Bitly Link Expiration - How Long Do Links Last?

Published on September 16, 2023

If you’ve ever used Bitly to shorten a link, you might be wondering how long those concise and clickable URLs actually last. Bitly, the popular URL shortening service, allows users to turn long, cumbersome links into shorter, more manageable ones. But do these shortened links have an expiration date?

The answer is: it depends. Bitly links can last indefinitely, as long as they continue to receive regular clicks. However, if a link remains inactive for a certain period of time, it may be subject to deletion. This means that if you’ve created a Bitly link but haven’t been utilizing it, it could potentially disappear from the system.

Bitly offers analytics tools for users to track the performance and lifespan of their shortened links. These analytics can provide valuable insights into link engagement, such as the number of clicks, locations of the clicks, and even the devices and browsers used. With this information, you can determine whether your links are reaching your intended audience and adjust your marketing strategies accordingly.

What are Bitly links?

Bitly is a popular URL shortening service that allows you to create shorter and more manageable links. These links are created by taking a long URL and generating a unique, shortened version that is easier to share and remember.

Bitly links do not expire and will continue to work as long as Bitly exists. This means that you can use Bitly links in your marketing campaigns, social media posts, or any other digital content without worrying about them becoming invalid or broken.

Bitly links are especially useful in situations where character limits are a concern, such as on social media platforms like Twitter. By using a Bitly link, you can save precious characters and make your content more concise.

Additionally, Bitly provides analytics and tracking features that allow you to monitor the performance of your links. You can see how many clicks your links have received, where the clicks are coming from, and other valuable insights that can help you optimize your marketing efforts.

Overall, Bitly links are a convenient and effective solution for shortening and managing long URLs. They offer benefits such as improved readability, tracking capabilities, and ease of use. Whether you are a marketer, blogger, or simply looking to share a link, Bitly can help you create and manage your URLs efficiently.

Why are Bitly links useful?

Bitly links are incredibly useful for a variety of reasons. Firstly, they allow users to create short and memorable links that are easy to share. This is especially important in today's fast-paced digital world, where attention spans are short and long, complicated URLs can be off-putting.

Additionally, Bitly links provide valuable data and analytics. Users can track how many people have clicked on their links, where those clicks are coming from, and even the time of day they were clicked. This data can be used to measure the success of marketing campaigns, improve user engagement, and make data-driven decisions to optimize online content.

Furthermore, Bitly links are customizable, allowing users to create branded links that reinforce their brand identity. This can help to establish trust and credibility with the audience and make the links more appealing to click on.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, Bitly links are durable and long-lasting. Unlike traditional URLs that may change or become dead links over time, Bitly links remain active as long as the user wants them to. This makes them ideal for sharing evergreen content, such as blog posts or important webpages, that will continue to be relevant for an extended period.

With all these benefits, it's clear why Bitly links are such a valuable tool for anyone looking to share links effectively and track their impact online.

How do Bitly links work?

Bitly links are shortened URLs that are generated using the Bitly service. When a user enters a long URL into the Bitly website or API, it is compressed into a shorter link that is easier to share and remember. These shortened links have a unique identifier that is connected to the original URL, allowing Bitly to redirect users to the correct webpage.

Bitly links are designed to last indefinitely as long as the Bitly service remains active. However, the lifespan of a Bitly link can depend on various factors, such as the account type and usage. Bitly offers different account options, including free and paid plans, which may have different link expiration policies.

When a Bitly link is clicked, the user's web browser sends a request to the Bitly server, which then redirects the user to the original URL. This redirection happens seamlessly and quickly, allowing users to access the intended webpage without noticing the intermediate step.

Bitly also provides additional features and analytics for users who create shortened links. These features allow users to track the performance of their links, including the number of clicks, geographic location of users, and referral sources. This information can be valuable for marketers, social media managers, and anyone looking to measure the success of their online campaigns.

Key features of Bitly links:

1. Shortening: Bitly allows users to convert long URLs into shorter, more manageable links.

2. Customization: Bitly offers the option to customize the end of the shortened link with a relevant keyword or phrase.

3. Tracking: Users can track the performance and analytics of their Bitly links, including click-through rates and audience demographics.

