Tip: use cache: to load cached website copies in most browser
Search engines like Google or Bing maintain a cached copy of sites they crawl. They need to do this for a number of reasons, for instance to find out if content on a site changed.
One side-effect of search engines keeping a copy of any site they crawl is that some provide frontend access to the cache so that users may load it.
Useful if the website is down, has been deleted, or has changed in the meantime. Google and other search engines that provide access to cached copies do so only for the most recent snapshot. Other services, The Wayback Machine for example, provide access to all cached versions.
While you can load your favorite search engine, run a search, and click on the cached link that it may display next to search results, you may find the following faster option useful.
First reported by Lifehacker, all that it takes is to prepend cache: in front of the address or search term to open a cached page of a website in any browser.
The main caveat is that the method works only if Google Search is the default search provider as cache: is only recognized by Google. You may still use the feature even if Google is not the default search provider as you may open Google Search directly and run the cache: query there directly.
It is still faster than searching for the address on Google and selecting the cached link from the extra menu that is displayed next to each search result.
Another caveat is that the method works only if Google has a cached copy of the website. Sites may request that no cached copy is kept.
Browsers that support keywords support the trick even if Google Search is not the default provider. All it takes is to write keyword cache:URL, e.g. g cache:https://www.ghacks.net/ if g is the keyword for Google Search.
The trick works in most browsers but not all; it works fine in Chrome, Firefox, Opera, or Vivaldi. The only browser that I could not get it to work was Microsoft Edge as it redirected the query to a Store search.
Plenty of extensions are available to load cached or archived copies of web pages in web browsers.
Other options mentioned in the past here on Ghacks:
- Archiver Menu: archive web pages and load cached copies
- Load cached website copies in Chrome when loading fails
- Website Downloader: download entire Wayback Machine site archives
Now You: Do you access cached versions of sites occasionally?Advertisement