How to Save a Complete Webpage for Offline Reading
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Save a complete page so that I can read it later? Why would I need to do that?

After all, don’t we have those things called bookmarks 8 Tips to Stop Your Bookmarks Folder from Overflowing 8 Tips to Stop Your Bookmarks Folder from Overflowing Buried in bookmarks? I have been there, too. Never again though, because I now have a fail-safe system to tackle bookmarks. I'll teach you how to regain control over your bookmarks. Read More ? That unmanageable mess is within the reach of a click.

That’s fine as long as the web connection holds. Even a simple thing as a journey from Point A to Point B could take us away from our 24-hour plugged in lives. We have got so used to the web, that the information so readily available is taken almost for granted.

Then there are some webpages which have snippets of information that’s like gold dust. That important content could go down tomorrow with the website shutting down or just having a server catastrophe. We have seen how you can download a complete website for offline reading How Do I Download an Entire Website for Offline Reading? How Do I Download an Entire Website for Offline Reading? Life often brings all of us to places WiFi and 4G can't reach. With a little preparation, you can use these website downloads and browse certain websites offline -- perhaps for research, entertainment, or posterity. Read More .

Call me paranoid, but when I come across a nugget of web information, there are times when I like to save the entire webpage in its exact glory. These few ways could help us keep our favorite webpages close by, to be read when we need to.

Save a Complete Webpage with “Save As”

I am probably wasting a few lines here but all browsers have the feature to save complete webpages. They have had it since the early days. It’s a simple single click job and here’s how it’s done in three of our popular browsers.

Note: The screenshots are from macOS Sierra.

The “Save As” Option in Mozilla Firefox

Click on the Menu button > Click Save Page. The Save As dialog window will open.

Save a Page in Firefox

In the Save As dialog window, type in a name for the page you want to save and choose a location. From the Format drop-down, choose the type of file that you want to save the page as.

  • Web page, complete
  • Web page, HTML only
  • Text files
  • All files

Choose Web page, complete when you want to save the whole web page along with pictures. This keeps the visual look intact in most cases, but it may not keep the HTML link structure of the original page or any server side elements. Firefox creates a new directory where the page is saved to save pictures and other files necessary to show the whole web page.

You can also try the Save Page WE Firefox extension that can save a complete web page (or just its current state) as a single HTML enhanced file. It is compatible with Firefox version 57+.

The “Save As” Option in Google Chrome

Chrome also has a “Save As” option. You can access it from the Menu (the three vertical dots) > More Tools > Save Page As.

Chrome Save As

You can also load the webpage and right click anywhere on the page to get to the context menu and choose Save As. Or, do the quick keyboard thing with a press on CTRL+S (and Command + S in the Mac).

Google Chrome has a lineup of extensions that can give you the page for offline consumption. These two seem to work most of the time.

The Save Page WE extension isn’t any different from the browser’s default option. I like the Page Saver extension because it saves an entire webpage in a single file with all its dependencies.

The Reading List in Safari  

Safari and its Reading List Use Safari’s Reading List for Offline Reading on Your Mac & iPhone Use Safari’s Reading List for Offline Reading on Your Mac & iPhone Want to share articles between your iPhone and Mac? Use Safari's Reading List. Read More is one of the more user-friendly implementations for offline reading. Save a webpage to a reading list and read it anytime you want on any Apple device – even offline. You need two steps:

1. To add a page to the Reading List, click on the little + icon next to the Smart Search field. Alternatively, Shift-Click a link on a webpage or in your Shared Links list to quickly add it.

2. To read from the Reading List, click the Sidebar button and then the icon for the Reading List which resembles a pair of spectacles. To hide the list, click the Sidebar button again.

The Reading List in Safari

Safari uses iCloud to keep your Reading List the same on all your Mac computers and iOS devices that have Safari turned on in iCloud preferences. Thanks to iCloud, your Reading List and bookmarks are archived automatically, and you can restore them from an earlier version anytime.

What about Microsoft Edge? The fledgling browser does not have a default feature to save a webpage. Instead, you can print the page as a PDF or open it in Internet Explorer and use the Save As (Complete Web Page) command.

