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URL normalization settings

The Cloudflare dashboard provides the following settings to manage URL normalization:

  • Normalization type (default: RFC-3986)

    • Selects the type of normalization to perform:

      • RFC-3986 – Applies URL normalization strictly according to RFC-3986.

      • Cloudflare – In addition to what is defined in RFC-3986, applies the following URL normalization techniques:

        • Normalize back slashes (\) into forward slashes (/).
        • Merge successive forward slashes (for example, // will be normalized to /).
  • Normalize incoming URLs (default: On)

    • Configures the URLs of all incoming traffic to Cloudflare:

      • When enabled, all incoming URLs are normalized before they pass to subsequent Cloudflare features that can receive a URL as input, such as Page Rules, Firewall Rules, Workers, and Access.
      • When disabled, incoming URLs are not normalized before passing to subsequent Cloudflare features.
  • Normalize URLs to origin (default: Off)

    • Configures URLs sent to the origin:

      • When enabled, requests sent to the origin are normalized.
      • When disabled, requests sent to the origin are not modified.
    • You can only view and enable this option when Normalize incoming URLs is enabled.

Configuration examples

The following table shows how URL normalization settings affect incoming URLs before they pass to other Cloudflare features and to origin:

Incoming URLNormalization typeNormalize incoming URLsNormalize URLs to originURL passed to Cloudflare edgeURL passed to origin
www.example.com/hello(any)OffOffwww.example.com/hellowww.example.com/hello
www.example.com/hello(any)OnOffwww.example.com/hellowww.example.com/hello
www.example.com/hello(any)OnOnwww.example.com/hellowww.example.com/hello
example.com/%68ello(any)OffOffexample.com/%68elloexample.com/%68ello
example.com/%68ello(any)OnOffexample.com/helloexample.com/%68ello
example.com/%68ello(any)OnOnexample.com/helloexample.com/hello
example.com/%68ello//pa\thRFC-3986OffOffexample.com/%68ello//pa\thexample.com/%68ello//pa\th
example.com/%68ello//pa\thRFC-3986OnOffexample.com/hello//pa\thexample.com/%68ello//pa\th
example.com/%68ello//pa\thRFC-3986OnOnexample.com/hello//pa\thexample.com/hello//pa\th
example.com/%68ello//pa\thCloudflareOffOffexample.com/%68ello//pa\thexample.com/%68ello//pa\th
example.com/%68ello//pa\thCloudflareOnOffexample.com/hello/pa/thexample.com/%68ello//pa\th
example.com/%68ello//pa\thCloudflareOnOnexample.com/hello/pa/thexample.com/hello/pa/th