There are lots of useful things online that aren't easy to download. Photos, music, videos, maps, and other exciting content don't come with a download button. It's also possible they're no longer free or they may be gone from the web altogether.
We'll show you how to download anything from the web that you thought you couldn't for free (but without breaking the law).
How to Download Content That No Longer Exists
1. Apps Not Available From the Play Store
Google usually ban apps that are potentially malicious or deceptive but also object to apps that undermine its business model. Some apps are not available because of geo-restrictions. Also, the newer version of a particular app may not work well or has removed the features you need. You can download such apps from F-Droid and APKMirror.
While you should avoid installing apps from third-party app stores, these two marketplaces are an exception. They're both community-run software projects and implement strict security practices to keep you safe from malicious apps.
To install the app, you've to enable sideloading. Read this guide on how to manually sideload apps on your Android device.
2. Old and Discontinued Software
Upgrading your apps to a newer version can sometimes cause problems. It may not be compatible with older OS, may get bundled with adware and nefarious APIs, and more. You can download an older copy of the app for free from OldVersion and OldApps.
Click the name of your app and select the version you want to download. Just make sure that the app meets the system requirements and is free from bloatware. We don't recommend that you install outdated browsers as it puts your PC at risk.
3. Websites Taken Down From the Web
Websites vanish from the web every day---perhaps abandoned by the creators, banned due to legal problems, or pulled down due to hacking attempts. Wayback Machine is a digital archive of web content, that takes snapshots of a website at regular intervals and makes them available to anyone.
The free Wayback Machine Downloader lets you download an entire website from the Internet Archive. You need to install Ruby on your system, then run this command:
Once installed, run your app with the base URL you want to retrieve as a parameter
Apart from saving a copy of the old website, there are many other types of content to download at the Internet Archive.
How to Download Content Without Paying Anything
4. Get Personalized Ringtones
Default ringtones that come pre-installed with your device are boring. Personalized tones are popular, but you may have to pay for them. To make your phone sound more interesting, try these apps.
Zedge has more than a million free ringtones to download via its website or the app. It comes with built-in tools to save your favorite ringtones in personal lists and access them from any device.
After downloading your ringtone, tap the Set button to set it as a default ringtone, notification sounds, and personalized contact ringtones.
Download:Zedge for Android | Zedge for iOS (Free, premium version available)
Audiko has an impressive collection of ringtones from every genre. You can download the ringtone either from the website or the app. But Audiko also lets you upload your favorite track, cut the audio segment, and download it to your phone. You don't need third-party apps or music editing skills to create your personalized ringtone.
Download:Audiko for Android (Free, subscription available)
5. Audiobooks From Every Genre
If you're fond of classic literature, then you can get ebooks for free, but the audiobooks version is still pricey. To get free audiobooks, try the LibriVox site and its app.
LibriVox provides free audiobooks for books that are in the public domain. It features classic best sellers and out of print books or journals from every genre in more than 30 languages. Both the site and app give you options to browse the catalog by author, title, genre, and subject.
The free apps let you browse catalogs by favorite lists. Try the "Best of Sherlock Holmes", "National Geographic's" archived articles, sci-fi novels, and much more.
Download:LibriVox for Android | LibriVox for iOS (Free, subscription available)
6. Paid Software for Free
There's no doubt that the premium version of an app offers more features and customer support without any bloatware. But do you know, it's possible to download paid apps for Windows, Mac, and that too free.
Giveaway of the Day offers free licensed software for Windows, Android, iPhones, and Games you'd have to buy otherwise every day. The deal runs for 24 hours or more. The vendor gives you the license keys and is completely legal, although there could be some limitations. Just subscribe to their newsletter or RSS for periodic updates.
Malwaretips Forum is full of tech enthusiasts who regularly share giveaways and discounts. You'll find some security related apps, including Malwarebytes, Glasswire firewall for Windows, and much more. Register in the forum and subscribe to their notification channels.
If you're hungry for more free apps, try these tips and tricks to find Mac and iOS App Store discounts.
7. Download Commercial Games for Free
Popular games for Windows and Mac sometimes cost a lot of money. But there's always a chance you can get fantastic game titles for free. Visit this dedicated Wikipedia list of commercial games released as freeware. You'll see dozens and more titles listed with the download links in the footnote at the bottom.
We also recommend /r/FreeGames and /r/FreeGamesOnSteam on Reddit for all kinds of freebie offers and deals. Often, big game publishers like Steam, GOG also release free titles to attract customers. To know more, read how to download premium games for free with these sites.
How to Download Without a Download Button
8. Wikipedia and TED Talks
Having offline access to Wikipedia, TED, and more is helpful in places where internet connectivity is poor or heavily censored. You just need extra storage space on your PC and bandwidth to download your files.
Kiwix is a free app that lets you search and read the whole encyclopedia. Navigate to Kiwix Internal wiki library and download the ZIM file. Then browse the articles from within the app. The wiki library also lets you download complete TED talks, StackExchange sites, Wikipedia sister sites, and more.
Download:Kiwix for Android | Kiwix for iOS (Free)
9. Download Images in Bulk From a Web Page
Saving multiple pictures from a web page in one fell sweep is tedious. But there is a way to download multiple pictures from a web page for free. Try out these helpful extensions to save time and hassle.
Imageye Image downloader for Chrome lets you find and download all images on a web page with a single click. The extension has a built-in filter to select criteria for image size, URL, and dimensions. It also supports Facebook, Twitter, Google Images, and more.
Download all Images for Firefox allows you to find, filter, and save all images in the opened tab. The filtering tool is powerful. You can limit pictures based on their dimension, size, and image type. It's also possible to use custom regular expression filter to filter images based on the URL.
10. Capture Audio From Any Website
We all want to own copies of cool stuff you hear every day. While downloading audio from the browser is simple, capturing live radio shows, web-based voice calls, or podcasts is not easy.
Chrome Audio Capture lets you record any audio that's playing in the opened tab, and save it to your computer in MP3 or WAV file format. Click the Start Capture button to start recording. You can save or cancel recording at any time and also mute tabs to avoid audio spoilers.
The maximum capture time is 20 minutes. If you have longer duration audio, you can either continue the recording and sacrifice audio quality or stop and restart the capture.
11. Download Photos and Videos From Instagram
Instagram lets you request a file containing every photo and video you've shared on the site.
- On the desktop, click the Profile icon in the upper right corner of the screen.
- Click the Settings gear next to the Edit Profile button.
- From the menu, choose Privacy and Security.
- Scroll down to the Data Download button header and click Request Download.
DownloadGram allows you to download your own/someone else photos on mobile and web. If the photo is yours, tap the three-dot button above the post and choose Share > Copy Link. To download someone else's photos, tap the three-dot button again and select Copy Link.
Open the browser and paste the link to save the image. If you want to download videos, then follow these tips on how to download videos from Instagram.
12. Photo Albums From Flickr
Flickr is a popular service for saving and sharing photos online. In their blog post, they announced that free members can store up to 1000 photos of 200MB each. Before downloading anything from Flickr, remember to respect the copyright and give due credit to the photographer wherever possible.
To download multiple pictures, click the username of another Flickr member, and choose Albums. Hover your mouse or click the album thumbnail to make a download icon appear. Click this, then select Create zip file. A download link will appear after some time.
You Can Download (Almost) Anything Online
With so much stuff online, you can download anything for free online. With the advent of streaming services, the curiosity to download music and movies from illegal torrent sites has been considerably reduced.
Apart from popular streaming services. check out these sites to download free music and brilliant movies from the public domain.