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: bit.ly, cli.gs, ff.im, goo.gl, is.gd, nyti.ms, ow.ly, post.ly, su.pr, & tinyurl.com.


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 “bit.ly”. 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 “goo.gl 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 “http://nyti.ms/” 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
Akemi Iwaya has been part of the How-To Geek/LifeSavvy Media team since 2009. She has previously written under the pen name "Asian Angel" and was a Lifehacker intern before joining How-To Geek/LifeSavvy Media. She has been quoted as an authoritative source by ZDNet Worldwide.
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