Firefox 'No More 404s' Feature Shows Old Versions of Dead Pages

Sometimes, websites just won't load. Whether a server is down, a page was deleted or someone forgot to pay a bill, it's always annoying. In its continuing efforts to build a better browser, Mozilla has given Firefox a new option that can help you see the pages that should be there when they won't load.

This new feature is dubbed No More 404s, named after 404 errors, the alerts that signify that a page cannot be opened. Often times these windows display cute or funny messages, as a means of apologizing for the page not loading. While those messages may be funny, they're not enough. 

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To solve this problem, Firefox presents users with the message "This page appears to be missing," and a link to the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine. An interactive digital archive of many, if not most, web pages, the Wayback Machine repeatedly archives pages, including new versions as pages update over time.

No More 404s isn't in the public builds of Firefox yet, so you'll need to install the Test Pilot add-on, to see it in action. Test Pilot allows users to try out features that Firefox doesn't believe are ready to be deployed to the masses yet. After installing Test Pilot, visit the No More 404s page to enable the feature.

Chrome browser users who are reluctant to switch or try out a new browser can replicate this feature using extensions such as 404 Me Not, which presents similar alerts and links to the Wayback Machine when you hit 404 messages.

Firefox Browser Tips