Angular 6 Url Parameters

How to retrieve parameters from the URL and query string in Angular

It’s come to my attention that some people are confused about routing in Angular. Specifically, there’s some confusion around retrieving parameters from the URL and query string. It’s a fairly simple task but it might help to work through an example together. Luckily for you, I created a StackBlitz that helps to explain the differences between using the snapshot and subscription. Let’s take a look at it.


For our purposes, let’s focus on route parameters. We are going to create the route . With this route, we can navigate to or to retrieve either or from the parameter.

The colon is the giveaway. That’s what makes the second part of the URL a parameter.

Accessing the URL

Angular provides us with the object. We can access the URL through this object, but first, you have to inject it into your component. Inject it like any other service:

Accessing URL Parameters

There are two generally accepted ways to access URL parameters. One is through and the other is through . The main difference between the two is that the subscription will continue to update as the parameter changes for that specific route. This is easier to show than explain, so make sure to play with the StackBlitz example.


Using the snapshot is, as the name suggests, a one-time event. A typical use case is to get the parameter when the component loads. Read the code explicitly; when I load the component I will get the URL parameter.

This strategy will not work if the parameter changes within the same component. More explicitly, changing from to will not destroy and initialize the , so the method doesn’t get called a second time.


Using the subscription is the same as any other subscription. If there is a change then the observable’s value will get pushed to the callback function. If this is unclear then do some homework and read up on RxJS. I’ve also written about it. This strategy is only useful if the URL parameter(s) are changing within the current route.

This strategy might be overkill but it’s definitely the safest strategy if you’re still confused.

Also, there’s no need to unsubscribe from the . The dies with the routed component and so the subscription dies with it.

Accessing Query Parameters

Accessing query string parameters is similar to accessing URL parameters. It’s just a different property on the object; . So all the same principles apply, but make sure to use the right property.

Advanced — Using switchMap

During my research, I found an Angular example that piped the parameters through a . What is a ? Long answer: I don’t know. Short answer: It basically cancels a request as a new one comes in.

For example, if I subscribe to the and I start spamming changes to the route parameters, will cancel any pending requests and pick up the new request. This is overkill in most cases but it could be useful.

WAIT! The code above doesn’t reflect the Angular example. I’m overlooking their HTTP request within the . Let’s dive a little deeper with the example below.

In the example above, I’m making an HTTP request within the subscription. I hope we all know that HTTP requests are relatively expensive. If I’m spamming parameter changes, I will want to cancel any previous requests. In this case, using will do just that and therefore improve performance.


All-in-all, getting parameters from the URL is pretty simple. Use the snapshot for a one-time grab or a subscription if the parameters can change within the same component/route. If you make an HTTP request within the subscription then use to cancel any unnecessary pending request.

Please leave a comment or suggestion if you find any errors or just want to say hi. :)

Better Programming

Advice for programmers.

Christopher Jeffery

Written by

Software Engineer

Better Programming

Advice for programmers.

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