How to remove /public from Laravel URL? [SOLVED]

Written By - Steve Alila

Different methods to remove /public from Laravel URL

By default, Laravel URLs include the "/public" segment, making them longer and less visually appealing. Fortunately, it is possible to remove /public from Laravel URLs, resulting in cleaner and more user-friendly URLs.

Here's a list of different methods to remove the /public segment from a Laravel application's URL, each with a one-liner description:

  1. Apache Virtual Host Method: Configure Apache's Virtual Host to point directly to Laravel's public directory for a secure and industry-standard approach.
  2. .htaccess Method: Move all files from Laravel's public directory to the root and edit the .htaccess file to route through index.php, which can be quick for development but is not recommended for production. Alternatively A=add specific rewrite rules in the .htaccess file to automatically forward requests to the public directory, offering a quick but less secure solution.
  3. Nginx Configuration Method: Edit Nginx's configuration file to set the web root to Laravel's public directory, providing a high-performance and secure solution suitable for production environments.
  4. Symbolic Link Method: Create a symbolic link that points to the public directory, useful in shared hosting environments where you have limited control over server configuration.
  5. Middleware Method: Implement a custom Laravel middleware to rewrite URLs, offering a programmatic but less conventional approach.
  6. Cloud Hosting & Containers: When deploying on cloud platforms or using containers like Docker, set the web root directly through configuration files or settings, aligning with cloud-native best practices.

In this blog post, we will explore the step-by-step process of removing "/public/" from a Laravel URL and discuss the benefits it brings to your application. Let's dive right in!


Method 1: Using Apache’s Virtual Host

Before we dive into the step-by-step guide, let's understand what Apache Virtual Host is. Apache's Virtual Host feature allows you to host multiple websites on a single server. This feature is crucial when you want to remove public from URL in a Laravel project. With the proper Virtual Host setup, you can point your domain directly to the Laravel project's public directory, thereby removing the /public segment from the URL.

Here, we will look at the detailed steps to effectively remove public from URL in a Laravel application using Apache's Virtual Host.

1. Editing the Apache Configuration

Open a terminal and type the following command to edit the Apache configuration file. This file is often located at /etc/apache2/sites-available/000-default.conf on Linux systems.

sudo nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/your_project.conf

If you are creating a new configuration file, make sure to enable it later.


2. Updating the Document Root

Find the DocumentRoot directive and update it to point to the public directory of your Laravel project. The updated Virtual Host file should look something like this:

<VirtualHost *:80>
    ServerName your_domain_or_ip
    DocumentRoot /path/to/laravel-project/public

    <Directory /path/to/laravel-project/public>
        AllowOverride All
        Require all granted

3. Enabling Site and Rewrite Module

After editing the configuration file, you'll need to enable your site and the Apache rewrite module if it's not already enabled. The rewrite module is crucial to remove public from URL in Laravel.

sudo a2ensite your_project.conf
sudo a2enmod rewrite

4. Restarting Apache

For the changes to take effect, you'll need to restart Apache.

sudo systemctl restart apache2

And voila! You've successfully managed to remove public from URL in your Laravel application using Apache's Virtual Host.


Method 2: Using .htaccess

The .htaccess (Hypertext Access) file is a configuration file used by Apache web servers to control the directory in which it resides and its subdirectories. It can be used for various purposes like URL redirection, URL shortening, and more. In the context of Laravel, the .htaccess file is commonly used to remove public from URL, especially when you don't have access to edit Apache or Nginx server configurations.

Below are the steps to remove public from URL using the .htaccess file method:

Moving Files

Backup your Laravel project: Before you proceed, make sure to back up your entire Laravel project to avoid accidental data loss.

Move Files: Move all the files and folders from the public directory to the root directory of your Laravel application. This includes index.php, .htaccess, and other assets like CSS, JS, and images.

Editing .htaccess

Create/Edit .htaccess in Root: If there isn't an .htaccess file in the root directory of your Laravel project, create one. If there is, edit it.

