How to Turn Off SEF in Joomla!


Joomla! URLs contain a mix of special characters and words that relate directly to how the content manager finds information in the database and displays it on Web pages. Joomla! includes a way to convert URLs into search engine-friendly and user-friendly URLs. The settings for SEF URLs are found in the global configuration under site management. Some extensions also provide SEF URLs but can add considerable overhead to the site, which can in turn slow page delivery. Turning off SEF URLs should be considered carefully since it will affect search engine ranking.

Removing or Disabling SEF Extensions

  • Log on as administrator to the Joomla! back-end. The URL for the administrator back-end is:


  • Move the mouse pointer over the "Extensions" menu, and then select "Install/Uninstall" from the menu. After the "Extension Manager" loads, select "Components" from the horizontal menu along the top of the page.

  • Find the SEF component you are using, and click the radio button to its left. Click on the "Uninstall" icon from the "Extension Manager" menu. The "Extension Manager" will uninstall the SEF component. You must complete the uninstall by modifying the Global Configuration.

Modifying the Global Configuration

  • Point the mouse at the "Site" menu, and then click on "Global Configuration" in the menu. The global configuration panel will load. The "Site" configuration should be the default selection.

  • Click on the "No" radio buttons next to the settings in the SEO section on the right side of the panel. There are three settings to modify, although it is possible that only one will be turned on. Turn off "Search Engine Friendly URLs," "Use Apache Mod_Rewrite" and "Add Suffix to URLs."

  • Click the "Save" icon in the "Global Configuration" menu. The new settings will be saved, and SEF URLs are turned off.

  • Point the mouse at the "Site" menu. Select "Control Panel" to exit the "Global Configuration" settings.

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