The Wayback Machine is a digital archive of the internet, maintained by the Internet Archive. It allows users to view archived versions of web pages across time. While this can be a valuable tool for many, there may be instances where a website owner wishes to remove their site from this archive. Whether for privacy concerns, outdated information, or other reasons, here’s a guide on how to remove your website from the Wayback Machine.

Step-by-Step Guide

1. Understand the Basics

Before diving into the removal process, it’s important to understand what the Wayback Machine does. It captures snapshots of websites at various points in time, creating a historical archive. These snapshots can be accessed by anyone, making the content publicly available even if it has been removed from the live site.

2. Verify Ownership

To request the removal of your website from the Wayback Machine, you need to verify that you are the legitimate owner of the site. This usually involves having access to the website’s server or domain registration.

3. Create a robots.txt File

One of the most common methods to prevent the Wayback Machine from archiving your site is by using a robots.txt file. This file tells web crawlers, including those from the Internet Archive, not to access certain parts of your site.

Here’s how to create a robots.txt file to block the Wayback Machine:

  1. Create a robots.txt file: If you don’t already have one, create a plain text file named robots.txt.
  2. Add the following directive:
    User-agent: ia_archiver
    Disallow: /

    This directive tells the Internet Archive’s crawler (ia_archiver) not to archive any part of your website.

  3. Upload the robots.txt file to your server: Place the robots.txt file in the root directory of your website (e.g.,

4. Submit a Removal Request

After setting up the robots.txt file, you need to submit a removal request to the Internet Archive. Here’s how:

  1. Go to the Internet Archive’s contact page
  2. Fill out the form: Provide the necessary details, including your website URL and a brief explanation of your request. Mention that you have updated your robots.txt file to disallow the ia_archiver user-agent.
  3. Submit the request: Once you’ve completed the form, submit it for review.

5. Follow Up

It may take some time for the Internet Archive team to process your request. Be patient and monitor the status of your request. If you don’t receive a response within a reasonable timeframe, consider following up with a polite reminder.

Additional Considerations

  • Legal Requests: In some cases, you may need to submit a legal request if the content is sensitive or involves privacy issues. The Internet Archive has specific procedures for handling legal takedown requests.
  • Prevent Future Archiving: Ensure that your robots.txt file remains in place to prevent future snapshots of your website from being archived.


Removing your website from the Wayback Machine can help protect your content and privacy. By understanding the process and taking the necessary steps, you can effectively manage the archiving of your website. Remember, maintaining an up-to-date robots.txt file is crucial for preventing future archival activities.

If you have any further questions or need assistance, the Internet Archive’s support team is available to help guide you through the process.