How to Download a Website for Offline Reading

Download an entire website or save selected pages and view them offline

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You don’t have to be online to read website content. When you know that you won’t have an internet connection, but there’s website content that you want to use when you’re offline, you can download a website for offline reading. There are several ways to view websites offline including downloading sites with an offline browser or FTP and saving web pages using a web browser or Linux command.

Download an Entire Website With an Offline Browser

When you want an offline copy of an entire website, use a website copying program. These apps download all website files to a computer and arrange the files according to the site structure. The copy of these files is a mirror copy of the website which is available for you to view in a web browser while offline.

One free website copying app is HTTrack Website Copier. In addition to downloading a website, HTTrack updates your downloaded copy of a website automatically and resumes interrupted downloads when you have an internet connection. HTTrack is available for Windows 2000 and above, Linux, OSX, and Android.

To use HTTrack to download and view a website:

  1. Connect to the internet.

  2. Select Next.

    The HTTrack Website Copier offline downloader app
  3. In the New project name text box, enter a descriptive name for the offline website.

    Enter a name for the downloaded website in HTTrack Website Copier
  4. In the Base path text box, enter the path to the folder on your computer where the website will be saved.

  5. Select Next.

  6. Select the Action drop-down arrow and choose Download web site(s).

  7. In the Web Addresses text box, enter the URL of the website you want to download.

    Enter the URL of the website that HTTrack Website Copier will download for offline viewing

    Go to the website in a web browser and copy the URL address in the address bar. Paste this address into HTTtrack.

  8. Select Next.

  9. Select the Disconnect when finished check box.

  10. Select Finish.

    Finish the HTTrack Website Copier download wizard
  11. Wait while the website files download.

  12. Once the download is complete, you can access the downloaded site. In the Folder pane, choose the project name, then select Browse Mirrored Website.

    Select the offline website in HTTracker to view
  13. Select a web browser.

    Choose a web browser to display the offline copy of the website
  14. Select OK.

If a website doesn’t download to an offline browser, the website may block offline downloaders so that their content isn’t duplicated. To view blocked web pages offline, save individual pages as HTML or PDF files.

On Windows and Linux computers, another way to download an entire website is to use the Linux wget command.

Use FTP to Download All Files from a Website

If you own the website you want to save for offline viewing, use an FTP client to download the website files. To copy your website using FTP, you’ll need an FTP program or FTP access through your web hosting service. Also, make sure you have the username and password used to sign in to the hosting service.

Save Entire Website Pages Using a Web Browser

Most web browsers can save web pages, but not entire websites. To save a website, save each web page that you want to view offline.

Web browsers offer a variety of file formats to save web pages, and different browsers offer different choices. Choose the format the works best for you:

  • Web archive: Used to save web pages in Internet Explorer, this packages text, images, media files, and other web page content into a single file.
  • Web page HTML only: Saves the text version of the page.
  • Web page complete: Saves everything on the page in folders.
  • Text file: Only saves the text on the web page.

Here’s how to use Mozilla Firefox to save a web page:

The steps to save web pages in other web browsers such as Google Chrome and the Opera desktop browser are similar to the steps to save a web page in Firefox. 

  1. Connect to the internet, then open Firefox.

  2. Go to the web page that you want to save to your computer or cloud account.

    While you can save your downloaded webpages to a cloud account, remember that without an internet or mobile data account, you won't have access to that drive in the cloud. Some cloud drives sync with local folders. If yours does, be sure that option is enabled if you need offline access to those files.

  3. Go to the Menu, then select Save Page As.

    Use Firefox to download web pages for offline viewing
  4. In the Save as dialog box, choose the location where you want to save the web page, then enter a name for the page.

  5. Select the Save as type drop-down arrow and choose a format: the complete web page, the web page HTML only, as text files, or all files.

    Save web pages in Firefox
  6. Select Save.

Save a Web Page as a PDF File

When you want an offline copy of a web page that can be viewed on any device and stored on any storage media, save the web page in PDF format.

Here’s how to turn a web page into a PDF file in Google Chrome:

  1. Go to the web page.

    Look for a printer-friendly link on a web page. Printer-friendly pages don’t have ads and create a smaller file size. On some web pages, this may be a Print button.

  2. Go to More, then select Print.

    Use Google Chrome to save a web page in PDF format
  3. In the Print window, select the Destination drop-down arrow, then choose Save as PDF.

    Use the Print dialog box to save a web page as a PDF in Chrome
  4. Select Save.

  5. In the Save As dialog box, go to the folder where you want to save the file, change the file name if you want, then select Save.