Ways to recover web pages no longer available online

If you need to recover a web page that is no longer available online, you may be able to recover it with one of these techniques. The first two rely on cached pages - in non-tech talk this basically means pages that may be 'temporarily stored' somewhere.

1) Use your browsers cached pages

If you have visited the webpage recently and haven't cleared your browser cache, then there is a possibilty you can recover it from there. I generally use Chrome so this method for recovering pages cached by Chrome. IF you don't use Chrome you can skip this method or search around online as there are some posts out their detailing methods for other browsers.

  • Enter this into your Chrome browser address bar: chrome://cache
  • This should bring back a list of all cached pages
  • Find the pages you want and select the link.
  • This will return something looking like the below, which is full of binary data and not readable.
  • To convert this back into it's html format, copy all of the data and  visit the link below. This site has a handly tool for 'Viewing Chrome cache' data.
    http://www.sensefulsolutions.com/2012/01/viewing-chrome-cache-easy-way.html

2) Check Googles Cached pages

If you know the URL of the page you can try using Googles cached versions of the page. Go to this URL, and replace the www.website.com/page with the URL of the page in question: 

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:http://www.website.com

If the page has been cached by Google then you should get a copy of it. This will only work if the cached version you are looking for hasn't been overwritten with a new version.

3) Use the Wayback Machine web archive at http://archive.org

You can try and recover fairly old pages using the WayBack Machine online web archive. It provides snapshots of sites captured over time.You can find it here: http://web.archive.org

If you're not very technically minded, or have a lot of pages to recover, check out http://waybackdownloads.com. They offer a fairly priced 'paid-for' service that will assist with downloading the pages from the web.archive.org site. 

 

Justin Chevallier

Justin Chevallier

Avid Drupal site builder & user for +9 years.

Comments

Submitted by Marvin singleton on

I had a domain, discontinued use and let the domain go. Recently got the domain name back and would like the last version of the web site up again. It was last backed up 2012.
Thank you.

Submitted by Justin on

If you are able to find archived versions of your sites pages at http://web.archive.org, you should be able to retrieve the pages html.

You can do this by right clicking on the web page and selecting something like 'View source' or 'View frame source'. Obviously this will only work for static html pages, and you won't be able to recover content images that weren't archived.

Submitted by Daniel King on

Sure we can recover it for you if I remember correctly you've already messaged us.

Submitted by Justin on

You can recover old websites using the above methods, but the pages you recover will only be static html. This means that if the original site was built using a CMS system, with the data was stored in a database, then no you will not be able to restore it to it's previous functioning state.

Submitted by Trish on

Hi,

I unwillingly abandoned my webpage due to issues with the website designer but would like to recover it somehow. My old web designer wants over $300 to retrieve it from the archive. Can anything be done for me without all the charges please?

Cheers,

Trish

Submitted by khalid on

Could you please help me to recover my pages

Submitted by Justin on

This is just a post detailing how you could go about trying to recover pages from old websites. I don't actually offer this as a service. Possibly try the links mentioned in some of the other comments, although I can't vouch or their service as I've never used it.

Submitted by 1MillionBusinesses on

I just recovered my site using the WayBackMachine and blogged about it at on my SEO-Reloaded blog. Thank God I was able to recover the entire site! :)

Submitted by Lu on

have a friend who needs to recover years and years of important articles, but fb blocked their page. Friend is not willing to submit ID as per Fb's rules. Can you help ? Thanks

Submitted by Justin on

Sorry I don't know if it's possible to recover pages from FB. I would have thought that FB themselves would be the only ones who would be able to do this provided they keep archived versions.

Submitted by CS on

I'd like to know what the names of the wards were in Southmead Hospital before it was remodelled due to Frenchay Hospital closing down. When you search the results only take you to the wards as they're called now since the hospital's changed. Can you help?

Submitted by Justin on

There seems to be some information here: 
https://www.nbt.nhs.uk/our-hospitals/southmead-hospital
https://www.nbt.nhs.uk/our-hospitals/southmead-hospital-bristol/southmead-hospital-site-redevelopment

If the information you're looking for should be on an 'old version' of those pages you can see archived versions of the page by searching for it's URL at: http://web.archive.org/

For instance here is a copy of the page from Dec 2014:
http://web.archive.org/web/20141215025516/http://www.nbt.nhs.uk/our-hospitals/southmead-hospital 

Submitted by Sub on

Are you able to recover images on a deleted website from the archive?

Submitted by Anna Monica on

Thanks to the system integration and updation where in you can collect all the available files form the deleted cookies and websites.Its really worth.:)

Submitted by McKenzie on

I was on GreatestJournal in 2007 (yeah yeah, let's all laugh it up), and I've exhausted all browsing ideas using the WayBack archive. I can access some of the site, but mostly it's journals and communities from 2004-2006. It won't let me search directly for specific usernames. I don't have anything important that I've lost, just wish I could recover some old (and very bad) writing for the sake of nostalgia. Probably not possible to get any of that back beyond using the WaybackMachine, huh? I've tried googling cached pages, but my usernames I type in don't give me any results.

Submitted by Justin on

Unfortunately it sounds like the content you want may have slipped quietly into the digital ethers of oblivion. 

Submitted by Vana on

Can I possible recover an unused site from a year ago and use the content on a new domain I want to start.

Submitted by Justin on

It's should be possible to partially retrieve, provided the pages have actually been archived. You can then use the content on whatever domain you like.

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