Take Advantage of Google Drive

You have a big free bucket in the cloud and it is called Google Drive. There are two official Google Drive productivity extensions The Best Chrome Extensions Made by Google The Best Chrome Extensions Made by Google Who better to provide Chrome extensions than Google? Play it safe with a trusted source. Here are the best homemade Chrome browser addons. Read More that help to save webpages for later. The names are similar but the functions are different – so, let’s clear the air a bit.

Save to Google is a simple bookmarking tool that saves a webpage to the cloud. You can go to www.google.com/save/ and look through your saved links. But, it does not work offline.

Save to Google Drive is a transfer tool that allows you to send copies of entire web pages in a variety of formats (instead of just bookmarks) to your Google Drive. As you can see in the screenshot below, you can also choose a specific folder to save them to. And yes, as you know you can work with Google Drive offline.

Save to Google Drive

Save Complete Webpages as PDF

If you want to save a precious webpage and keep it for posterity, take the PDF route. It sounds like you just took a few steps back. But consider the advantages – you can read them on any device and even annotate the page and send it to someone in a flash. It can be printed, shared or just kept in a folder for later viewing. Or just merge them all into one combined bundle.

There are enough PDF tools on the web 7 Free Online PDF Tools That Could Save You A Lot Of Work 7 Free Online PDF Tools That Could Save You A Lot Of Work The Web is full of awesome little tools that can help you alter PDF files without breaking a sweat. Let's look at lesser known PDF tasks that may come in handy for you. Read More to help you do anything with a PDF file.

Firefox, Safari, and Chrome both have Print and Save to PDF option that makes it a single second’s job. There are add-ons like Print Edit (for Firefox) and Print Friendly & PDF (for Chrome) that can help you clean the webpage and print a more clutter-free version.

You also might like to install a virtual printer driver like doPDF (Windows) that can handle PDF conversions across a wide variety of document formats like DOC, DOCX, DJVU, XLS, XLSX, XPS, PPT, PPTX, DOT, EML, VSD, PUB, PUBX, MPP, WPD, OpenOffice, DWG, HTML, TXT, PNG, JPEG, GIF, TIFF and many others.

Read It Later with Pocket and Instapaper

Several of the solutions we have explored so far are counterintuitive. After all, why clutter your hard drive with extra files that are a hyperlink away. Let’s say it is always better to have all the bases covered.  Today, read-it-later services like Pocket and Instapaper have made it so easy to save a webpage and return to it when you have more time.

We have talked a lot about Pocket and its cross-platform utility The Pros and Cons of Pocket: Save for Later vs. Bookmarks The Pros and Cons of Pocket: Save for Later vs. Bookmarks Both Chrome bookmarks and Pocket are great in their own way. But why would you choose Pocket over a bookmarking service? And in what ways does Pocket fall short? Read More . The offline access on any mobile device helps to chew up wasted time on flights and trips without WiFi access. Just make sure to download them first before you go offline. You can also save on data by loading your reading list before you hit a no-signal zone.

Pinterest helped turn Instapaper Premium into a free app last year. Once you sync the articles, you can read them online anytime. The Pocket rival Instapaper Premium Is Free: 6 Features You Can Try Now Instapaper Premium Is Free: 6 Features You Can Try Now Instapaper Premium is now free. Here are the six read-it-later features that could make you both a better and more productive reader. Read More has several interesting features that make it a must-have tool for voracious readers.

Do You Read Offline a Lot?

There are few more options we can talk about. A Kindle is a device I can think of to while away a few idle hours offline. Take full advantage of your Kindle 7 Ways to Take Full Advantage of Your Kindle 7 Ways to Take Full Advantage of Your Kindle Millions of people now own Kindles, but most of them aren't taking full advantage of these magnificent devices. There are various ways to take full advantage of your Kindle, and here are just seven... Read More by using the Send to Kindle Chrome extension for webpages and web snippets you want to read later.

I think we have enough tools for all our offline webpage reading needs now.

But, tell us if you have another alternative method? Do you save valuable Internet wisdom offline in some form?

Image Credit: M-SUR via Shutterstock.com

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  1. Marek
    September 10, 2017 at 12:07 am

    I'll just write another IMPORTANT (for me) reason to save web pages offline.
    For me important things are those things that last more then a few years!
    If something is just for "a moment" then it's garbage.

