[javascript] Modifying a query string without reloading the page

I am creating a photo gallery, and would like to be able to change the query string and title when the photos are browsed.

The behavior I am looking for is often seen with some implementations of continuous/infinite page, where while you scroll down the query string keeps incrementing the page number (http://x.com?page=4) etc.. This should be simple in theory, but I would like something that is safe across major browsers.

I found this great post, and was trying to follow the example with window.history.pushstate, but that doesn't seem to be working for me. And I'm not sure if it is ideal because I don't really care about modifying the browser history.

I just want to be able to offer the ability to bookmark the currently viewed photo, without reloading the page every time the photo is changed.

Here is an example of infinite page that modifies query string: http://tumbledry.org/

UPDATE found this method:

window.location.href = window.location.href + '#abc';

it appears to work for me, but i am on a new chrome.. it would probably cause some issues with older browsers?

This question is related to javascript jquery query-string dhtml

The answer is

Then the history API is exactly what you are looking for. If you wish to support legacy browsers as well, then look for a library that falls back on manipulating the URL's hash tag if the browser doesn't provide the history API.

Building off of Fabio's answer, I created two functions that will probably be useful for anyone stumbling upon this question. With these two functions, you can call insertParam() with a key and value as an argument. It will either add the URL parameter or, if a query param already exists with the same key, it will change that parameter to the new value:

//function to remove query params from a URL
function removeURLParameter(url, parameter) {
    //better to use l.search if you have a location/link object
    var urlparts= url.split('?');   
    if (urlparts.length>=2) {

        var prefix= encodeURIComponent(parameter)+'=';
        var pars= urlparts[1].split(/[&;]/g);

        //reverse iteration as may be destructive
        for (var i= pars.length; i-- > 0;) {    
            //idiom for string.startsWith
            if (pars[i].lastIndexOf(prefix, 0) !== -1) {  
                pars.splice(i, 1);

        url= urlparts[0] + (pars.length > 0 ? '?' + pars.join('&') : "");
        return url;
    } else {
        return url;

//function to add/update query params
function insertParam(key, value) {
    if (history.pushState) {
        // var newurl = window.location.protocol + "//" + window.location.host + search.pathname + '?myNewUrlQuery=1';
        var currentUrlWithOutHash = window.location.origin + window.location.pathname + window.location.search;
        var hash = window.location.hash
        //remove any param for the same key
        var currentUrlWithOutHash = removeURLParameter(currentUrlWithOutHash, key);

        //figure out if we need to add the param with a ? or a &
        var queryStart;
        if(currentUrlWithOutHash.indexOf('?') !== -1){
            queryStart = '&';
        } else {
            queryStart = '?';

        var newurl = currentUrlWithOutHash + queryStart + key + '=' + value + hash

I want to improve Fabio's answer and create a function which adds custom key to the URL string without reloading the page.

function insertUrlParam(key, value) {
    if (history.pushState) {
        let searchParams = new URLSearchParams(window.location.search);
        searchParams.set(key, value);
        let newurl = window.location.protocol + "//" + window.location.host + window.location.pathname + '?' + searchParams.toString();
        window.history.pushState({path: newurl}, '', newurl);

I've used the following JavaScript library with great success:


It supports the HTML5 history API as well as a fallback method (using #) for older browsers.

This library is essentially a polyfill around `history.pushState'.

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