We want to make it so you can't just take things off the net and put them down the memory hole
—Internet Archive founder Brewster Kahle, presentation at Dodging the Memory Hole 2017
The Wayback Machine is a section of the Internet Archive. What makes this website so notable is that, while the Internet Archive is, well, an archive that's available on the Internet, the Wayback Machine is an archive of the Internet. It allows people to actually access past versions of web pages. Including this one.
In other words, it's the browser version of a time machine.
Here's how it works: after accessing the WM website through the link at the top of this page, users can paste a URL address on the input-box next to the "Take Me Back" button, and then, after clicking said button, the user is shown a calendar-like list of archived pages (provided there are any). Dates written on blue dots are links to versions of that particular page archived on that particular date.
The site proved to be a boon in (re)constructing the All The Tropes wiki, as TV Tropes had developed a nasty habit of deleting either examples or entire articles themselves, without even having the common courtesy to keep a page history around for reference. (Even legitimate tropes have gotten the axe, just because they couldn't stop people from potholing to them.)
This link leads to the results for the September 10, 2010 copy of the TV Tropes Main Page in the Wayback Machine; changing the URL posted to that of either existing articles or Permanent Red Link Club members, you can access the site and reminisce about how it used to be, before it fell from grace. Or rescue material that has yet to be restored here (if any remains at this late date).
This link leads to the earliest archived version of All The Tropes (from February 9, 2014), just in case you want to see where we started.
Not to be confused with the WABAC Machine, although the Wayback Machine was named after Mister Peabody's invention.
- Keep Circulating the Tapes: The site provides access to millions of pages that would otherwise be lost, including many Fan Works and Web Comics that this very wiki links to.
- No Archive for You: Respects requests (both automated and not) to not archive things; as a result, not everything you might look for is there to be found.
- Retcon / Unperson: Defied. Some webpages have multiple copies stored, making it possible to see just what changes somebody has made to them.
This page needs more trope entries. You can help this wiki by adding more entries or expanding current ones.
- Or who needs to download something from a site that's gone away.