Pure URL removes optional URL parameters

Pure URL is a free browser extension for all recent versions of Firefox and Google Chrome — and likely also Firefox-based and Chrome-based browsers like Pale Moon or Opera — that removes optional parameters from URLs automatically.

Optional URL parameters, like utm_source, yclid, fb_ref or ref_ are a common occurrence on the Internet. Most, if not all of them, are used for tracking purposes and of no use to Internet users.

While they may be useful to webmasters and marketers, Internet users may want to get rid of them as they don’t offer any benefit, may make the URL harder to read, and extend the URL when it is shared or used in blog posts.

Pure URL

Pure URL has been designed to take care of several common forms of optional URL parameters that users may encounter on the Internet.

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firefox pure url optional parameters

The add-on works automatically, stripping optional URL parameters that it supports from the browser’s address bar automatically.

The browser extension supports the following “garbage fields” at the time of review:

  • utm_source, utm_medium, utm_term, utm_content, utm_campaign (spyware fields for the analytics.google.com)
  • yclid (spyware fields for the metrika.yandex.ru)
  • feature (a garbage field on the youtube.com)
  • fb_action_ids, fb_action_types, fb_ref, fb_source, action_object_map, action_type_map, action_ref_map (spyware fields from the facebook.com)
  • ref, fref, hc_location (garbage fields on the facebook.com)
  • ref_ (garbage field on the imdb.com)

You may add, remove or modify individual parameters in the extensions’ settings in Firefox (The Google Chrome version does not support this at the moment). There you find listed the “garbage fields list”, an editable field that you can use to add or modify entries in.

garbage fields url

This can be useful in several occasions. First, if you are a webmaster and need specific parameters to be active, then you can remove them from being stripped from sites you visit in Firefox.

Second, if you encounter URL parameters that are not included, you may add them so that the extension removes them from URLs as well.

The settings in Firefox provide two additional options that are unfortunately not explained anywhere. Intercept requests is set to “yes” by default, and setting it to “no” appears to turn off the extension’s URL parameter removal capabilities.

Fix links on pages on the other hand defines if links found on websites visited in the browser are fixed automatically. It is unclear how the dynamic and fixed values differ from each other though.

Closing Words

Pure URL is a handy browser extensions for Firefox and Chrome that removes garbage from URLs automatically. The Firefox version of application is superior currently as it allows users to add or remove parameters, and make other modifications which the Chrome version does not support at the moment.

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About Martin Brinkmann

Martin Brinkmann is a journalist from Germany who founded Ghacks Technology News Back in 2005. He is passionate about all things tech and knows the Internet and computers like the back of his hand. You can follow Martin on Facebook, Twitter or Google+

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