Chrome now automatically cleans up messy URLs when you share them

Chrome v64 link shortening

As you traverse the internet, you will often encounter URLs that have tracking or referral junk tacked on the end. You probably don’t want all that garbage included when you share a link, and Chrome recently started taking care of that for you. As of v64, the browser trims off unnecessary strings at the end of URLs.

The URL streamlining happens automatically when you use the Share menu in Chrome (but not Chrome Custom Tabs). You can copy to the clipboard or share directly to another app—no setup required. If you highlight the URL bar and select text manually, you can still get the full URL with all the junk at the end. You can test it yourself with this Amazon URL.

We suspect this feature is related to the “canonical page” URLs Google started supporting some time ago. We’ve seen similar features in AMP pages so that sharing the content would share a usable URL. The general URL streamlining seems subtly different, though. It doesn’t work in Chrome v63 or earlier, but it’s available in v64. That’s in the stable channel now, and it came to beta and dev in the December-January timeframe.

There could be situations when you want to manually copy URLs to avoid this feature. Chrome’s URL trimming will even remove anchor tags that load a page to a specific location, For example, the “Free” section of this sale roundup. Share that in Chrome v64 or higher, and it just loads the top of the page. That could be a bit annoying. More often than not, though, this feature is probably going to be incredibly handy.



Why You Should Switch From Google Chrome to Firefox

Image credit: Mozilla in Europe/ Flickr

Since its debut, Chrome has grown in popularity, though its once-stellar reputation has taken a bit of a hit as of late. Examples of Chrome-only sites are more and more common, reminiscent of the days when Microsoft’s Internet Explorer dominated the web browser market. It’s been shown to be a massive memory hog as well, slowing down machines as users create more and more tabs. If you’re looking for a change this 2018, why not start with your browser? Ditch Chrome and switch to its longtime competitor, Mozilla Firefox. It’s just as fast, if not faster, than Chrome, and integrates tools to boost your privacy online while making it easier to share and save everything you find on the web.