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Disable Reader in Safari

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The Safari browser has an in-built feature called “Reader” (which can be activated by clicking the book icon which appears on the left of the URL bar). Reader mode strips out all advertising and web page paraphernalia, allowing for distraction-free reading. Unfortunately, this also strips out paywalls when trying to read articles. This is a guide to showing you how to disable the Reader feature for those particular web pages.

Open up Safari and navigate to the web page containing the paywall you want to bypass. Whilst viewing this page, click on “share” in the bottom right of your screen and then click on “customize”. You should see a list of all the sharing options available to you.

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Now scroll down to the Reader option and move the slider so that “no” is selected. Press done in the bottom right of the screen when you’re finished.

Open up Safari and navigate to the web page containing the paywall you want to bypass. Whilst viewing this page, click on “share” in the bottom left of your screen and then click on “add to home screen”. You should see the option to put an shortcut to this page on your homescreen.

Open Safari on your computer

Some paywalls require you to be on a specific page in order to get past them. For these ones, all you have to do is click “share” and then “add to home screen”. You will then have to follow the instructions for removing the title from the address bar in step 2.

Unfortunately, some paywalls require you to be on a specific page of an article in order to get past them. I use this method when trying to read articles on the BBC website, for example. For these ones, all you have to do is click “share” and then “add to home screen”. You will then have to follow the instructions for removing the title from the address bar in step 2.

Click on the Safari menu at the top of the screen

Then choose “settings”. Scroll down to the “Security” section and find the option called “block cookies”. Click on this, followed by “only from websites I visit”, so that there is no padlock icon next to it.

This will mean that any cookies the web page tries to give you won’t be accepted. It will not affect your regular cookie settings and should not cause any problems for browsing the rest of the internet.

Select Preferences from the list of options on the top menu, followed by the Privacy icon

Find the option called “Remove All Website Data” and click on it. This will remove all data from websites you have visited. The BBC paywall will be removed instantly and should work for other sites as well. However, bear in mind that this clears out your saved passwords etc.

Click on the Advanced tab at the top of the window

Scroll down to the “Network” section and find the option called “Configure Website Data”. Click on it. You will now be able to enter specific addresses that you want to keep data for. Click on each one in turn (sometimes you need to click on “details” first) and then press “remove”. This will stop Safari from keeping any data for that particular website.

This will mean that the web page cannot store any information on your computer. It should not affect anything else and may help with other websites as well, but bear in mind that passwords or other saved information may be deleted if you use this method.

Conclusion

Safari provides a couple of extremely easy methods to bypass paywalls. The first method involves changing the Reader setting so that it shows the web page without any formatting. This prevents you from being able to read the article with most paywalls, but can be useful for some websites.

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