How to Read the New Yorker and Atlantic articles for FREE

✔︎ Last updated on May 3rd, 2024

If you want to read websites like the Newyorker or Atlantic for free, read on. In this article, you will learn a neat trick which helps you bypass the paywalls put up by these websites. The best part is you don’t have to pay or create any account on any website.

This was the first article I ever read on the NewYorker magazine’s website. I had never heard of the NewYorker magazine before. I liked the titles of some other articles on its website, I clicked on a few and then, I hit the paywall.

Newyorker magazine allows you to read only a few articles for free.
The Newyorker magazine’s website allows you to read only a few articles for free.

Apparently, the NewYorker allows only a few (maybe 3) articles to read for free before you are prompted to subscribe.

Now, I don’t like restrictions. I willingly seek out barriers just so that I can find ways around them. Heck, this is the sole reason for the existence of this blog: I encounter restrictions in my workflow, I find ways around them and then, I write about it.

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So, it wasn’t a surprise that my focus shifted from reading the article to finding ways to bypass the paywall.

I searched on Google and after a few failed attempts, found the perfect solution. As a side note, the first Google result ( didn’t work for me.

The working solution is simple. You just have to prepend the string before the URL in the browser’s address bar.

Appending before the URL removes the paywall on NewYorker's website.
Appending ’’ before the URL removes the paywall on NewYorker’s website.

Remember, the URL in the address bar should look like and not like

The string https:// must be there between and

What is seems like the magic keyword, but what is it? is actually a website whose name is a reference to a 12-foot ladder.

Show me a 10-foot wall, and I’ll give you a 12 feet ladder.

Given the problem it solves, that’s a pretty vivid metaphor. is a metaphor for a 12 feet wall: Show me a 10-feet wall and I will give you a 12 feet ladder.

How and why does this work

As it turns out, there are two kinds of paywalls on the internet: Soft paywalls and hard paywalls.

Websites like,, etc. use soft paywalls.

A soft paywall is just an HTML element blocking your access to the content itself. The article is downloaded to your browser, but you are prevented from viewing it using some Javascript logic. Websites like, and, just disable the JavaScript so that the blocking element doesn’t show itself.

On the other hand, when websites use a hard paywall, the article isn’t even downloaded to your browser. In most cases, only the first few paragraphs or an excerpt are sent to the browser, which is then shown to the user. and the New York Times use the hard paywall.

As you can probably tell, hard paywalls cannot be bypassed, since there’s no way to get the content on your browser without a username and password.

Why do websites use soft paywalls?

Since the soft paywalls can be so easily bypassed, why do websites even use it? Why don’t all websites just put their content behind hard paywalls?

The reason is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). If the content is hidden behind a hard paywall, not even Google can index it. And if Google can’t index a piece of content, it’s as good as dead.

So, websites are hard-pressed to tread a fine line between the SEO benefits and forcing users to pay. The soft paywalls provide this nice middle ground.

On what websites does it work?

I have tried on and, and it worked for me. It, however, doesn’t work on and because they use hard paywalls.

I have also tried it on and it works. However, this method doesn’t work on, but there’s a workaround to that if you are interested.

What about ethical concerns

Yup, I know this is wrong. We should support the already beleaguered publishing industry by paying for their subscriptions. No doubt about that.

But, since now, almost everything is becoming subscription-based, the costs, however tiny individually, can quickly add up. As of today, the Newyorker magazine’s subscription costs $49.99 per year. In some countries, this much money is sufficient to buy 50 lunches (Yup, fifty!). If you only read a few articles per year, this is far too much to shell out.

I know this is just selfish reasoning designed to justify the thievery. There’s no selfless argument for using a paid service and not paying for it.

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Wrap up

So, that brings us to the end. The key is to keep trying with different tools. If none of the tools work, probably that article is protected by a hard paywall.

Maybe it’s time to buy the subscription or borrow the username and password from a friend.


How to read the New Yorker for free?

To read the New Yorker’s articles for free, you will need to bypass the paywall protection. I’ve found that prepending the string before the works pretty fine.

How to bypass the Atlantic paywall for free?

You can get around the Atlantic’s paywall using the hack I outlined above. It works on just fine. Just make sure, your URL in the address bar looks