4. Integration: Bitly can be integrated into other platforms and tools, making it easy to share shortened links across various channels.

Overall, Bitly links provide a convenient and efficient way to share URLs while also allowing users to monitor the success of their links. With their easy-to-use interface and advanced analytics, Bitly has become a popular choice for individuals and businesses looking to optimize their online presence.

How are Bitly links created?

Bitly is a URL shortening service that allows users to create shortened links for sharing on social media, emails, and other platforms. Bitly links are created using a simple process that involves the following steps:

Step 1: Copy the long URL

The first step in creating a Bitly link is to copy the long URL that you want to shorten. This can be any webpage or file that you want to share with others.

Step 2: Open Bitly's website

Next, open Bitly's website in your web browser. You can access Bitly by typing "" in the address bar and hitting enter.

Step 3: Paste the long URL

Once you're on Bitly's website, locate the text box labeled "Paste a link here" or similar. Right-click on the text box and select "Paste" to insert the long URL that you copied in Step 1.

Step 4: Shorten the link

After pasting the long URL, click on the "Shorten" or similar button provided by Bitly. This will generate a shortened Bitly link for your long URL.

That's it! You have now successfully created a Bitly link. This shortened link can be easily shared with others, and anyone who clicks on it will be redirected to the original long URL.

What does it mean when a Bitly link expires?

When a Bitly link expires, it means that the link is no longer functional or accessible. Bitly links typically have an expiration date set by the user or link creator. Once this expiration date is reached, the link will no longer be active and will return an error message when clicked.

Why do Bitly links expire?

There are several reasons why Bitly links may have an expiration date:

  1. Link management: Bitly provides link management services, allowing users to track the performance and analytics of their links. By setting an expiration date, users can better manage their links and ensure that outdated or irrelevant content is not being shared.
  2. Security: Expired links help to protect against potential security risks. By setting an expiration date, users can minimize the risk of malicious activities associated with their links.
  3. Content updates: In some cases, Bitly links are used to share time-sensitive content such as promotions, events, or limited-time offers. Setting an expiration date allows users to automatically redirect the link to updated content once the promotion or event has ended.

It's important to note that not all Bitly links have an expiration date. Some links may remain active indefinitely, depending on the preferences of the user or link creator. However, it is common practice to set an expiration date for better link management and security.

When using Bitly links, it's always recommended to check the expiration date if provided, and update or refresh the link if necessary to ensure continued accessibility and functionality.

How long do Bitly links last?

Bitly links have a varying lifespan, depending on several factors. Generally, Bitly links do not have an expiration date and can last indefinitely. However, there are certain circumstances that may affect the longevity of a Bitly link.

Firstly, if the account that created the Bitly link is deactivated or deleted, the link will also cease to exist. It is important to keep the account active if you want to maintain the link for an extended period.

Additionally, if Bitly implements any policy changes or discontinues its service, it may result in the removal or inaccessibility of the Bitly links. While this is unlikely to happen in the near future, it is always a possibility to consider.

Furthermore, if the original URL that the Bitly link redirects to is deleted or modified, the link may become broken or redirect to a different destination. Bitly links rely on the availability and stability of the target URL.

In summary, Bitly links can last indefinitely as long as the creator's account is active and the target URL remains accessible. However, it is important to be aware of any potential account deactivations, policy changes, or modifications to the target URL that can affect the lifespan of a Bitly link.

Disclaimer: The information provided here is accurate at the time of writing, but Bitly's policies and services may change over time. It is always recommended to refer to Bitly's official documentation for the most up-to-date information.

The default Bitly link expiration

When you create a Bitly link, the default expiration for the link is set to never. In other words, by default, Bitly links do not expire.

Bitly allows you to use their link shortening service without worrying about the expiration date. This means that once you create a Bitly link, it will continue to work indefinitely, unless you manually choose to expire it.

However, it's worth noting that Bitly does provide the option to set an expiration date for your links if you prefer. This can be useful if you want your links to only be active for a certain period of time, such as for a specific campaign or event.

Setting an expiration date for your Bitly links is easy. Simply navigate to the link settings in your Bitly account and choose the desired expiration date. Once the expiration date is reached, the link will no longer be active and anyone who clicks on it will be redirected to a page indicating that the link has expired.

