How to View Original Shortened URLs (Shortened URLs) Without Opening them – If you ever come across a link or link sent to your email or website, don’t forget to always copy the link and paste it in the URL field in your browser. This is so that you first see where the URL will be directed and make sure the URL is safe for you to access, because many links are sent and those that point to dangerous websites can even contain viruses. However, if you get shortened URLs or what is often known as URL shortener then this trick doesn’t work.
Short URL or URL shortener is commonly used to shorten long URLs to be shorter so that they are easy to see and easy to read, but there are some users who take advantage of this URL shortener to hide the original link or URL so that visitors don’t really know where they are going point and also reduce feeling suspicious when clicking.
But for short URLs, you are also not always required to check every URL you receive. And if you feel the need to check the shortened URL for security reasons and want to know where you will be directed, then here I will share some ways to check and find out the original URL that is hidden behind the short URL without opening it. And in this post, I will show you how to do it on your PC and smartphone.
Use the Prebuilt Preview
Most popular URL shortening services allow you to preview links by tinkering with the short URL. Just memorize these simple tweaks, and for most of the short URL services provide a special symbol to view the original URL without having to rely on third-party services. Below is a list of tweaks for the original URL preview:
Add a word
preview before the tinyurl.com section of the URL. As an example:
+ (plus sign) at the end of the original URL. As an example :
Similar to Goo.gl, just add a tag
+ at the end of the URL.
- (dash) at the end of the URL. As an example :
~ (tilde) at the end of the URL. As an example :
? (question mark) at the end of the URL.
Use Online Website Services
If you don’t handle short URLs often and may have difficulty remembering some of the signs to see the short URLs of each URL shortening service, then using the services provided by the website may be coock and easier for you. For websites that provide this service, I like GetLinkInfo because it supports more URL shortening websites and detailed information about those links. Just paste the short URL on the website and hit enter.
GetLinkInfo will tell you the main page title, initial description, exact long URL and any external links on the page. It also uses Google to check the safety of website content.
Use a browser extension
There is another way that is easier for you besides the methods above to see the original URL behind the short URL, namely by installing a special extension for your browser. Unshorten.It! is a good extension for viewing short URLs and it is available for Chrome and Firefox.
The cool thing about Unshorten.It is that it doesn’t depend on the URL shortening service API, therefore, it can expand almost any type of short link. Once the extension is installed, right-click on the short link and select Remove connection from the menu. The extension will expand the link in a new tab and also display safety information based on the Web Of Trust score.
I also really like the unobtrusive nature of the extension as it lets you choose which links to visit and which to leave out.
Check short URLs on Android
On smartphones with Android OS, you can use a free application called URL Manager. It’s actually an all-in-one link manager, but I’ll only be looking at the essential features of the app.
Here’s how to view the link URL or original link:
- Copy the short URL that you want to expand.
- Tap the icon
+in its main interface and select Expand.
- Now paste the URL into the text field and tap on Expand. Then the original URL will be shown below it.
You can also share the URL directly from your browser to view it in the URL Manager.
Check short URLs on iOS
On iOS, you can use a free app called URL X-ray. Although X-ray URLs are hugely popular for its web service, its iOS app does a great job of viewing URLs. Once installed, you can copy / paste the short URL in the URL X-ray interface to expand it. It also adds a button in the share menu to let you directly share URLs from other apps.
When you encounter or get an unclear URL, then you have to be very careful when opening the short link and always check the real URL on the other side before opening the URL, especially if you receive it via email or direct message. Memorizing short URL previews tweak may not be easy and if you don’t use it often you will forget it often, but it will feel easy if you handle short URLs a lot. But of course, you can always get help from third-party website services and apps when you don’t memorize some of the tweaks above.
And that’s an easy way to see the original shortened URL or link or the term URL shortener without needing to open it. Hopefully this article is useful and good luck. 🙂