How to Read Web Articles without Ads and Sidebars

Have you ever been as frustrated as I when, in the middle of reading an article on the Internet, suddenly you land up on another page… sometimes a different article, or more often… an ad? 

This happens to me often, especially when I’m on my iPhone or iPad.  During a house call from my Apple computer tech guru, I discovered that on a large number of sites we can get text, photos and links only, without automatic redirection. And, it’s SO SIMPLE!!!

NOTE: If you are a Windows and/or Android user stick with me. What follows applies to you also. Usually I am on Safari when I’m on one of my Apple devices, but I also use Chrome and Firefox on my computer.

The “magic” that disappears them is the “Reader View” option in the URL space on many pages in Safari, the default web browser on iDevices [computer, iPhone, iPad]. I had seen it and for some unknown reason, I had never clicked or tapped on it. You’ll know on which pages Reader View is available when you see 4 parallel lines on the far left in the URL space. Sometimes you’ll even see the message, “Reader View Available.”

It’s “Reader View” also in Chrome [see further down this page] and simply “Reader” in Firefox. I have experienced pages where it has been available in Safari and not in Chrome.

screen shot - Treasure Your Life Now post - Reader View available

When you click, or tap (on mobile devices), the 4 parallel line image, the page alters to article and photos only as shown below. The space behind the lines becomes black. To get back to the original page, simply tap/click on that 4-line icon again.

Screen shot - Treasure Your Life Now post - Reader View enabled

CHROME – Adding Reader View 
Rather than it automatically being on your web pages, Chrome and Firefox offer Reader View as add-ons. To add in Chrome Extensions on your computer, click here on Reader View and you get the option to add Reader View.  

Once added the letter R will be added to the extensions bar.

Not all pages have Reader the View option. If the web page you are on does not have it enabled (seemingly not the Browser decision) clicking on it will simply bring up a window which shows a lot of information about Reader View. Clicking on it will show a pop-up window, with the green box that says it has been ADDED TO CHROME.Screen shot icon - Reader View Added to Chrome Extensions

If the page does have Reader View option, you will see the same 4 parallel lines that we saw above in Safari.

Again, when you click on it, the article only will appear, as shown in the sample earlier in this post.

FIREFOX – Adding Reader
In Firefox, the Add-On is called “Reader”. To add it to your Firefox add-ons bar click on Add-Ons – Reader.  Once you select “Add to Firefox” an orange letter will appear in the row of icons… top right.

Screenshot - Add Reader to Firefox

Clicking on the orange R at the top brings up the article in the format you see in the screen shot below. Note, even the reading time is estimated.

Enable Reader View in Chrome on Androids
In the absence of my having an Android device, I’m simply giving you a link which details how to enable Chrome on Android devices.

Simply tap or click on Reader View on Mobile Devices.  This will bring up the information I show below. I cropped it from the screen shot I took of a portion of the page. Be sure to click on the link above, or the image, to get full details on what to do.
Screen Shot - How to Enable Reader for Android

Again, be sure to click on the image or text link above to get the full set of instructions.

If you found this post helpful and would like to learn more or  get support and clarity with using technology, particularly on your mobile devices, please check out Technology for Seniors Made Easy coaching page on this site. Click on TECH COACHING or contact me, Sheila Finkelstein, directly at easyseniortechnology [at]


How to Read Web Articles without Ads and Sidebars — 1 Comment