Whether you choose to set an expiration date for your Bitly links or not, it's important to keep in mind that Bitly links can still be subject to other limitations, such as being flagged as spam or being blocked by certain platforms. So, while Bitly links may not have a default expiration date, it's always a good idea to regularly review and manage your links to ensure they are still functioning properly.

Can you set a different expiration date for a Bitly link?

When you use Bitly to create links, they typically have a default expiration date that is determined by the Bitly platform. These links usually last indefinitely unless you manually delete them from your account.

However, it is not currently possible to set a specific, different expiration date for a Bitly link through the regular Bitly interface. The default expiration date is typically set to never expire unless deleted.

Bitly does offer advanced features and customization options for enterprise users, which may include the ability to set custom expiration dates for links. If you have an enterprise account with Bitly, you should consult their support resources or reach out to their customer service team for more information on how to set specific expiration dates for your links.

In summary, while regular Bitly users cannot set a different expiration date for their links, enterprise users may have access to additional features that allow for more customization, including setting specific expiration dates.

What happens when a Bitly link expires?

When a Bitly link expires, it means that the link is no longer valid and will no longer redirect users to the intended destination. This can happen for various reasons, such as when the creator of the link decides to delete it or if the link reaches its expiration date set by the Bitly service.

When a Bitly link expires, clicking on it will typically result in an error message or a page saying that the link is no longer available. This can be frustrating for users who were expecting to access the content or website associated with the link.

Expired Bitly links are no longer tracked or monitored by the Bitly service. This means that any analytics or data associated with the link, such as click-through rates or traffic sources, will no longer be accessible. Additionally, any customizations or settings applied to the link, such as a custom shortened URL or password protection, will also be lost when the link expires.

Impact on users

For users who encounter an expired Bitly link, it can be disappointing or inconvenient. They may have been interested in the content or offer associated with the link but are now unable to access it.

It's important to note that the expiration of a Bitly link does not necessarily mean that the content or website it was pointing to has been deleted or is no longer available. It simply means that the link itself is no longer valid.

What to do if a Bitly link expires?

If you encounter an expired Bitly link, there are a few things you can try:

  • Contact the link creator: If you know who created the link, you can reach out to them and ask if they can provide you with an updated link or an alternative way to access the content.
  • Search for the content: If you have some information about the content or website the link was supposed to lead to, you can try conducting a search using keywords to see if you can find an alternative source.
  • Check for updated links: In some cases, the link creator may have updated the link or shared it elsewhere. You can try searching for the content or website on social media platforms or other websites to see if an updated link is available.

It's always a good idea to be cautious when encountering expired Bitly links, as they may have expired for a reason. Make sure to verify the source and legitimacy of any alternative links you come across.

Can Bitly links be restored after they expire?

Bitly links have a specific lifespan, and once they expire, they are no longer accessible. Unfortunately, there is no way to restore a Bitly link after it has expired. This is why it is important to keep track of the expiration date of your Bitly links and make sure to update them accordingly.

If a Bitly link has already expired, you will need to create a new link to replace it. You can do this by generating a new shortened link through Bitly's website or using their API. Remember to update any platforms or documents that contain the expired link to ensure that your audience can reach the intended destination.

To avoid the inconvenience of an expired Bitly link, it is recommended to regularly review and update your links. This way, you can ensure that your audience always has access to the relevant content or webpage. By staying vigilant and managing your Bitly links effectively, you can maintain a seamless and user-friendly experience for your audience.

How can I check the expiration date of a Bitly link?

Bitly is a popular link shortening service that allows you to create shortened URLs for sharing on social media and other platforms. These links can be used to track clicks, gather analytics data, and more. But how do you find out how long a Bitly link will last?

Bitly links typically do not have an expiration date set by default. However, if you have a Bitly account, you can customize the settings for each link you create, including setting an expiration date. This allows you to control how long the link will be active and accessible to users.

To check the expiration date of a Bitly link, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your Bitly account.
  2. Go to your Bitly link dashboard or the specific link you want to check.
  3. Click on the link settings or edit button for the specific link.
  4. In the settings or edit menu, look for the option to set an expiration date.
  5. If an expiration date has been set, it will be visible in the menu. Otherwise, it will show that no expiration date has been set.

