Load cached website copies in Chrome when loading fails

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 21, 2017
Google Chrome

Google Chrome displays an error message when it cannot load a requested resources. The error message depends on the type of error the browser encountered while trying to load the resource; if a page is not found for instance, it displays a 404 not found error, and if a page cannot be looked up, a "this site can't be reached" error is displayed instead.

If you know that the page existed in the past because you visited it already, you have some options to revive it even if it has been deleted permanently.

You could head over to the Wayback Machine website (or a Chrome extension), or try search engine caches. If you have visited a site before, a copy of it may exist in the Chrome cache as well.

Chrome does not suggest to load it however, even if it does exist. Going through the cache manually may work, but it is far from ideal.

Google Chrome does have an option, an experimental one, to load a cached copy of a site that failed to load in the browser.

Basically, what happens once you enable the feature is that Chrome displays a button that you can use to load the cached copy of a resource. This is useful as well if your Internet connection died for instance, or if the routing from your place or your ISP is having issues.

chrome load saved copy cache

Here is how you enable the feature in Google Chrome:

  1. Load chrome://flags/#show-saved-copy in the browser's address bar. This works in all desktop versions of Google Chrome, as well as in Chrome for Android and on Chrome OS.
  2. Switch the setting from default to Enable:Primary or Enable: Secondary.
  3. Restart the Chrome browser afterwards.

Both options add the load from cache button to the error page, and the only difference between the two options is where the button is placed on the error page.

Simply click on the "show saved copy" button that Chrome displays when it cannot load a resource that is already in the cache to load it from the local browser cache.

show saved copy chrome

Not all pages may display in full, especially if pages make use of dynamic content. While you may access any information posted on the pages at the time, interaction with the content of the page may be limited.

This feature is not particularly new, the Firefox add-on CacheMachine added the functionality to Firefox back in 2011 for instance.

Load cached website copies in Chrome when loading fails
Article Name
Load cached website copies in Chrome when loading fails
Google Chrome has an experimental option to load a cached copy of a site that failed to load in the browser so that you can access it.
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