Set up an HTTP-to-HTTPS redirect for global external Application Load Balancers

This page shows you how to set up an HTTP-to-HTTPS redirect for the global external Application Load Balancer. This page is for a global external Application Load Balancer only. If you use a load balancer in a different mode, see one of the following pages:

This example shows how to use URL map redirects to redirect all requests from HTTP to HTTPS. This example shows how you set up redirects by using the well-known ports 80 (for HTTP) and 443 (for HTTPS). However, you're not required to use these specific port numbers. Each forwarding rule for an Application Load Balancer can reference a single port from 1-65535.

HTTPS uses TLS (SSL) to encrypt HTTP requests and responses, making it safer and more secure. A website that uses HTTPS has https:// in the beginning of its URL instead of http://.

For new HTTPS Application Load Balancers

If you're creating a new HTTPS Application Load Balancer, you can use the Google Cloud console to set up an HTTP-to-HTTPS redirect.

While creating the load balancer's frontend, use the following steps:

  1. In the Google Cloud console, go to the load balancer's configuration page.

    Go to Load balancing (Create global external Application Load Balancer)

  2. For Load balancer name, enter a name.
  3. Click Frontend configuration.
  4. For Protocol, select HTTPS (includes HTTP/2).
  5. For IP address, click Create IP address. Enter a name for the new static IP address and click Reserve.
  6. For Certificate, select an SSL certificate.
  7. To create the redirect, select the Enable HTTP to HTTPS Redirect checkbox.
  8. Click Done.
  9. Complete the backend and other required configurations.
  10. Click Create.

You must select the HTTPS protocol and use a reserved IP address (not ephemeral) to be able to select the checkbox.

HTTP-to-HTTPS redirect checkbox in the Google Cloud console.
Figure 1. HTTP-to-HTTPS redirect checkbox in the Google Cloud console (click to enlarge).

Depending on your backend type, use the Google Cloud console instructions from one of the following guides to complete this setup:

Setting the Enable HTTP to HTTPS Redirect checkbox automatically creates an additional partial HTTP load balancer consisting of a URL map, a forwarding rule, and a target HTTP proxy. This partial HTTP load balancer uses the same IP address as your HTTPS load balancer and redirects HTTP requests to your load balancer's HTTPS frontend. It uses 301 Moved Permanently as the default redirect response code.

After the HTTPS load balancer is created, you can see the partial HTTP load balancer in the list of load balancers, with a -redirect suffix. Test your setup by using the steps in Testing the HTTP-to-HTTPS redirect.

For existing load balancers

If you already have an HTTPS Application Load Balancer (called here LB1) that is serving HTTPS traffic on port 443, you must create a partial HTTP Application Load Balancer (called here LB2) with the following setup:

  • The same frontend IP address used by LB1
  • A redirect configured in the URL map

This partial HTTP load balancer uses the same IP address as your HTTPS load balancer and redirects HTTP requests to your load balancer's HTTPS frontend.

This architecture is shown in the following diagram.

HTTP-to-HTTPS redirect configuration architecture.
Figure 2. HTTP-to-HTTPS redirect configuration architecture (click to enlarge).

Redirecting traffic to your HTTPS load balancer

After you have verified that your HTTPS load balancer (LB1) is working, you can create the partial HTTP load balancer (LB2) with its frontend configured to redirect traffic to LB1.

This example uses the 301 response code. You can instead use a different response code.

To configure the redirect with gcloud, you must import a YAML file and make sure that your target HTTP proxy points to the URL map that redirects traffic. If you're using the Google Cloud console, this is handled for you.

Regional external Application Load Balancers aren't supported in the Google Cloud console.


  1. Create a YAML file /tmp/web-map-http.yaml. This example uses MOVED_PERMANENTLY_DEFAULT as the response code.
  2.        kind: compute#urlMap
           name: web-map-http
             redirectResponseCode: MOVED_PERMANENTLY_DEFAULT
             httpsRedirect: True
           - description: Test with no query parameters
             path: /test/
             expectedRedirectResponseCode: 301
           - description: Test with query parameters
             path: /test/?parameter1=value1&parameter2=value2
             expectedRedirectResponseCode: 301
  3. Validate the URL map.
  4.        gcloud compute url-maps validate --source /tmp/web-map-http.yaml

    If the tests pass and the command outputs a success message, save the changes to the URL map.

  5. Create the HTTP load balancer's URL map by importing the YAML file. The name for this URL map is web-map-http.
  6.        gcloud compute url-maps import web-map-http \
               --source /tmp/web-map-http.yaml \

    If you are updating an existing URL map, the following prompt appears:

           Url Map [web-map-http] will be overwritten.
           Do you want to continue (Y/n)?

    To continue, press Y.

  7. Verify that the URL map is updated. Your HTTP load balancer's URL map should look something like this:
  8.        gcloud compute url-maps describe web-map-http
           creationTimestamp: '2020-03-23T10:53:44.976-07:00'
             httpsRedirect: true
             redirectResponseCode: MOVED_PERMANENTLY_DEFAULT
           fingerprint: 3A5N_RLrED8=
           id: '2020316695093397831'
           kind: compute#urlMap
           name: web-map-http
  9. Create a new target HTTP proxy or update an existing target HTTP proxy, using web-map-http as the URL map.
  10.        gcloud compute target-http-proxies create http-lb-proxy \
               --url-map=web-map-http \
            gcloud compute target-http-proxies update http-lb-proxy \
               --url-map=web-map-http \
  11. Create a forwarding rule to route incoming requests to the proxy. The --address flag specifies lb-ipv4-1, which is the same IP address used for the external HTTPS load balancer.
  12.        gcloud compute forwarding-rules create http-content-rule \
               --load-balancing-scheme=EXTERNAL_MANAGED \
               --address=lb-ipv4-1 \
               --network-tier=PREMIUM \
               --global \
               --target-http-proxy=http-lb-proxy \

Add a custom HSTS header

When you add the HTTP Strict-Transport-Security header to your HTTPS load balancer's backend service, the load balancer sends the custom header to the client so that the next time the client tries to access the URL through HTTP, the browser redirects the request. The header settings are as follows:

  • Header name: Strict-Transport-Security
  • Header value: max-age=31536000; includeSubDomains; preload

To add the custom header to the backend service configuration, use the --custom-response-header flag.

gcloud compute backend-services update BACKEND_SERVICE_NAME_LB1 \
    --global \
    --custom-response-header='Strict-Transport-Security:max-age=31536000; includeSubDomains; preload'

For more information, see Creating custom headers.

Testing the HTTP-to-HTTPS redirect

Note the reserved IP address that you are using for both load balancers.

gcloud compute addresses describe lb-ipv4-1 

In this example, assume that the reserved IP address is The URL redirects to

After a few minutes have passed, you can test this by running the following curl command.

curl -v

Sample output:

* Connected to ( port 80 (#0)
> GET / HTTP/1.1
> Host:
> User-Agent: curl/7.64.0
> Accept: */*
< HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently
< Cache-Control: private
< Content-Type: text/html; charset=UTF-8
< Referrer-Policy: no-referrer
< Location:
< Content-Length: 220
< Date: Fri, 30 Jul 2021 21:32:25 GMT
<HTML><HEAD><meta http-equiv="content-type" content="text/html;charset=utf-8">
<H1>301 Moved</H1>
The document has moved
<A HREF="">here</A>.
* Connection #0 to host left intact

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