    So I have bookmarks but after 2 years, when I needed something important for me, and I knew that I've seen the solution for this problem in my bookmarks. So I 'click' this web page and...ERROR 404 ! :/ It's GONE!

    So that's why I've started to SAVE offline some important pages, tutorials, solutions etc. and....this also goes to...youtube videos! They dissapear even faster then old web pages :/

  2. Charles Fillinger
    September 7, 2017 at 11:09 am

    In Firefox I use the Print Friendly & PDF extension to save exactly what I want from a web page.
    The biggest advantage to .pdf over save as is by adding the page in my Calibre libray it can easily be found searching by keywords, author, subject or publisher.

    • Saikat Basu
      September 9, 2017 at 7:24 am

      Oh yes, I hadn't thought of the Calibre library. Thanks for the tip, Charles.

  3. Davin Peterson
    September 6, 2017 at 10:39 pm

    The Google Chrome browser has an option to Save to PDF. Go to Print and under Destination select Save to PDF.

    If you are using Windows 10 you can save to PDF in any browser using Microsoft's Print to PDF driver that comes with Windows 10.

    • Saikat Basu
      September 9, 2017 at 7:31 am

      Working on a Mac now. But, I think the Windows PDF driver has a "limitation". The PDF may be a single big image without any of the features added by Acrobat when it creates a PDF or does OCR text recognition. I think (I could be wrong) you can't search for text in the PDF; links in the PDF aren't clickable, and you can't highlight text to paste somewhere else. But do correct me if I am wrong. Will test it once I am back on a Windows machine.

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  9. Wildcatherder
    September 15, 2016 at 5:03 pm

    Saikat Basu, you are right, of course. Things have changed a lot on the web in the last 6 years. Pocket did the job nicely, thank you.

  10. Wildcatherder
    September 14, 2016 at 5:00 pm

    The problem is: how do I open the webpage offline.
    In Chrome, Save as Web page complete
    saves a folder full of all the associated files for the webpage.

    I usually look for an index.html file but if it does not exist, I try other HTML files.
    I just downloaded a page which has 4 html files and none of them open what looks like the original web page.

    What the heck do I use to open the page offline?

    • Saikat Basu
      September 15, 2016 at 2:44 pm

      Most webpages today have server-side code which breaks any display you might want to see offline. The best way is -- of course -- use a read-it-later service like Pocket or download the page as a PDF. This How-To-Geek tip might also work.

  11. Margaret
    September 8, 2016 at 5:09 pm

    the PDF Download app is part of a bigger package and costs about $150. That is no solution, just another headache. There must be a simpler way to view internet pages saved as a "webpage complete"! Please, someone must have a way. Otherwise, why save such a file as a folder with a raft of smaller bits and pieces? Help, please!

    • Saikat Basu
      September 15, 2016 at 2:54 pm

      Hey Margaret, things have changed a lot since this article was published. Saving a webpage as a PDF is a default feature in browsers now.

  12. Sammy
    May 20, 2010 at 4:21 pm

    NCollector Studio seems to save complete websites complete with css. Looks as good as the original to me.

    http://calluna-software.com/nc...

  13. gildas
    May 8, 2010 at 5:16 pm

    Thank you :)

    Sorry for the double-post, I didn't want to spam :p

  14. gildas
    May 8, 2010 at 1:13 am

    If you want to save your HTML page into one single file on chrome, you should take a look at this extension named SingleFile :
    https://chrome.google.com/exte...

  15. gildas
    May 7, 2010 at 11:13 pm

    If you want to save your HTML page into one single file on chrome, you should take a look at this extension named SingleFile :
    https://chrome.google.com/extensions/detail/mpiodijhokgodhhofbcjdecpffjipkle

    • Aibek
      May 8, 2010 at 9:45 am

      that's one good extension for Chrome. thanks for sharing.

      • gildas
        May 8, 2010 at 3:16 pm

        Thank you :)

        Sorry for the double-post, I didn't want to spam :p

    • rb
      February 14, 2016 at 4:28 pm

      Thank you for sharing, it was the solution to my not-saving-pages-correctly-problem :)

  16. Rajeeva
    May 7, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    can PDFdownload preserve hyperlinks?

  17. gildas
    April 29, 2010 at 7:45 pm

    If you want to save a page into one single file on chrome, you should take a look at SingleFile :

    https://chrome.google.com/exte...

