URL encode sees “&” (ampersand) as “&” HTML entity – Dev

The best answers to the question “URL encode sees “&” (ampersand) as “&” HTML entity” in the category Dev.


I am encoding a string that will be passed in a URL (via GET). But if I use escape, encodeURI or encodeURIComponent, & will be replaced with %26amp%3B, but I want it to be replaced with %26. What am I doing wrong?


If you did literally this:


Then the result is %26, you can test it here. Make sure the string you are encoding is just & and not & to begin with…otherwise it is encoding correctly, which is likely the case. If you need a different result for some reason, you can do a .replace(/&/g,'&') before the encoding.


Without seeing your code, it’s hard to answer other than a stab in the dark. I would guess that the string you’re passing to encodeURIComponent(), which is the correct method to use, is coming from the result of accessing the innerHTML property. The solution is to get the innerText/textContent property value instead:

var str, 
    el = document.getElementById("myUrl");

if ("textContent" in el)
    str = encodeURIComponent(el.textContent);
    str = encodeURIComponent(el.innerText);

If that isn’t the case, you can use the replace() method to replace the HTML entity:

encodeURIComponent(str.replace(/&/g, "&"));


There is HTML and URI encodings. & is & encoded in HTML while %26 is & in URI encoding.

So before URI encoding your string you might want to HTML decode and then URI encode it 🙂

var div = document.createElement('div');
div.innerHTML = '&AndOtherHTMLEncodedStuff';
var htmlDecoded = div.firstChild.nodeValue;
var urlEncoded = encodeURIComponent(htmlDecoded);

result %26AndOtherHTMLEncodedStuff

Hope this saves you some time