Tools

How to UNshorten Any URL

URL shorteners have become popular together with Twitter: they allow to save on characters and thus tweet and retweet very long URLs.

They do have one huge advantage of making URLs short; they also have two huge disadvantage: third-party URLs shrinkers are unreliable (imagine if one of the services just stops existing) and they are “blind” in the meaning that you never know where you might land after clicking it.

Today’s tools will solve this last issue: they will unshorten any URL you see on a web page to let you where they are linking (note: all the 4 tools will need a Greasemonkey plugin to run):

ToolWill work on URL shorteners supported
UnShortenEmAllTwitter, IdenticaAll most popular URL shorteners are supported
TinyURL DecoderTwitter (by default), can be configured to work on all pagesAll popular URL shorteners are supported
Expand url shortening service urlsEverywhereAll most popular URL shorteners are supported
Twitter and FriendFeed Short URL ExpanderTwitter and FriendFeedsnipr, tinyurl.com, is.gd, zz.gd and bit.ly

1. UnShortenEmAll

UnShortenEmAll unshortens URLs in twitter and identica. On the first glance, it seems to do nothing – you will be able to see the actual URL only on hover-over in the statusbar:

unshortenemall How to UNshorten Any URL

2. TinyURL Decoder

TinyURL Decoder unshortens both the link text and the address (you will be able the shortened URL on mouseover)

tinyurl decoder How to UNshorten Any URL

By default, the tool will only work on Twitter. If you want to make this script work on other pages, you can configure it by following the steps:

  1. Install (and enable) script;
  2. Go to “Tools” FireFox menus;
  3. Select: “Greasemonkey” > “User Script Commands”
  4. Select “Reset cache of TinyURL Decoder”

tinyurl decoder 01 How to UNshorten Any URL

3. Expand url shortening service urls

Expand url shortening service urls: the script unshortens the URL address and on mouseover) shows you the service used to shorten it and the linked domain:

expand url How to UNshorten Any URL

4. Twitter and FriendFeed Short URL Expander

Twitter and FriendFeed Short URL Expander: works only for snipr, tinyurl.com, is.gd, zz.gd and bit.ly links posted on Twitter web interface and Friendfeed.

url expander friendfeed How to UNshorten Any URL

Note: you’ll have to get a login and developer key at http://bit.ly/app/developers and enter it into the script to get it to work for bit.ly.

 How to UNshorten Any URL
Ann Smarty is the blogger and community manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas. Ann's expertise in blogging and tools serve as a base for her writing, tutorials and her guest blogging project, MyBlogGuest.com.
 How to UNshorten Any URL

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5 thoughts on “How to UNshorten Any URL

  1. It is very interesting to see how everyone is *now* concerned with these shortened links, especially after sites such as apache.org got hacked because of a tiny URL.

    Since the introduction of social networks such as Twitter and Facebook, URL shortening services have become widely popular. Unfortunately, miscreants have capitalized on the services to obfuscate their own malicious URLs. The next step to prevent such abuse is to pre-analyze shortened URLs to make sure they are legitimate.

    I have noticed that one effort is being made along this direction. Besides its own shortening service, the guys at http://long-shore.com offer an analyzer that goes deeper than a simple “preview”. I highly recommend trying it out and seeing what they have to offer.

  2. It is very interesting to see how everyone is *now* concerned with these shortened links, especially after sites such as apache.org got hacked because of a tiny URL.

    Since the introduction of social networks such as Twitter and Facebook, URL shortening services have become widely popular. Unfortunately, miscreants have capitalized on the services to obfuscate their own malicious URLs. The next step to prevent such abuse is to pre-analyze shortened URLs to make sure they are legitimate.

    I have noticed that one effort is being made along this direction. Besides its own shortening service, the guys at http://long-shore.com offer an analyzer that goes deeper than a simple “preview”. I highly recommend trying it out and seeing what they have to offer.