By checking the link settings or edit menu for each specific Bitly link, you can easily see if an expiration date has been set and how long the link will last. This allows you to manage your links and ensure they remain active only for the desired timeframe.

It's important to note that if you do not have a Bitly account or do not have access to the link settings, you may not be able to check the expiration date of a Bitly link. In such cases, you can try reaching out to the person or organization that created the link for more information.

What are the alternatives to Bitly for link shortening?

While Bitly is a popular choice for link shortening, there are several other alternatives available. These alternatives offer similar features and functionality, allowing you to shorten links and track their performance efficiently.

1. TinyURL: Similar to Bitly, TinyURL allows you to create short and customizable links. It also offers tracking capabilities, allowing you to monitor the performance of your links.

2. is another popular link shortening service that provides analytics on link clicks, retweets, and shares. It is integrated with Hootsuite, a social media management platform.

3. Rebrandly: Rebrandly is a URL shortening and branding platform that allows you to create custom links with your own domain name. It offers advanced analytics and link management features.

4. Branch: Branch is a deep linking platform that not only shortens links but also allows you to create personalized experiences for users. It offers advanced attribution and analytics capabilities.

5. Google URL Shortener: Although Google discontinued its URL Shortener service, existing shortened links still work. However, it is no longer possible to create new shortened links using this service.

These alternatives provide a range of features and options for link shortening. Depending on your specific needs and requirements, you can choose the one that best suits your purposes.

Are there any limitations to using Bitly links?

When it comes to using Bitly links, there are a few limitations to be aware of:

Link Expiration

Bitly links do have an expiration date. By default, Bitly links are set to never expire. However, you have the option to set an expiration date for your links if you prefer. This can be useful if you want to create time-limited campaigns or restrict access to certain content.

Link Redirection

While Bitly redirects are generally reliable, there may be cases where the redirection does not work as expected. This can happen if the original destination URL is no longer valid or if there are issues with the Bitly service itself. It's always a good idea to periodically check your links to ensure they are still functioning correctly.

Another limitation to keep in mind is that Bitly links can only redirect to valid URLs. If you try to create a Bitly link with an invalid or non-existent URL, the link will not work.

User Limitations

Bitly has certain user limitations in place to prevent abuse of their service. These limitations can include restrictions on the number of links you can create, the number of clicks you can track, or other usage metrics. If you exceed these limits, you may need to upgrade to a paid plan or contact Bitly support for assistance.

Overall, Bitly provides a reliable and flexible platform for shortening and managing links. However, it's important to be aware of these limitations and stay within the guidelines to ensure the best possible experience.

How to improve the lifespan of Bitly links?

Bitly links are a great way to shorten and share long URLs, but they can sometimes have a limited lifespan. Here are some tips on how to improve the longevity of your Bitly links:

1 Choose a unique and descriptive link
2 Avoid using common words or phrases that may become outdated
3 Regularly check for broken links
4 Keep the destination URL active and accessible
5 Avoid making frequent changes to the destination URL

By following these tips, you can help ensure that your Bitly links stay active and accessible for as long as possible. Remember to periodically check the performance of your links and adjust as needed to optimize their lifespan.

What happens to Bitly links if the account is closed or deleted?

If a Bitly account is closed or deleted, the links created within that account will no longer be accessible. This means that any links associated with the account will no longer work and will result in a "404 error" when clicked on.

Bitly links rely on the infrastructure provided by the Bitly platform, so when an account is closed or deleted, the corresponding links go offline.

It is important to note that once an account is closed or deleted, there is no way to recover or reactivate the links associated with that account. Therefore, it is crucial to keep this in mind when managing your Bitly account and ensure that you don't accidentally delete or close it if you still want the links to be active.

What about the statistics and analytics?

When an account is closed or deleted, the statistics and analytics data associated with the links will also be lost. This means that any insights or data collected from those links will no longer be available.

Therefore, it is recommended to export any important statistics or analytics data before closing or deleting a Bitly account if you wish to retain that information for future reference.

