When you click on a URL in the search results or on some other website, the URL may contain tons of parameters that serve no purpose other then sending some tracking information to the server. For the user, these parameters have no meaning and the URL will still work if these parameter IDs and their values are removed. For example, if a URL contains ?utm-source= then usually it can be safely removed and the URL will work just fine. These things make the URL look complicated, very long and somewhat encrypted.
Fortunately, there is a Firefox extension called ClearURLs that can be used to remove all these extraneous data from the URL and make the simple, short and clean. Installing the ClearURLs is enough for it to work in the background and remove the unwanted parts of a URL. It will show how many URLs it has cleaned up for you on its browser toolbar icon.
You can click on the toolbar icon to view its panel that displays settings that you can configure – whether the URLs are to be filtered, whether all the events are to be logged, whether badges are to be displayed, and if it should display statistics. In the statistics, it can show how many elements were blocked, how many total elements were discovered in various URLs and what is the average percentage of blocking.
Apart from the automatic URL cleaning, you can also right-click on any URL and choose to “Copy Clean Link Location”. This will clean the URL being selected, clean it and copy the cleaned up URL to the clipboard. You can then either paste the cleaned version of the URL in the address bar or use it elsewhere.
It also comes with a tool for manual cleaning of URLs. In this tool, you have to copy-paste the URL on the top and it will instantly clean the URL. The cleaned up URL with all the unwanted elements removed is displayed in another text box under the original URL.
ClearURLs is a useful Firefox extension for those who want to view original, unaltered URLs without unwanted elements that make the URL complicated and illegible.
You can get ClearURLs extension for Firefox from https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/clearurls/.
Most good open source extensions are cross browser and ClearURLs makes no exception as it is available for Chromium-based browsers as well (https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/clearurls/lckanjgmijmafbedllaakclkaicjfmnk).
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