See whether a website exists in the archives#

Ever since the first website was born, the worldwide web has seen many sites being created every day. Sometimes, websites die. However, if the Internet Archive crawled and stored a dead website when the website was still available, you can still access that website.

This tutorial shows you how to see if a website was crawled and stored by the Internet Archive.

API used#

Wayback machine APIs


The instructions in this tutorial use the cURL command. Most computers have this protocol pre-installed. To see if it’s installed on your computer, at the command prompt, run the following command:


You should get an output similar to this:

curl: try 'curl --help' for more information

If you don’t see this output, install cURL.


Run a command in the following syntax:

curl -X GET "<url>"

where <url> is the URL of the website you’re looking for.

The result is a JSON dictionary that has the following objects:

  • url: The URL you queried the API for

  • archived_snapshots.closest.status: An HTTP status code that tells you whether the URL is available

  • archived_snapshots.closest.available: Boolean, based on the value of the status key

  • archived_snapshots.closest.url: If the value of archived_snapshots.closest.available is true, the URL of the archived website

  • archived_snapshots.timestamp: The most recent time when the website was archived

Example request#

curl -X GET ""

Example response#

    "url": "",
    "archived_snapshots": {
        "closest": {
            "status": "200",
            "available": true,
            "url": "",
            "timestamp": "20180427130634"

What to do next#

These steps give you the most recent snapshot of the queried website. If you need to retrieve all snapshots of the website, see Compare two versions of a website.