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See also: Wikipedia:Redirect

A redirect is a page that automatically redirects the reader's browser to a specified target page. Redirects are used to help users locate information and keep wikis organized, so that multiple names, abbreviations, misspellings, or related topics can all point to the same page.

A redirect is created by the text

#REDIRECT [[name of the target page]]

As an example, if the page "Foo" starts with the line #REDIRECT [[Bar]], then the persons who visit the page "Foo" will be shown the page "Bar" with a note that they were redirected from "Foo". The page "Bar" does not need anything in it to be the target of the redirection.

Any text thereafter is ignored and is rendered only in a diff.


If the redirect target is an existing page in the same project, going to the redirect page by means of a link, the URL, or the Go button, results in the redirect target page, just like following the link. However, the browser shows the URL of the redirect page, and the target page shows a small notice after the top title to indicate you arrived here indirectly.

For example, if somebody goes to Help:Redirection, then they will end up at this page instead, and the beginning of the page will look like:


From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki

(Redirected from Help:Redirection)

To get the canonical URL of the target page in your browser's address bar, click the article tab.

If the redirect target is a non-existing page in the same project, or to a page in another project, one simply arrives at the redirect page.

When a page called for inclusion is a redirect page, the redirect target is included instead, with the same parameters, without any redirect message. A double redirect does not work (see further).


On visiting any page on a simple chain of redirects, the browser is redirected to the final destination. If the chain forms a loop, the browser is brought to its predecessor and the redirect loop is displayed. See, e.g., Redirect 1 → Redirect 2 → Redirect 3 → Redirect 1.

A redirect target cannot depend on a variable, template, or parser function. If that is the case, the browser will not be automatically redirected on visiting the page. See, e.g., /expr.

A code like %70 in a redirect disables it, although the link works from the redirect page.

Some projects have policies on what redirects should exist. For example, on the English Wiktionary, most redirects are prohibited by policy.

Purposes of a redirectEdit

  • Allow access in the case that a page name is provided:
    • which is an alternative name for the subject
    • which is a name for a subtopic (in this case one may use a redirect to a section)
    • which uses alternative capitalization and hyphenation
    • which uses alternative spelling
    • which has a common misspelling
  • Provide a way of conveniently going to a page (shortcut).
  • Keep links to a page active after it has been moved (even if internal links are updated, this still applies for links from outside; also for links in edit summaries).

Special purposesEdit

  • Conveniently linking indirectly to a page, without the need for a Piped link. However, a piped link is in some respects even better than relying on a redirect, see Comparison with piped link.
  • Allowing a link title independent of the final link target; one creates a page whose name is the desired link title, and which redirects to the desired target page. See e.g. w:Template:Ft, containing [[30.48 cm|ft]], with the page w:30.48 cm redirecting to w:Foot (unit of length). The link title "30.48 cm" informs in the hover box about the unit "ft" even without following the link to the article about this unit. See also Help:Advanced_editing for another technique with a similar result.

When creating new redirects, bear in mind that creating too many redirects can clutter up the search results page, which can hinder users. Also, don't spend too much time creating redirects — often it's more important to spend time improving the quality of the target page. A piped link is another way to make a link to a page with a name which does not occur in the first page.

Creating a redirectEdit

If you are creating a new redirect, start a new page, write #REDIRECT [[page name]] (or #redirect [[page name]]) at the beginning of the page, where page name is the name of the target page. Here is an example. If you are replacing an existing page with a redirect, for example after merging a duplicate page, go to the page, edit it, and replace the existing text with #REDIRECT [[page name]].

The page will not redirect if there is anything on the page before the redirect. Also, there must be no spaces between the # and the REDIRECT.

Extra text after the #REDIRECT command and link is ignored. It is rendered only in a diff, see [1], [2], and [3]. Category tags are not ignored. If a category is set, the redirect-page is listed in the category it belongs to. When following the link from the category page to the redirect page then as usual the redirect is applied.

An edit summary is automatically provided, as displayed at MediaWiki:Autoredircomment, but only if no edit summary is supplied (as opposed to the automatic edit summary in section editing, which can be supplemented by the user).

Rendering of the redirect pageEdit

After you save the redirect page, you get sent to a page with the string "&redirect=no" in the URL. Thus the just created redirect page is shown, not the page to which it redirects. The redirect page should look something like:


From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki

Redirect page

Redirectltr.png Help:Redirect

After the page title, the content of MediaWiki:Redirectpagesub (by default the text "Redirect page"), a bent arrow, and the link to the redirect target is rendered. This link shows the canonical form of the target. As mentioned previously, the text after the link to the redirect target is ignored, except for category tags.

To see your redirect working, use your address bar to delete that part of the URL. Alternatively, create a link on another page to your redirect, and then follow that link.

Changing a redirectEdit

When changing a redirect target to a different page, or turn a redirect page into a regular page, you must go to the redirect page. To do so, click on a link to the redirect page. Then look for the link to the redirect page at the top of the page you've been redirected to; e.g.

