Pulling up a website, only to come face-to-face with the dreaded “404,” can be annoying. But if you really need whatever content was previously on that site prior to its demise, you have options. The Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine is one of the best and most well-known ways to access saved caches of dead websites, but it can get tedious to encounter a 404, pull up the Wayback Machine in another tab, enter the URL, search through its archives, etc.
While the mighty Brave browser now links directly to the Wayback Machine whenever you encounter a 404’d website, it’s the only browser (so far) that comes with this feature built-in. So, unless you’re running Brave version 1.4 or later—on the desktop, that is—you’ll have to get a little more creative if you want to quickly find lost websites.
Thankfully, the solution is easy. All you have to do is install an extension for Chrome (or Edge Chromium), Firefox, or Safari to enable this functionality. Once you do, you’ll be able to quickly access an archived version of any page via the extension’s icon, and you’ll also get a little prompt if the site you’re trying to visit has an archived version on the Wayback Machine.
The extension works for all kinds of error codes: 404, 408, 410, 451, 500, 502, 503, 504, 509, 520, 521, 523, 524, 525, and 526. You can pull up the Alexa rank and whois information for any site you’re visiting, and there’s even an option to see what Tweets have recently mentioned the page you’re trying to find—all in the name of figuring out what’s going on, of course.