Wordle has become a daily obsession for many of us; it’s nice to take a few minutes out of the day to attempt to decipher the Wordle word in six guesses or less (today’s took me five, to my great shame). While the game has been free to play thus far, its recent acquisition by the New York Times raises concerns about the future of Wordle’s accessibility.
The Times has said Wordle will “initially” continue to be free to play. But “initially” is pretty subjective, and the Times already offers paid subscriptions to its games app, so we’re all probably feeling a little nervous about Wordle’s future. Luckily, there’s an easy way to protect the game as it now stands.
As demonstrated by Aaron Rieke on Twitter, Wordle is a lightweight game designed to be played entirely in your browser. As such, the game’s word bank, complete with its past, present, and future answers, is entirely stored in HTML. If you took a look at that code, you could see the answer for tomorrow, next week, next year; it’s all set in stone.
So, all you need to do is download the HTML file to your computer or phone; when you open that file, it starts a new game in your browser, and plays exactly as the live website does. This works with or without internet, so if (or when) the Times locks the site behind a paywall, you can simply disable wifi and play Wordle from your downloaded file. And, since the game has 2,135 words in its answer key, you could theoretically keep playing the game for seven years.
The downside, unfortunately, is downloading Wordle doesn’t carry over your streak. It’s a small price to pay, however, for Wordle peace of mind.
How to download Wordle to your computer
Downloading Wordle on your desktop could only be easier if the developer added a download button. Simply open the game, right-click on the window, then save the file to your computer. That’s it! If you ever need to use the game, double-click the file to open it in a new browser window.
How to download Wordle to your iPhone or Android
Downloading Wordle on your smartphone is also easy. If you have an Android device, open your browser (Chrome, for example), then tap the three dots in the top-right. Now, tap the download icon at the top of this menu, and Chrome will download Wordle to your phone. To access the file in the future, tap the three dots again, choose “Downloads,” then tap on Wordle, which will open the game in an offline window.
Things are similar on an iPhone or iPad, but, as Nelson Aguilar of CNET highlights, you won’t be able to use Safari or Chrome to play Wordle. While you can save the game using Safari, for some reason, only Microsoft Edge seems to open Wordle; if you don’t have that browser on iOS or iPadOS, you might want to download it as a dedicated offline Wordle tool.
Start by opening Wordle in Safari, tap the share icon, then tap the small “Options” button. On this page, choose “Web Archive,” then “Done.” Next, choose “Save to Files,” tap a folder you want to save the file to, then tap “Save.”
With Edge installed on your iPhone or iPad, go to your Files app, long-press on the Wordle file, then choose “Share.” From here, tap “Edge,” then choose “Open in Microsoft Edge” to play the game. Leave it to Apple to make something like this more complicated than it needs to be.
While this method is a great way to ensure you can keep up with Wordle for years to come, don’t be afraid to go back in time. Wordle archives allow you to play past games whenever you want; let enough time pass, and old words suddenly become new again.