No matter where you click these days on the internet, URLs are loaded with extra information that is not really needed for the actual features to work. These extra elements added to the URLs can be easily removed and the URLs will still do their job just fine. In fact, these elements are often used to track the user’s activities on the internet which is frowned upon by many users.
But we cannot manually remove these elements all by ourselves. We need a special browser extension called ClearURLs to do the job. This extension intelligently removes the various elements that are appended to a URL using the GET method of sending information. For example, if the URL is https://example.com/search.php?browser=firefox, it will remove the browser=firefox part from the URL. However, ClearURLs does not blindly remove all the elements. It has a list of the known tracking elements and only those detected elements are removed.
After the installation of ClearURLs is complete, we can find its icon in the browser toolbar. We can click on this icon to toggle various features such as filter, logging, badges, and statistics. For the removal of tracking elements, the filter feature must be enabled while other features can be turned off and are not really essential.
ClearURLs does offer configuration settings but they are meant mostly for the advanced users who understand how tracking is done and how information can be sent over the URLs through the GET variables. We can choose kind of requests should be examined and change the number of entries to be kept in the log file. We can also choose the badge color for ClearURLs.
It also comes with a cleaner tool in which we can copy-paste multiple URLs that you want to be cleaned. It will display the cleaned version of these URLs after removing all the tracking code.
Through the use of ClearURLs, we can have not only tracking code free URLs but also faster web sites because the tracker sites are bypassed. In some cases, it might break a website but in those rare cases we can temporarily disable this add-on.
You can get ClearURLs extension for Firefox from https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/clearurls/.