I’ve hesitated posting about this topic for weeks, as I’m more than a bit ambivalent about showing readers how to bypass the NYT’s new paywall. I really enjoy The New York Times, and would hate to see it fail, so I encourage you to support the paper, particularly if you are a frequent online reader.

I do recognize, however, that some of you may only occasionally exceed the 20 articles per month limit.  Adding to the issue is the fact that The Times has inexplicably made it very easy to bypass the paywall. In the final analysis, each of us has to decide where we land on the ethical issues involved. That said, here’s a short list of methods, ranked degree of difficulty…

  • Easy: Chrome and Firefox users, drag this piece of javascript to your bookmarks bar - NYClean. When the paywall notice pops up, click on NYClean. Done.  (Thanks to David Hayes; see his original post here:  Work around New York Times 20 article limit)
  • Easy, but requires a bit more initial effort: IE users who wish to use NYClean – create a new bookmark, right click on it and select Properties, and replace the URL with this code:

javascript:(function()%20{var%20s=document.createElement(‘script’);s.setAttribute(‘src’,’http://toys.euri.ca/nyt.js’);document.getElementsByTagName(‘head’)[0].appendChild(s);})();

  • Easy: Firefox users – use Private Browsing
  • Moderately easy: when the paywall popup appears, put your cursor in the URL, and delete everything after (and including) &gwh” – then hit Enter
  • Moderate PITA: copy the headline of the article you want to read, and then search for it using Bing; click on the NYT link in the Bing results, and you can read the article
  • Moderate PITA: check this Twitter feed – someone posts links to NYT articles at Twitter, which you can read in their entirety!
  • Complete PITA: Delete your cookies whenever the paywall popup begins appearing

Good luck. There’s always the possibility that some of these methods won’t work in the future.

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13 Comments on How to hack the New York Times paywall

  1. Michael W. says:

    I don’t quite understand the paywall. There are tons of ads on the NY Times. My understanding of the print business was that most of the money on newstand sales went to the distributor/stand, not the publisher, and ads paid for the actual newspaper writing/composition costs.

    In an era when blogs make tons of money on ads, why can’t the NY Times? They have the best quality content.

    [Reply]

    Kevin Reply:

    Michael,

    As usual, excellent comments, but I’ll disagree on one point: I’m still waiting for the “tons of money” to pour in. :o)

    [Reply]

    Michael W. Reply:

    Well maybe you and the NY Times both have the same problem … the quality of content is too HIGH.

    [Reply]

    Gnostradamus Reply:

    You’ve got some bad, or misleading, info. For bloggers who start from scratch, ad revenues may seem like a lottery. But for career journalists, and real newspapers, etc, the ads are pennies compared to previous ad dollars. Nowhere near enough to pay the bills of on-the-ground reporters, rather than commentators sitting behind a computer.

    Sad truth is, most people don’t understand what journalism is. Unlike our founding fathers, they don’t understand how vital and critical a free press is. The death of journalism – and replacement by online bloggers – is a key reason for the rapid decline in public influence on politics and the rise of Citizens United.

    [Reply]

  2. Adriano says:

    For my final university paper I’ve been making loads of research on the internet – and paywalls are everywhere! Even insignificant articles are sold at quite high prices.
    So I’ve found a few nice ways to go around them. One of the easiest (and incredibly most effective) one is using search engines through cache – and not only.
    You can also pretend to be a spider bot, for example through this website:

    http://www.avivadirectory.com/bethebot/

    @Kevin: thought about asking you what PITA means… But I think I know the meaning of this acronym ;-)

    [Reply]

  3. andrew says:

    Wow, waaaay too complicated!

    There is really simple way in chrome (and probably other browsers). I’ll leave it to you to figure out. There are two things you can do. One involves right clicking on a link, the other involves opening a new window. The same hack works with most other newspaper sites.

    Hint: They track via cookies, but allow you 10 free articles per month.

    [Reply]

    Kbarb Reply:

    @Andrew,

    What’s the point of the guessing game again ?

    [Reply]

    Gnostradamus Reply:

    For someone to feel superior.

    [Reply]

  4. Jim Rev says:

    Can anyone tell me how to remove the NY Times clean bookmarket? The NYT seems to have disabled the bookmarklet and now, everytime I try to access the nytimes website I can no longer get even the homepage. I get this error

    AppName: iexplore.exe
    AppVer: 8.0.6001.18702
    ModName: mshtml.dll
    ModVer: 8.0.6001.19046 Offset: 00411b6e

    clearing cache and disabling things don’t seem to help. thoughts?

    [Reply]

    Kevin Reply:

    The bookmark still works in Firefox; as I don’t use IE, I’m afraid I can’t help.

    [Reply]

  5. Dan says:

    As of March 20, 2013, the bookmark hack no longer works (tested in Firefox and Chrome). Anyone know of an updated hack?

    [Reply]

    Kevin Reply:

    Agree. If using Firefox, switch to Private Browsing.

    [Reply]

    Dan Reply:

    Alternatively, you can disable javascript. But then some graphical elements may not look perfect. For just the text, though, it’s usually fine.

    [Reply]

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