(Redirected from Help:Redirection)

Once you get to the redirect page, click Edit this page. You can then either change the target of the redirect, replace the redirect with a brand new page or revert to an earlier version of the article, before it became a redirect.

Another way to get to the redirect page: Go to the target page, and click "What links here". This will show you all the back-links from that page, including redirects. To change a redirect, click on it, and then click on Edit this page as previously.

Broken redirectsEdit

A broken redirect is a redirect whose target page does not exist. This type of redirect does not function and redirection will not occur. Broken redirects are logged at Special:BrokenRedirects.

On many wikis administrators simply delete them, but it is sometimes useful to keep a broken redirect and wait for the creation of the target, or to set a new target. For an example, see Help:Redirect/Broken redirect.

Template redirectsEdit

Calls to a template that redirects to another template will result in the transclusion and function of the target template. Double redirects and broken redirects do not work as usual. See also the help page on templates.

For example, we have the chain /double redirect → /single redirect → /Target. The template call {{/double redirect}} is rendered as:

  1. REDIRECT Help:redirect/Target

Moving a pageEdit

When a page is moved, a redirect from the old to the new pagename is automatically created.

If the new pagename is occupied by a redirect that has only one edit in its history and targeted to the old page name, it is replaced by the page being moved. If the redirect has more than one history entry, or the redirect target is somewhere else, then it can only be deleted-and-moved by an administrator.

Redirect to special targetsEdit

Interwiki redirects and redirects to special pagesEdit

Interwiki redirects and redirects to special pages have been disabled, try e.g. Help:Interwiki redirect demo and Help:Redirect to special page demo.

Use direct interwiki links (or direct links to Special pages) without redirect, or a soft redirect (non-automatic).

A redirect to an anchorEdit

One may redirect to an anchor, in particular a section. Help:Section linking and redirects is an example and its target also provides more info. (It does not work for every environment.)

One method is the following syntax: #REDIRECT [[target_page#section_title]]

Section redirects are supposed to work from r18220 onwards. See bugzilla:218. If it does not work, you will be redirected to the correct page but you will not be sent to the intended section.

A redirect to a page in the image or category namespaceEdit

On Meta and Wikipedia a redirect to an image page or to a category shows the editable text only. To get the full page after being redirected, use the link "Image", or "Category", respectively.

On Commons a redirect to a category gives the full page, but not the subcategories and pages in the redirect page (if that is also a category).

To prevent a page that redirects to a category from appearing in the category; precede the word Category with a colon like so :

#REDIRECT [[:Category:Glossary]]

A redirect from a category page to another category pageEdit

As with normal pages, (on Meta -- Others not tested.) a category page itself can be redirected to another category page. This is useful when many different article pages have been assigned to variations or aliases of the same "proper" category, even if only as a temporary fix until all are unified. For example, pages assigned to UNorg, United Nations, and UnitedNations would all obviously refer to the one proper category:United Nations so each would be redirected there as above. In addition, to help manage the list of such alias-redirects, they can all be assigned to one common subcategory under the proper category.

For a live example, aliases category:$1x and category:$1y redirect to proper category:$1 while sub-category:$1r of $1 holds the alias list. -- Note: Editors please make $1y and then rename all these pages with clearer names - TY!

Images linking to a specific pageEdit

There are ways to make an image link to a specified page, some which work especially well on Mediawiki sites that support embedding external images. For possibilities see Help:Navigational image.

CSS classEdit

With the new preprocessor an internal link to a redirect page has CSS class "mw-redirect". This can be useful to make them stand out, for clean-up work involving bypassing redirects.

Redirect and/or link to non-existing pageEdit

When B is a subtopic of A, and B does not have its own page, or at least not with additional info, there are the following possibilities:

  1. Redirect B to A, use the backlink to go from A to B (disadvantage: not very inviting to create a new content page B; inconvenient if A has many backlinks).
  2. Link A to B ("red link") as invitation or preparation for creating page B; use the backlink to go from B to A (disadvantage: not obvious for newbie, much less convenient than automatic redirect, especially if B has many backlinks).
  3. Both (indirect self-link on A). To go from A to B, click the link from A to B, which brings you back to A, and use the link in the redirect message (for detecting a redirect see hereinbefore; however, there is no distinction between a redirect back, and an onward redirect) (disadvantage, as far as not yet mentioned: not obvious for newbie).
  4. Ditto but with a soft redirect from B to A, i.e. a page only containing something like "See [[A]]"; one can see at A that B is very short using the stub feature (disadvantages: a soft redirect is non-standard; people who do not know about its reason may change it in a regular redirect; is a little less convenient than automatic redirect; requires stub feature setting)
  5. B is a redirect, link from A to B with "redirect=no", or link to B's edit page, e.g. Template and start page Template, respectively.

In the 3rd and 4th cases, especially if A has a list of links to pages B, one can mark the links with more info, e.g. by bolding, and explain the marking.

See alsoEdit

Links to other help pagesEdit

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