The information overload is real. You don’t always have time to read a 5,000 word article or juicy interview when it appears on your Twitter feed. And even when you have the time, you can be underground between metro stops, stuck in a dead zone, or not have Wi-Fi.
The most reliable way to catch up on your digital reading is to make sure it is saved and accessible for offline reading. There are many apps and browsers that can help you save it for later. Here’s how to download whatever you want and keep it readable, even without an internet connection.
Save a web page in Chrome
For desktop Chrome users, the easiest built-in way to save a web page for offline reading is to download the page as a file. Open the three-dot menu at the top right and select More Tools> Save Page As. You can also right-click anywhere on the page and select Save as or use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + S under Windows or Command + S in macOS.
Chrome can save the entire web page, including text and media, or just HTML text. Download the file you prefer on your computer and read the page anytime, even without an internet connection.
Save a webpage to the Android app by opening the three-dot menu icon and tapping the download icon at the top. A banner at the bottom of the screen will let you know when the page has been made available for offline reading. Click on Open to display a static version of the page. Access downloads later by opening the three-dot menu and pressing Downloads.
Chrome on iOS and iPadOS
To make an article available for offline reading in the Chrome app on iPhone or iPad, press the button To share (an up arrow) and select Add to playlist. Open the browser three-dot menu and select Reading list to view saved pages. Touch and hold a saved item until a menu appears, and then touch Open offline version and you are ready to read offline.
Save a web page in Microsoft Edge
Microsoft’s Edge browser is powered by the same Chromium engine as Google Chrome‘s, so the instructions here will be similar. Click on the three-point ellipsis menu at the top right and select More Tools> Save Page As to download a file to your PC.
On Android, the process is also similar to Chrome, but the three-dot menu is at the bottom center of the screen. Tap it, swipe up lightly, and select Download Page. The download will appear at the bottom of the screen; press Open to read. To read later, tap the three-dot menu and select Downloads. Web pages that you have saved can be read automatically offline.
On Edge for iOS, the Reading List option appears when you tap the three-dot menu, although it is grayed out for us. Your best bet might be to hit the share icon and save to Pocket.
Save a web page in Safari
Save a web page in Safari by opening File> Save As. You can then choose between file formats Web Archives (all textual and multimedia elements) or Page source (source text only). To choose File> Export to PDF if you need a PDF version of the article.
Safari also has a reading list feature that lets you save articles for offline reading. Desktop users can click the To share icon and choose Add to playlist. Another option is Bookmarks> Add to playlist. Once added, click on the Show sidebar in the Safari toolbar and make sure the glasses icon is selected. Right-click on an entry and select Save offline.
Make sure saved articles are available for offline reading by default under Safari> Preferences> Advanced. Check the box next to Automatically save articles for offline reading.
The process works the same on iOS and iPadOS. Press the To share shutter and choose Add to playlist. Press the Bookmark and choose the glasses icon to view your playlist. Long press the item and select Save offline in the context menu to save the article.
Set the saved articles to be made available offline by default under Settings> Safari. Scroll all the way down and turn on the switch next to Automatically save offline.
Save a web page in Firefox
For offline reading with Firefox, open the hamburger menu and choose save page as to download the page as a file. You will have the choice of downloading the full page, HTML only, or a simple text file.
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Otherwise, the desktop browser relies heavily on integration with Pocket, the Firefox backup service that Mozilla acquired in 2017. Right click and select Save the page in Pocket to do just that, or click on the Pocket icon at the top right. Content saved in Pocket can be accessed through GetPocket.com or the Pocket mobile apps. Refresh Pocket to make sure what you saved appears in your account, and it will then be available for offline reading.
The iOS version of Firefox has a reading list feature that allows offline reading. Open the three-dot menu in the search bar and select Add to playlist. Once an item has been saved, tap the hamburger menu and select Reading list. Select the article you want to open and it will automatically be made available to you offline.
On the Firefox iOS and Android apps, you can also select Save to Pocket.
Extensions and applications
Although the Pocket Later Backup service is owned by Mozilla, it is not limited to Firefox. It is available as an official browser extension for Chrome and Safari for one-click backups, and on mobile.
Other options include the Save Page WE extension for Chrome and Firefox, which saves web pages to your computer with just one click; adjust the settings to determine the amount of information saved.
For more powerful solutions, turn to the HTTrack utility software (for Windows, Linux, and Android) or SiteSucker (for macOS and iOS). These programs can download entire website directories from one URL, allowing you to browse a site offline.
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