Method-1: Move all files from /public to / (root) directory

Update .htaccess File: Add the following lines to your .htaccess file:

<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
    <IfModule mod_negotiation.c>
        Options -MultiViews -Indexes

    RewriteEngine On

    # Redirect Trailing Slashes...
    RewriteRule ^(.*)/$ /$1 [L,R=301]

    # Handle Front Controller...
    RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
    RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
    RewriteRule ^ index.php [L]

Explanation of the Rules

  • <IfModule mod_rewrite.c>: Checks if the Apache module mod_rewrite is enabled. The directives inside this block are only processed if this module is active.
  • <IfModule mod_negotiation.c>: Checks if the Apache module mod_negotiation is enabled. The directives inside this block are only processed if this module is active.
  • Options -MultiViews -Indexes: Disables content negotiation and directory listing. This is a security measure to prevent unwanted listing of files and directories.
  • RewriteEngine On: Enables the rewrite engine so that URL rewriting can be performed based on the following rules.
  • RewriteRule ^(.*)/$ /$1 [L,R=301]: This rule removes trailing slashes from URLs, which can help with SEO. The [L,R=301] flags indicate that this is the "last" rule that should be processed and a permanent (301) redirection should be issued.
  • RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d: Checks that the request is not for a directory. The !-d means "not a directory".
  • RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f: Checks that the request is not for a file. The !-f means "not a file".
  • RewriteRule ^ index.php [L]: If conditions 6 and 7 are met (the request is neither for a directory nor for a file), this rule rewrites the request to index.php. The [L] flag indicates that this is the last rule that should be processed if the conditions are met.

The combination of these rules allows the Apache server to route all web traffic through Laravel's front controller (index.php), and this, in turn, allows you to remove the /public from the URL.


  • Easy to implement, especially when you don't have access to server configuration.
  • Quick fix for development environments.


  • Not recommended for production due to security risks.
  • You might run into permission issues.
  • Not an industry-standard way of handling URL restructuring.

Method-2: Forward requests to /public URL

<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !^/public/
    RewriteRule ^(.*)$ /public/$1 [L,QSA]

The code snippet checks if mod_rewrite is enabled, and if so, it enables the rewriting engine. It then checks if the requested URL does not already contain "/public/". If the condition is met, the rule rewrites the URL to include the "/public/" segment. This allows the Laravel application to be accessed without explicitly typing "/public/" in the URL while preserving the original requested path.

Here is what each line does:

  • <IfModule mod_rewrite.c>: This directive checks if the mod_rewrite module is installed and enabled in the Apache server. It ensures that the subsequent code is only executed if the module is available.
  • RewriteEngine On: This directive enables the URL rewriting engine, allowing for the manipulation of URLs based on specified rules.
  • RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !^/public/: This line specifies a rewrite condition using the %{REQUEST_URI} server variable. It checks if the requested URL does not already start with "/public/". This condition prevents an infinite loop by excluding URLs that already have the "/public/" segment.
  • RewriteRule ^(.*)$ /public/$1 [L,QSA]: This line defines the actual rewrite rule. It captures the entire requested URL pattern (using the regular expression ^(.*)$) and rewrites it to prepend "/public/" to the URL. The [L,QSA] flags are used to specify that this is the last rule to be processed and to append any query strings (QSA stands for "query string append").
  • </IfModule>: This closing directive marks the end of the conditional block and ensures that the code inside it is only executed if the mod_rewrite module is available.

Why This Method is Not Recommended for Production

While this method to remove public from URL might seem convenient, it's generally not recommended for production environments for several reasons:

  • Security Risks: By moving files to the root directory, you're potentially exposing sensitive configuration files and code to the public.
  • Maintainability: Future Laravel or package updates may require additional or different files in the public directory, making this approach hard to maintain.
  • Performance: Extra .htaccess file checks and rewrites could lead to slower server response times.


Method 3: Using Nginx

Nginx (pronounced as "Engine-X") is a high-performance web server, reverse proxy, and load balancer. It is increasingly popular due to its lightweight structure and ability to handle large amounts of traffic. In the context of Laravel, Nginx can also be configured to remove public from URL, directing HTTP requests directly to the public directory and making your application URL cleaner and more accessible.

Here is a comprehensive guide on how to remove public from URL when using Nginx as your web server:

1. Editing Nginx Configuration

Open Nginx Configuration: Use the terminal to open your Nginx configuration file. This could be located at /etc/nginx/sites-available/default, /etc/nginx/nginx.conf, or a custom file you've created under sites-available.

sudo nano /etc/nginx/sites-available/your_project

2. Updating Configuration

Modify Server Block: In the configuration file, look for the server block and update it as follows:

server {
    listen 80;
    server_name your_domain_or_ip;

    root /path/to/laravel-project/public;

    location / {
        try_files $uri $uri/ /index.php?$query_string;

    location ~ \.php$ {
        include snippets/fastcgi-php.conf;
        fastcgi_pass unix:/var/run/php/php7.4-fpm.sock;

Here, the root directive is updated to point directly to the Laravel project's public directory, allowing us to remove public from URL.

