Confused by Pretty Url behavior


I’m confused at what the Pretty Url is supposed to be doing. Or more specifically, what is Netlify default behavior when this option is not enabled.

I have a website available at (which actually serves

I have created a test.html file at the root of this website. From my test, the file is accessible through:

  1. and, which is expected.
  2.,, and

The first one is expected, but I thought the urls in 2. would only be redirected if I had enabled Pretty Url (which I don’t):


So what exactly is checking Pretty Url supposed to be doing? I didn’t find any page explaining it in the documentation and the short explanation text close to the checkbox seems to describe what is already the current behavior

hi there, did you see this blog article?

let us know if you need more specific information and we can dig in a bit deeper.

Hey, thanks for the link. I didn’t know I could trigger those settings from my netlify.toml file, that good news.

Still, I didn’t find any information on the Pretty URL feature. What does it add that Netlify does do out of the box? In my tests, you already normalize /foo, /foo/ and /foo.html to serve the same files.

So what other url rewriting do I get if I enable Pretty Urls?

When you enable Pretty URLs, our system will also rewrite the links in your html to remove the html extension. This is mentioned in our redirects docs.

Oh ok, thanks! So it’s actually rewriting the content of the page itself, and not adding any new redirect rules.

Thanks for the clarification!

Not intending to resurrect the dead here, but this topic gets a good amount of SEO hits and I want to make sure folks coming around get the info they’re looking for: