Remove fragment in URL with JavaScript w/out causing page reload

0 votes
asked Nov 6, 2008 by philipp-lenssen

Background: I have an HTML page which lets you expand certain content. As only small portions of the page need to be loaded for such an expansion, it's done via JavaScript, and not by directing to a new URL/ HTML page. However, as a bonus the user is able to permalink to such expanded sections, i.e. send someone else a URL like

and have the "foobar" category be opened immediately for that other user. This works using parent.location.hash = 'foobar', so that part is fine.

Now the question: When the user closes such a category on the page, I want to empty the URL fragment again, i.e. turn into to update the permalink display. However, doing so using parent.location.hash = '' causes a reload of the whole page (in Firefox 3, for instance), which I'd like to avoid. Using window.location.href = '/#' won't trigger a page reload, but leaves the somewhat unpretty-looking "#" sign in the URL. So is there a way in popular browsers to JavaScript-remove a URL anchor including the "#" sign without triggering a page refresh?

8 Answers

0 votes
answered Nov 6, 2008 by roenving

Sorry to say, but the answer is no if emptying location.hash doesn't accomplish the task !-)

0 votes
answered Nov 6, 2008 by diodeus

Since you are controlling the action on the hash value, why not just use a token that means "nothing", like "#_" or "#default".

0 votes
answered Nov 6, 2008 by florin
$(document).ready(function() {
        $(".lnk").click(function(e) {
            $(this).attr("href", "stripped_url_via_desired_regex");
0 votes
answered Nov 5, 2011 by jazkat

There is also another option instead of using hash, you could use javascript: void(0); Example: <a href="javascript:void(0);" class="open_div">Open Div</a>

I guess it also depends on when you need that kind of link, so you better check the following links:

How to use it: or check debate on what is better here: Which "href" value should I use for JavaScript links, "#" or "javascript:void(0)"?

0 votes
answered Nov 5, 2011 by balupton

As others have said, you can't do it. Plus... seriously, as the jQuery Ajaxy author - I've deployed complete ajax websites for years now - and I can guarantee no end user has ever complained or perhaps ever even noticed that there is this hash thing going on, user's don't care as long as it works and their getting what they came for.

A proper solution though is HTML5 PushState/ReplaceState/PopState ;-) Which doesn't need the fragement-identifier anymore: For a HTML5 and HTML4 compatible project that supports this HTML5 State Functionality check out :-)

0 votes
answered Nov 6, 2011 by chris-boyle

You could use the shiny new HTML5 window.history.pushState and replaceState methods, as described in ASCIIcasts 246: AJAX History State and on the GitHub blog. This lets you change the entire path (within the same origin host) not just the fragment. To try out this feature, browse around a GitHub repository with a recent browser.

0 votes
answered Nov 11, 2012 by matmas

As others have mentioned, replaceState in HTML5 can be used to remove the URL fragment.

Here is an example:

// remove fragment as much as it can go without adding an entry in browser history:

// slice off the remaining '#' in HTML5:    
if (typeof window.history.replaceState == 'function') {
  history.replaceState({}, '', window.location.href.slice(0, -1));
0 votes
answered Nov 7, 2016 by manigandan-raamanath

Put this code on head section.

<script type="text/javascript">
    var uri = window.location.toString();
    if (uri.indexOf("?") > 0) {
        var clean_uri = uri.substring(0, uri.indexOf("?"));
        window.history.replaceState({}, document.title, clean_uri);
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