How To: Download the Real Wordle Game on Your Phone for Years of Free Offline Gameplay

Download the Real Wordle Game on Your Phone for Years of Free Offline Gameplay

The hottest word game right now is Wordle, a simple game that gives you six chances to guess the five-letter word of the day. I've already shown how you can add the real Wordle app — not a fake clone — to your iPhone or Android phone's home screen. But there's also a way to save Wordle for offline gameplay for years to come.

Why save Wordle for offline gameplay?

On Jan. 31, 2022, The New York Times purchased the online game for a low seven-figure amount, and you probably know where it'll end up. The web app will remain freely accessible online for a bit but will eventually move to NYT's paid platform like most of its other content. If you don't subscribe to the publication, then you'll want to save an offline version of Wordle that will last longer than you'll care to play.

The interesting thing about the Wordle web app is that it runs entirely client-side, so every time you load the webpage, the game's code and all of its puzzles are right there with it. Over two thousand five-letter words are built into the code, which means over five years of gameplay that you can play offline.

Since everything is right there in the webpage's code (images, text, JSON, JavaScript, HTML, etc.), news site after news site has been reporting that you can save the full Wordle web app as an offline page in your desktop's web browser. Below are the instructions for a few browsers on macOS, but other browsers and other operating systems will be similar.

With the Wordle web app open in your browser:

  • Safari: Right-click on the page and choose "Save Page As" — or click "File" in the menu bar and choose "Save" — then change the format to "Web Archive" and save it wherever you want.
  • Chrome: Right-click on the page or click "File" in the toolbar, hit "Save Page" or "Save Page As," change the format to "Webpage, Complete," and save it to a new "Wordle" or "Wordle Offline" folder.
  • Firefox: Right-click on the page or click "File" in the toolbar, hit "Save Page As," change the format to "Web Page, complete," and save it to a new "Wordle" or "Wordle Offline" folder.

Then, you would open the .webarchive (Safari) or .html (Chrome, Firefox) file where you saved it, and the game should open in your default web browser as a new tab.

However, what if you want to play the real Wordle offline for free on your smartphone?

Method 1: Save Wordle Offline in Safari on iPhone

First, to make sure Safari downloads an offline copy of Wordle — as well as any other webpage you add to Reading List — navigate to Settings –> Safari. Then, turn the "Automatically Save Offline" switch under Reading List on if it's not already. Now, Safari will store anything you save to Reading List on iCloud, and it should even be in your iPhone's future iCloud backups.

Second, it's time to save the offline version of Wordle. In Safari, go to Wordle on Wardle's website or at The New York Times, which Wardle's site should redirect to now (links seen below). Then, tap the Share button in the toolbar and select "Add to Reading List" from the options. It should continue to work until the Times adds a paywall.

If you don't have the "Automatically Save Offline" switch enabled already, you may get a prompt asking if you'd like to "Automatically save Reading List articles for offline reading." Tap "Save Automatically" to activate the feature.

To play it, open a new tab in Safari, then find "Wordle" under the Reading List header on your start page. If you don't see a Reading List section on your start page, you can enable it in Safari's start page preferences.

Alternatively, tap the book icon in the toolbar from a new tab, then choose "Wordle" from the Reading List. If you don't see it right away, use the search bar to find it. If you still don't see it, tap "Show All" at the bottom to reveal all the read content — not just the unread stuff. Then, play the daily word like you usually would.

You can even verify that Safari saved wordle correctly by using Safari's Web Inspector. Go to Settings –> Safari –> Advanced, then ensure "Web Inspector" is toggled on.

Then, connect your iPhone to your Mac with your Lightning cable, open Safari on your Mac, click "Develop" in the menu bar, choose your iPhone, and select "Wordle - A daily word game" or "Wordle - The New York Times" to view its contents. If you don't see "Develop" in your menu bar, click "Safari" in the menu bar, then "Preferences," and make sure "Show Develop menu in menu bar" is checked on the "Advanced" tab.

Note that if you're connected to the internet when you access the offline Wordle game in Reading List, Safari may try to load the current online version of the game from the URL. If the game no longer exists, you will probably get an error, but taking your iPhone offline and accessing Wordle from your Reading List in Safari should open up the cached offline version with no problem.

Method 2: Save Wordle Offline in Files on iPhone

If you're worried about Wordle getting messed up by Safari's Reading List, there's another way to save Wordle for offline gameplay on iPhone.

As before, go to Wordle on Wardle's website or at The New York Times in Safari (links seen below) and tap the Share button in the toolbar; only this time, tap "Options" at the top. On the Options menu, select "Web Archive" and hit "Done." It should also work until the Times adds a paywall.

Next, select "Save to Files" from the Share sheet. Find a good place to save the .webarchive file. You can save it to a folder in "On My iPhone," but it will only be available locally. If you want to play it across your Apple devices, choose "iCloud Drive" instead.

Hit "Save" when you've found a good folder to throw it in, like "Games."

To play Wordle on your iPhone, open up Files, find the .webarchive, then tap it. However, unless you have an app that opens .webarchive files, you'll likely only see a blank preview open in Files. So, you'll need to "share" it with an app that supports it.

Long-press on the Wordle .webarchive in Files, then hit "Share." You can also tap the Share icon after opening the archive to a blank page in Files.

You'll notice that Safari is absent from the list of sharing extensions in the Share sheet, and that's because there's a rendering bug that Apple hasn't fixed yet, so you need to choose a different tool.

Google Chrome and DuckDuckGo don't seem to like web archives, and browsers like Firefox won't even show up in the Share sheet, but apps that work include:

Once you've selected an app to open it in, tapping the .webarchive from Files may open directly in that app from now on. For instance, web archives always open in Documents by Readdle for me.

Method 3: Save Wordle Offline in Chrome on Android

If you're using an Android phone and have Chrome installed, you can save offline versions of webpages just like Safari can. However, I have not been able to get it to load all of the elements, which makes it impossible to play. Maybe you'll have better luck. To try:

Open Chrome, go to Wordle on Wardle's website or at The New York Times, tap the vertical ellipsis icon, then hit the download button in the menu. It should tell you when it's done downloading, and it should even give you an "Open" link to try it right away. To access it later, tap the vertical ellipsis in a new Chrome tab, tap "Downloads," and choose Wordle.

I've tried doing the same in Samsung Internet, Microsoft Edge, and other Android browsers but keep getting the same result where certain elements are missing from the game.

Pros and Cons of Playing Wordle Offline

Whether you're playing Wordle offline on your computer or smartphone, you'll have the same experience. Some of it is good, and some things are less than ideal. However, overall, it's good enough if you just want to solve the featured word every day.

Pros:

  • You still get a new word each day.
  • You can still share solved puzzles.
  • Hard Mode still works.
  • Dark Theme still works.
  • Color Blind Mode still works.

Cons:

  • It won't preserve your streaks.
  • Sharing puzzles won't result in a pretty graphic like it does online.

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Cover photo and screenshots by Justin Meyers/Gadget Hacks

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