Unshorten URLs with Expand URL Chrome Extension

May 11, 2014

I’ve been having a problem opening some shortened links on my browsers (Chrome & Firefox), whereby in some cases I end up with this screen:

No Data Received Error Chrome

Not sure if it’s just me but…

I decided to create a solution while at the same time tinkering with Chrome Extensions.

I developed an Extension called ExpandURL that you can use to ‘expand’ shortened links before opening them in your browser. I used some of the URL ‘unshortening’ APIs available to accomplish this, including:

  • UrlEx.org

There are two ways to use the extension:

  • Automatically re-direct to the ‘expanded’ URL after clicking
  • Preview the ‘expanded’ URL before navigating to it (InfoSec guys, I see you!)

You can adjust these settings using the Options page of the Extension.

While I was using this to solve an actual problem that I was having, it was also an experiment on how to make a good user experience as possible.

I’ll publish a post soon on my experience building Chrome Extensions.

The extension is available on the Chrome Web Store: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/expand-url/llnlabdcccdihhemekhhddgbaonclebe

You can check out the application’s source code on my GitHub