Using Website Link (URL) Shortening in Edge

When you send a link to a website to a friend or colleague you can find the link is very long as it’ll include all manner of special characters that might mean a lot to the website, but that won’t mean anything to you.  Microsoft’s Edge web browser includes a link (also called a URL) shortener feature, but I’d like to explain why you might want to switch it off.

You can access this feature in Edge by opening the browser Settings and clicking Share, copy and paste from the left panel.  There are two choices here, Link which will shorten the URL, and Plain text where the full and complete URL.

The reason you might not want to use link shortening is because when you send a link in a quick email or a message through an app such as Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp there’s no way for the recipient to know where the link will take them on the Internet.  Given how many links we receive in spam and phishing emails that take us to malware or criminal websites, copying the full URL can often give people more peace of mind.

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