Monday, June 28, 2010

Internet Archive Wayback Machine... And How It Saves Copies Of Closed Down Websites

I've written about and used the Internet Archives Wayback Machine many times in the many forums from hobby to computer tech forums that I participate in on a regular basis but I've been seeing MORE and MORE websites shutting down in the past two years so I wanted to write this short article to inform people of how the Internet Archive Wayback Machine (IAWM) works so you can find information from any of your favorite websites that have gone away.

There's a couple of ways to get to the IAWM. - The home page for the Internet Archives, then on that page, right near the top middle, you'll see a section about the Wayback Machine, where you can enter a URL (website address aka a link) into the field and click Enter or click the "Take Me Back" button and it will bring you to a page of dated links for every snapshot that the Wayback Machine has concerning that website URL.

The other ways to get directly to the IAWM page is:  or the advanced search page,

Here's how it works...

I use to publish articles on a free Yahoo website called GeoCities but Yahoo decided to close down GeoCities in 2009 so folks no longer have access to their web pages unless they know about the Wayback Machine.

Here was one of my original GeoCities links (which no longer work)...

Of course, clicking that link brings you to a page saying the site no longer exists.

Now, if you go to the IAWM and copy/paste or type that URL into the blank field and click "Take Me Back", it will bring you to this page,*/, where you will see a series of dated links where the Internet Archives Wayback Machine took snapshots of my web page between 2002 and 2006, which would have been the last time I updated that site since I started using Blogger Blogspot's to post my blogs/articles since then.

Other websites that have been archived include many of the articles on MSN Groups when Microsoft decided to close them down in 2008.

For my fish keeping hobby, at least three LONG-TIME very good websites have shut down in the past two years,, and but most, if not all of their articles and many of their forum threads are preserved on the Internet Archive Wayback Machine.

I never did use AOL (aka AOHell to many) but I know that AOL shut down millions of web pages in their "home town" section, at least I think that is what it was called, and many AOL members complained viciously when they lost all of their web pages, online photo albums (which reminds me that Yahoo shut down Yahoo Photo Albums a few years ago when they bought out, etc... so hopefully, any of those folks that thought they lost everything might be able to find some of their data and/or pictures using the Wayback Machine.

All that said, some websites prevent search engines from crawling their pages and for those websites, the IAWM may have also been blocked from crawling the website which means all data may be lost forever in those cases.

I'll probably be adding to this article from time to time so check back... or if you have any questions, please feel free to leave a "Comment" below (click the Comments link at the bottom of this article, if the Comments box isn't already open).

Lenny Vasbinder


Click this link,, to read all of my other related articles about Computers.

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