  18. gildas
    April 29, 2010 at 5:45 pm

    If you want to save a page into one single file on chrome, you should take a look at SingleFile :

    https://chrome.google.com/extensions/detail/mpiodijhokgodhhofbcjdecpffjipkle

  19. Aibek
    April 26, 2010 at 7:46 am

    There is also something called PrintWhatYouLike

    http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/p...

    Abek

  20. Chris G
    April 26, 2010 at 2:23 am

    I use "Print friendly" (http://www.printfriendly.com/) a Firefox add-on that firstly removes all the advertising from a webpage, and then allows you to either print the page, or save it as a PDF file. You can also manually select parts of the page for removal.

    I'm sure I found this from an earlier makeuseof.com story.

  21. Lake
    April 20, 2010 at 9:10 pm

    Maybe it´s just me but HTTrack DONT save websites styles, that means that you get the ugly look of google cached pages.

  22. Lake
    April 20, 2010 at 7:10 pm

    Maybe it´s just me but HTTrack DONT save websites styles, that means that you get the ugly look of google cached pages.

  23. Jessica Cam W.
    April 20, 2010 at 8:00 pm

    Great article! I use PDFmyURL.com's bookmarklet to save a web page.

  24. Dave
    April 20, 2010 at 4:19 pm

    I use Evernote Firefox plugin and tag it as as "to read later." I can then pull up all the articles I want to read later in Evernote and once read remove the tag and archive it or just delete it when I'm done.

    • Saikat Basu
      April 20, 2010 at 6:15 pm

      Yes Dave, Evernote is also a good option. Select the entire page with a CTRL+A and then save the selection. Though, I have often found that lot of the alignment gets disturbed, but it still is a pretty good way.

  25. Aibek
    April 20, 2010 at 10:01 am

    HTTrack is good for downloading whole sites but most of the times people
    just need a single page.

  26. Doc
    April 20, 2010 at 3:10 am

    Why not just use a PDF printer driver to save the whole page? I use CutePDF.

    • Saikat Basu
      April 20, 2010 at 4:37 am

      I have used PDF Download as an example. You can use other tools of course, like CutePDF and doPDF.

      • Jessica Cam W.
        April 20, 2010 at 6:00 pm

        Great article! I use PDFmyURL.com's bookmarklet to save a web page.

        • Saikat Basu
          April 20, 2010 at 6:17 pm

          Thanks Jessica, PDFmyURL is another nice alternative to PDF Download mentioned above.

  27. Paul
    April 19, 2010 at 11:43 pm

    I like HTTrack Website copier. From the site: It allows you to download a World Wide Web site from the Internet to a local directory, building recursively all directories, getting HTML, images, and other files from the server to your computer. HTTrack arranges the original site's relative link-structure. Simply open a page of the "mirrored" website in your browser, and you can browse the site from link to link, as if you were viewing it online. HTTrack can also update an existing mirrored site, and resume interrupted downloads. HTTrack is fully configurable, and has an integrated help system.

    • Saikat Basu
      April 20, 2010 at 4:34 am

      Yes, Paul we have covered it before. My intention was to save a single page instead of a whole website.

    • Aibek
      April 20, 2010 at 8:01 am

      HTTrack is good for downloading whole sites but most of the times people
      just need a single page.

  28. Les Siewert
    April 20, 2010 at 1:18 am

    If you are a student or researcher, you might like Zotero at zotero.org because it save the URL info for reference as well as a copy of the page

  29. Les Siewert
    April 19, 2010 at 11:18 pm

    If you are a student or researcher, you might like Zotero at zotero.org because it save the URL info for reference as well as a copy of the page

  30. Andreas Beer
    April 19, 2010 at 10:30 pm

    You forgot opera, the browser from which firefox 1on1-copied the functionality... :-/

    • Saikat Basu
      April 20, 2010 at 4:30 am

      No, I haven't actually. I have mentioned it that it's the only other one which can handle MHT formats. And, yes, there's a lot others have copied from Opera:)