How to Bypass Cloudflare for Web Scraping? [3 Proven Techniques]

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Muninder Adavelli
Written by
Muninder Adavelli

Updated · Dec 08, 2023

Muninder Adavelli
Digital Growth Strategist | Joined October 2021 | Twitter LinkedIn
Muninder Adavelli

Muninder Adavelli is a core team member and Digital Growth Strategist at Techjury. With a strong bac... | See full bio

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Edited by
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Girlie Defensor
Joined June 2023
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Over 15.7 million websites use Cloudflare as primary protection against traffic and cyberattacks. However, this safety measure becomes a huge obstacle for data handling processes like scraping.

Web scraping refers to collecting information from sites and pages for various purposes. This process typically requires using special tools, which are often blocked by Cloudflare.

While it protects websites and their data, Cloudflare’s bot management solution slows down or blocks scraping—making the scraping process more challenging.

Fortunately, there are ways to avoid this particular anti-scraping measure. Read on to find out how you can bypass Cloudflare for web scraping.

🔑 Key Takeaways

  • Cloudflare Bot Management sorts web traffic into good and bad bots, blocking the latter to stop web scraping.
  • IP checks, rate limits, device fingerprinting, and URL analysis are implemented to protect websites from bots and cyberattacks.
  • You can bypass Cloudflare with the help of headless browsers, the target site’s original IP, and Google Cache.
  • Dodging Cloudflare is not easy. You will encounter the following: the need for replicating human behavior and technical skills, legal considerations, and IP switching.
  • To evade Cloudflare's IP blocking, use anonymity tools like proxies and VPNs.

Explained: What is Cloudflare Bot Management?

Cloudflare Bot Management is a security system that uses advanced technology against automated bots threatening a website’s security. It directs the traffic by sorting bots. Good bots are allowed to pass, while bad bots are blocked—in which users get the “Access Denied” error. 

Access Denied screen

With Cloudflare Bot Management’s detection and blockage, websites are guaranteed to be safe against threats like bots and cyberattacks. Read on to learn how Cloudflare Bot Management protects millions of websites worldwide.

How Cloudflare Bot  Management Works

Cloudflare Bot Management uses several techniques to detect and block web scrapers. Here are some methods they use to keep websites safe: 

  • IP reputation

Cloudflare Bot Management reviews IP addresses and their past activities. If Cloudflare detects malicious online activities in your history, your IP will be blocked from accessing the website.

⚠️ Warning

Always protect your IP address. Once cybercriminals get this information, they can use your IP address to commit crimes in your name. 

  • Rate limiting

Cloudflare only allows 1200 requests per five minutes for every user. Whenever someone crosses this limit, they get blocked or asked to solve a puzzle to prove they're human.

  • Device fingerprinting

Cloudflare collects information on users’ browsers, devices, and networks. The collected data makes a unique fingerprint corresponding to each user. Bots are unable to copy such fingerprints, so they get caught.

  • URL Analysis

Cloudflare looks at the structure of requested URLs. Bots often use strange or long URLs for scraping.

3 Methods to Dodge Cloudflare to Scrape Websites

There are numerous ways to bypass Cloudflare for web scraping. Most require technical skills and a broad understanding of networking concepts, but the methods listed below are straightforward. 

You can evade Cloudflare Bot Management with the following techniques:

  • Utilizing Headless Browsers
  • Identifying the Original IP
  • Using Google’s Cached Version

Read on to find out how each method works.

Method 1: Using Fortified Headless Browsers

Fortified headless browsers look like the web browsers used by actual users, and using one can help you avoid Cloudflare detection. Some examples of fortified browsers are Puppeteer, Playwright, and Selenium. 

Websites can detect headless browsers by checking the value of thenavigator.webdriver.” Typically, a fortified browser patches the value of “navigator.webdriver” to false, minimizing its chances of being detected while scraping.

