Monday, April 6, 2009

How to bypass URL redirects

Websites use redirected links for various reasons, often to track clicks on links. When you click on such a link, you are taken to an intermediate page which acts like a proxy and registers your click after which you are taken to the target page. Some common usages of redirects are affiliate links, link to a partner website to monitor how much traffic these sites have been exchanging with each other etc. While there is no harm in tracking clicks, sometimes such redirects introduce a delay of a couple of seconds. If you want to speed up things, here is how to bypass such redirects.

For Firefox

Use addon Redirect Remover. It removes redirected URLs and allows you to visit the target link directly. Whenever a link on a page contains a hidden redirect the mouse pointer changes from redirect-remover-before   to redirect-remover-after indicating the presence of a redirect. Now if you right click on the link you will notice some new context menu items.


The item ‘Open uncleared link’ will take you directly to the target page. You can also copy the target URL using ‘Copy cleared link location’. If you click ‘Add site to list’, that URL will be added to a filter list. URLs on this list will no longer show the special hyperlink icon when you hover the mouse above it. The filter should be used when you do not want to bypass the redirect. Even though the icon does not show for filtered URLs, you can still access the uncleared link via the context menu.

For Opera

Opera users can use User Javascript to bypass redirected URLs. Clean URI is a user js file that automatically identifies redirected URLs and replaces them with the direct link. Everything is automatic, no user intervention is required. However that creates problems with some legitimate redirect links and in some cases where the URL looks like a redirect URL but is not. For instance, Google Trends for websites has the following structure:

Clean URI will wrongly identify this as a redirect to and replace this URL with Digg’s. You will never be able to open such links.

How to install User JavaScripts

If you don’t already have UserJS directory, follow these steps to create one and install a User JavaScript.

  1. Create a new directory (preferably inside profile directory) and name it suitably.
  2. Open Tools > Preferences > Advanced > Content > JavaScript Options and enter the path of directory created in the previous step under User JavaScript files.
  3. Now just place the User JavaScript file (*.js or *.user.js) inside the User JavaScript directory.


  1. it is not working in fire fox.. i want to download in torrent but it redirects me to


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