How-To Geek

Preview and Verify URLs in Internet Explorer 8

Note: This article is part of our archive and is likely out of date.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)

Would you like to see a preview of the websites behind regular, text only, and shortened URLs? You can easily see what is behind those links before opening them with the Preview and Launch URL accelerator for Internet Explorer 8.

Preview and Launch URL in Action

Adding the accelerator is easy…just click on Add to Internet Explorer, confirm the installation, and you are ready to go (link below).

Note: Browser restart not required.


For the first example we used a regularly formatted link. Right click to access the context menu, move to All Accelerators, and either hover (or click on) the Preview and Launch URL listing.


Hovering your mouse will open a preview thumbnail of the page with the URL shown directly beneath it.


Clicking on the listing opens the page as normal in a new tab.


The second example was a text only URL.


Highlight the URL and follow the same menu procedure for a regular links to see the preview. Clicking on the listing will open the text URL in a new tab as shown above.


The accelerator also works well with shortened URLs. Right click on the URL and go to the Preview and Launch accelerator listing. There will be a difference though…you will see the shortened URL and be asked if you would like to expand it. Click on the shortened URL in the preview window to expand it and see a preview.


Notice that the full URL behind the shortened URL is now displayed with the preview.


Clicking on the accelerator listing works the same as for the other types of links.


You may occasionally see this message for a link preview. Simply move your mouse back to the main context menu for a moment and then back to the accelerator link to see the preview.



The Preview and Launch URL accelerator can be very helpful when you want to see the site behind the links…especially when it concerns shortened URLS.

You also might want to check out our article on how to verify shortened URLs in Firefox and also how to verify shortened URLs in Google Chrome.


Add the Preview and Launch URL Accelerator to Internet Explorer 8

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 07/20/10

Comments (6)

  1. Anak


    Would this protect you if you wanted to see a suspicious link?

    Such as, once you click on a spam link “they” know you are real or some links activate malware as soon as you click on it.



  2. A340-600

    This IE8 accelerator can also be added to Chrome via the Universal Search & IE8 Accelerators extension.

  3. Kyler IE Outreach Team

    Hey great post, another feature to the already great lineup of tools to keep you safe, while browsing in IE.
    Anyone interested in the other security features IE has to offer can check out this link below:

    IE Outreach

  4. Asian Angel

    @Anak – My advice is that if you feel a link is suspicious then it would be best to just leave it alone. ~__^

  5. Anak

    @Asian Angel, Thank You for your reply, and I will heed your advice.

  6. Gordon Lindsay

    How do I do this in Internet Explorer 9 ?

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