To get past Cloudflare with a fortified headless browser, install the following tools:

🔧 Requirements

  • Selenium Python package
  • A compatible web driver for the browser 

Once you have secured the prerequisites, follow the steps below:

1. Go to your script file and import Selenium.

from selenium import webdriver

from selenium.webdriver.common.keys import keys

2. Configure the headless browser. 

options = webdriver.ChromeOptions()


driver = webdriver.Chrome(options=options)

3. Go to the website.


4. Wait for the challenge on the Cloudflare screen. 

challenge = driver.find-element-by-xpath("//div[@class='challenge-form']")

5. Solve the challenge. If it’s a CAPTCHA, use the code below to solve it:

captcha = driver.find_element_by_xpath("//img[@class='captcha-image']")

submit_button = driver.find_element_by_xpath("//button[@class='submit-button']")

6. Get the website content.

content = driver.page_source

7. Close the browser.


This is how your code should look when it all comes together:

Sample code output

Method 2: Calling the Origin Server

Another method to bypass Cloudflare is directly calling the origin server. This approach requires more technical skill and can be more challenging to implement. 

You can circumvent Cloudflare's CDN security protections by hitting the site server address. Below are the steps to do it:

  • Discover the Origin IP Address

Find the IP address of the website’s origin server. Cloudflare hides most DNS records, but some subdomains or emails might point directly to the origin server.

  • Skip DNS With cURL

Use tools like cURL to send requests to the website’s IP directly. This helps bypass DNS and directly reach the origin server.

  • Change Your Host File

Experiment with your host file. You can tell which website matches with which IP. You can skip DNS and use the IP you picked.

Method 3: Scraping Google Cache

Another way to dodge Cloudflare is by scraping content from Google's cached website versions. Google stores snapshots of web pages regularly, which can be accessed through its search results.

When you search on Google, it takes a cached version of the page. The cached version is on Google's server and is not directly behind Cloudflare's protections. 

Accessing the cached content  lets you scrape your desired data without triggering Cloudflare's anti-bot measures. To start, follow the steps below:

1. Search for the webpage you want to scrape on Google’s search engine.

2. Locate the page you want to scrape from the search results. 

3. Click on the three dots beside the displayed link. 

Google Search results

4. A pop-up will appear. Click on the Cached option in the menu:

Options pop-up in Google Search

5. With the cached version opened, use your web scraping tools to gather the necessary information.

 📝 Note

Cached versions might not always have the updated data, and some dynamic elements may be missing. This method may not be the best for you if you’re planning on scraping updated or real-time data. 

Common Challenges When Bypassing Cloudflare

While the methods discussed above are doable, bypassing Cloudflare for web scraping is not guaranteed to be smooth. It still comes with challenges that require careful consideration to ensure successful and ethical outcomes.

You can encounter the following problems:

1. Anti-bot Measures

Cloudflare Bot Management automatically identifies and stops web scraping using CAPTCHAs, JavaScript tests, and rate limits. Web scrapers must replicate the human browsing experience to surpass these anti-scraping measures. 

2. Need for Technical Skills

Bypassing Cloudflare requires technical skills and experience with web scraping tools, programming languages, and proxies.

3. Legal Concerns

While web scraping is considered legal, it can be different when dealing with sites protected by Cloudflare. 

You must stay within the boundaries of the law and website terms. Some sites consider bypassing Cloudflare as unauthorized access, which can lead to legal consequences.

4. Switching IP Addresses

Cloudflare blocks IP addresses that generate automated traffic. To bypass Cloudflare,  you may need to use different IP addresses that change regularly. 

Pro Tip

To avoid Cloudflare’s IP blocking, you can use anonymity tools like proxies and VPNs. These tools hide your IP address by making it look like every request is from a different location and IP. 


Scraping data from websites protected by Cloudflare Bot Management is challenging. Headless browsers or Google cached versions may help, but remember that these methods somehow require technical skills and awareness of legal boundaries. 

Always check the website’s terms and conditions before you even bypass Cloudflare.


Why is my IP blocked by Cloudflare?

Cloudflare might block your IP due to suspicious activity or automated behavior. However, you don’t have to worry. Multiple ways to unblock your IP address exist so you can continue browsing.

What are other anti-bot services?

Besides Cloudflare, other known anti-bot services are Imperva, Akamai Bot Manager, ClickGuard, and Radware Bot Manager.

Is it legal to scrape Cloudflare-protected pages?

Scraping Cloudflare-protected pages can raise legal concerns as it could be considered unauthorized access. Always consider legal implications and follow website terms.


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