the next step.

How to Use the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine: 9 Steps

Select a year from the bar chart. By default, it jumps to the current year in the bar chart at the top of the page. There is a black bar that shows the number of times the page was archived by the Wayback Machine in that year. Click on the area above the year to see a 12 month calendar showing all dates for that year.

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How to Use the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine: 9 Steps

Click on a date on the calendar. Depending on where you look, you will usually see green and / or blue circles around certain calendar dates. If a date is circled, a snapshot of the location is available as of that date. Click on a date to view the archived version of the site.

If the website is archived several times a day, the circle around the date becomes a little larger. Hover over a date to see a list of storage times, then select a time to view this version.

If you get an error when clicking on the date or time, your site may be configured to bypass the Wayback Machine web crawler. The error could also mean that the website could not be accessed at that time.

Depending on how your site is stored, you may be able to click links on the page to view other archived content. Unfortunately, clicking on links to archived sites often results in errors.

How to Use the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine: 9 Steps

Find another archived version of your site. The bar chart from the previous page is at the top of the archived website. It can be used to query the same site on different dates. You can use the blue arrows to go to the next or previous archived snapshot or click on a different date to view it.

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