3. Testing and Restarting Nginx

Test Configuration: Always test your configuration file for syntax errors before restarting the service.

sudo nginx -t

Restart Nginx: If the test is successful, restart Nginx to apply the changes.

sudo systemctl restart nginx


  • High performance and resource-efficient, especially for high-traffic sites.
  • More control over web server behavior.
  • Considered best practice for production environments.


  • Slightly more complex configuration compared to Apache.
  • Might require more initial setup like installing PHP-FPM separately.


Laravel Application Configuration Impacts

Most of the methods mentioned primarily focus on server configuration and generally shouldn't require changes to the Laravel application itself. However, here are a few Laravel-specific points you might consider when removing /public from the URL

  • Environment Configuration: If you're using hardcoded URLs in your .env file, you may need to update them after removing /public from the URL.
  • Asset & URL Helpers: If you're using Laravel helpers like url(), asset(), or route() to generate URLs, they should automatically work correctly after you've changed your server configuration, as these helpers generate URLs based on the application's configured base URL.
  • Web Server Configuration: Both the Apache and Nginx methods may require you to specify the public directory in the web server configuration, but no Laravel-specific changes should be needed.
  • Testing: After applying any method, thoroughly test your application to make sure routes, assets, and AJAX requests are working as expected.
  • Cache & Optimization: Run commands like php artisan config:cache and php artisan route:cache to clear and cache the configuration and routes, respectively, especially if you notice any discrepancies post-change.
  • Deployment Scripts: If you use automated deployment, scripts may need to be updated to account for path changes.

If you have hard-coded URLs or paths within your application logic or configuration, you would need to update those accordingly. In some non-standard setups, you might see the 'url' => env('APP_URL', 'http://localhost') configuration in app.php. If you had previously included /public in this URL, then you'd need to update it.

To be on the safe side, always clear your configuration cache after making changes to any .env or configuration files using the following command:

php artisan config:clear


Common Pitfalls & Troubleshooting

Permission Issues

  1. Ownership: Ensure the web server user (often www-data for Apache and Nginx) has the appropriate permissions to read and execute files in the Laravel directory.
  2. File Permissions: Incorrect file permissions could lead to 403 Forbidden errors. Usually, directories should be 755 and files should be 644.

Configuration Mistakes

  • Incorrect Document Root: Ensure the web server's document root is correctly pointed to the public directory in case of Virtual Host or Nginx configurations.
  • Syntax Errors in .htaccess or Nginx Config: A small typo could cause the server to not recognize your new configuration, leading to errors. Check logs for clues.
  • Cache: Web server or Laravel configuration cache could make it seem like changes aren't taking effect. Make sure to clear cache after making changes.

Debugging Steps

  • Check Logs: Both web server logs and Laravel logs (storage/logs) can offer hints on what might be wrong.
  • Config Test: For Apache, use apachectl configtest to test the configuration syntax. For Nginx, use nginx -t.
  • Web Server Restart: Don't forget to restart your web server after making changes to its configuration files.
  • Use Developer Tools: Network tabs in browsers can show you the exact request and response, which can help debug issues.

Frequently Encountered Errors

  • 403 Forbidden: Usually indicates a permissions issue or incorrect directory settings in web server configurations.
  • 404 Not Found: Indicates that the requested resource could not be found on the server, possibly due to incorrect rewrite rules or document root.
  • 500 Internal Server Error: Often caused by syntax errors in .htaccess or Nginx configuration files, or incorrect file permissions.
  • 502 Bad Gateway: For Nginx users, this usually indicates that Nginx couldn't communicate with your PHP-FPM server, possibly due to incorrect settings in your Nginx configuration.



Removing the /public segment from your Laravel application's URL is more than just an aesthetic choice; it's about streamlining user interactions and enhancing security measures. Several methods are available to accomplish this task, each with its pros and cons. Whether you're working in a development or production environment, it's vital to choose the method that aligns best with your requirements.

  • Apache Virtual Host Method: The most secure and recommended way to remove public from URL in a production setting.
  • .htaccess Methods: Quick fixes that can effectively remove public from URL but come with security concerns, especially for production environments.
  • Nginx Configuration: A high-performance and secure way to remove public from URL, especially suited for production.
  • Troubleshooting: Regardless of the method you choose to remove public from URL, be prepared to handle common pitfalls like permission issues and configuration mistakes.


Additional Resources

  1. Laravel Official Documentation: The most reliable source for best practices to remove public from URL.
  2. Apache and .htaccess: Detailed guides on how to remove public from URL using Apache configurations.
  3. Nginx Configuration: Official Nginx documentation provides robust methods to remove public from URL.


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