How to customize the appearance of Bitly links?

Bitly is a popular link management platform that allows users to shorten and customize long URLs. While Bitly links are known for their shortened format, users also have the option to further customize the appearance of their links.

1. Add a custom domain

One way to customize the appearance of Bitly links is by adding a custom domain. This allows you to replace the default "" domain with a domain of your choice. By adding a custom domain, you can create links that reflect your brand or website. It also helps to establish trust and credibility among your audience.

2. Customize the link alias

In addition to customizing the domain, Bitly also allows users to customize the link alias. The link alias is the unique identifier that follows the domain name. Instead of using a random combination of letters and numbers, users can choose a more meaningful and memorable alias. This can be done by editing the link settings in the Bitly dashboard.

For example:

Instead of:

Customize to:

3. Use custom short URLs

Bitly also offers the option to create custom short URLs. These are unique, branded URLs that can be used to reinforce your brand identity. Custom short URLs can be easily recognized and associated with your brand, making your links more appealing and trustworthy to users.

When customizing the appearance of Bitly links, it's important to keep in mind that the primary goal is to create a link that is concise, meaningful, and reflective of your brand or website. By following these tips, you can create customized Bitly links that not only drive traffic but also enhance your brand visibility.

Remember, the customization options mentioned above are subject to Bitly's terms and conditions, so be sure to familiarize yourself with their guidelines before making any modifications.

How can businesses benefit from using Bitly links?

Businesses can greatly benefit from using Bitly links as they provide several advantages for marketing and tracking purposes. Here are some key benefits:

1. Enhanced Branding Bitly allows businesses to create custom branded links, which can help in enhancing their brand image and recognition. Instead of using long and complex URLs, businesses can create short and memorable links that represent their brand. This can help in increasing click-through rates and driving more traffic to their websites.
2. Increased Click-through Rates Bitly links are shorter and more visually appealing compared to long and complicated URLs. This can encourage users to click on these links, resulting in higher click-through rates. By using Bitly links in their marketing campaigns, businesses can improve the effectiveness of their promotional efforts and drive more traffic to their desired destinations.
3. Comprehensive Link Analytics Bitly provides businesses with detailed analytics and insights about their links' performance. Businesses can track the number of clicks, geographical location of the clickers, and other valuable metrics. These analytics can help businesses in understanding their audience better, optimizing their marketing strategies, and evaluating the success of their campaigns.
4. Easy Sharing and Tracking Bitly links are easy to share across various platforms, such as social media, emails, and SMS. Businesses can conveniently distribute these links to their target audience and track the engagement and response. The ability to track link clicks in real-time allows businesses to monitor the effectiveness of their campaigns and make necessary adjustments to improve results.
5. Increased Conversion Rates By using Bitly links, businesses can optimize their marketing funnel and improve conversion rates. The ability to track link clicks and analyze the user behavior can help businesses identify and address any bottlenecks or barriers in the conversion process. This can lead to better user experience, increased customer engagement, and ultimately higher conversion rates.

In conclusion, the use of Bitly links can provide numerous benefits for businesses, including enhanced branding, increased click-through rates, comprehensive link analytics, easy sharing and tracking, and increased conversion rates. By leveraging these advantages, businesses can optimize their marketing efforts, improve their online presence, and drive more traffic and conversions.


How long do Bitly links last?

Bitly links have no expiration date by default, so they will last indefinitely.

Can I set an expiration date for my Bitly links?

No, Bitly does not currently offer the feature to set an expiration date for links.

What happens if I delete a Bitly link?

If you delete a Bitly link, it will no longer be accessible or redirect to the original URL.

Is there a limit to the number of clicks a Bitly link can receive?

No, there is no limit to the number of clicks a Bitly link can receive. It can continue to be clicked and tracked indefinitely.

Can Bitly links be used for short-term campaigns?

Yes, Bitly links can be used for short-term campaigns by simply stopping the promotion of the link or deleting it once the campaign is over.

How long do Bitly links stay active?

Bitly links have no expiration date, so they stay active indefinitely.

Is there a time limit for how long a Bitly link will work?

No, there is no time limit for how long a Bitly link will work. It will remain active as long as the account that created it is active.