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How to bypass paywall in Chrome

Online publications have generally been free while print publications have to be subscribed to. This has been changing though; online publications have overhead costs and a subscription model is a reasonable way to cover them.

Bypass paywall in Chrome

Bypass paywall in Chrome

If you regularly read a particular online publication, it makes sense to buy a subscription to it. If you only have to read one or two articles a year, buying a subscription isn’t worth it. In that case, you may need a simple way to bypass a paywall.

How to bypass paywall in Chrome

In order to bypass a paywall in Chrome, you will need to install an extension. Given the nature of this extension, it isn’t allowed or hasn’t been uploaded to the Chrome web store. You will have to sideload it.

  1. Open Chrome.
  2. Click the more options button at the top right and select More tools>Extensions.
  3. Turn the Developer switch at the top right on.
  4. Visit the Github page for the Bypass Paywalls extension.
  5. Download the extension from the releases page.
  6. Extract the folder. 
  7. Once extracted, drag & drop the folder onto the Extensions page in Chrome.
  8. The extension will be installed.

Whitelisted websites

The Bypass Paywalls extensions don’t work with every single website that has a paywall. The extension only blocks paywalls for a select list of websites. You can check the list on the extension’s Github page. 

You should know that if you use an ad blocking extension in Chrome, it may cause problems with the Bypass Paywall extension. There is no work around for this other than to use the uBlock Origin ad blocker. 

The list of supported websites isn’t small and it includes a popular publications. You can also request to add a website though, if you visit a website and read it often, it may be a good idea to get subscription instead.

Conclusion

This extension is only for paywalls. It will not block sign in prompts e.g. Quora forces users to sign in to read all answers and Bypass Paywall won’t be of much help. You will need to sign in, or find a different extension that can block. Additionally, because the extension is being side-loaded, Chrome will often prompt you that you’re using an extension that is experimental or in development and it may not be safe. This is a small annoyance but is nevertheless there and there is no getting around it unless the extension is added to the Chrome web store. This extension can be installed on all Chromium based browsers.

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