How-To Geek

View the Real Links Behind Shortened URLs in Chrome

Note: This article is part of our archive and is likely out of date.
(Links may not work, downloads have not been recently tested for safety)

When you encounter shortened URLs there is always that worry in the back of your mind about where they really lead to. Now you can get a “sneak peek” at the real links behind those URLs with the View Thru extension for Google Chrome.

The URL Shortening services officially supported at this time are:,,,,,,,,, &


When you encounter a shortened URL you are pretty much on your own in deciding whether to trust that link or not. It would really be nice if you could just hover your mouse over those links and know where they will lead ahead of time.



Once you have the extension installed you are ready to access that link viewing goodness. Please note that you will need to reload any pages that were open prior to installing the extension.

For our first example we chose a shortened URL from “”. As you can see the entire link behind the shortened URL is displayed very nicely…no hidden surprises there!

Note: There are no options to worry with for the extension.


Another perfect result for the “ URL” shown below. View Thru will certainly remove a lot of the stress related to clicking on shortened URLs.


Bonus Find

Just out of curiosity we looked for a shortened URL not listed as being officially supported at this time. We found one with the “” domain and View Thru showed the link perfectly…so be sure to give it a try on other services too.



If you worry about where a shortened URL will really lead you then the View Thru extension can help alleviate that stress.


Download the View Thru extension (Google Chrome Extensions)

Akemi Iwaya is a devoted Mozilla Firefox user who enjoys working with multiple browsers and occasionally dabbling with Linux. She also loves reading fantasy and sci-fi stories as well as playing "old school" role-playing games. You can visit her on Twitter and .

  • Published 04/27/10

Comments (4)

  1. mbear

    Not to be a jerk, Asian Angel, but you have a typo in the first paragraph: Instead of “sneak peak” I think you mean “sneak peek”.

    A peek is a look/glance/what you do when you’re stalking someone and don’t want them to see you.

    A peak is part of a mountain.

    On second thought, maybe you meant I could get a ninja mountain. That would be AWESOME.

  2. The Geek


    LOL! Hilarious. Will fix the typo =)

  3. Asian Angel

    @mbear – That was definitely one “sneaky peak” to have been able to sneak up and peek at me like that. ~__^ Hmmm…ninja mountains! I bet that would make a fun article! ^__^

  4. Alec S.

    All this talk of Ninja mountains reminds me of “Ninja Assassin”. That definitely had ninjas on mountains.

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