February 22, 2024

How to Find When Was Archive.org Last Cached?

Websites come and go, sometimes content changes or entire websites are temporarily pulled from the Internet. Archive and caching services save copies of webpages so that when these things happen, the page is still accessible. The Wayback Machine is one of these services, an incredible tool that allows you to search for old pages that may be otherwise inaccessible.

In addition to allowing you to find old pages, the Wayback Machine lets you search by date. Just enter the URL of the page you're looking for and the archived version will show up in the results. The resulting link will also tell you when it was archived, in the format YYYYMMDDhhmmss (where Y is the year, M is the month and hhmmss is the timezone). The Wayback Machine can be particularly useful when you're searching for a page that might have been changed since it was last cached.

With Google retiring its own caching service, the responsibility for preserving web history will fall more on groups like the Wayback Machine and others. It's possible that other sites and services will begin caching pages, too, though it would be difficult to keep up with them all. The Web Archives browser extension, which can be used with Firefox and Chromium-based web browsers, is another way to look up archived pages. This browser extension supports more than ten different archiving and caching services, increasing the chances that an archived copy of the page you want will exist.

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