MediaWiki User Guide: Using redirects


  • 1 What is a redirect?
  • 2 Purposes of a redirect
  • 3 The move tool
  • 4 How do I create a redirect?
  • 5 How do I change a redirect?
  • 6 How do I delete a redirect?
  • 7 Inter-wiki redirects and redirects to Special pages
  • 8 Double redirects
  • 9 Redirects to an anchor
  • 10 Images linking to a page
  • 11 See also

What is a redirect?

A redirect is a page with no other content than something of the form

#redirect link in internal link style

If the link is to an existing page in the same project, going to the redirect (by means of a link, the URL, or the Go button) results in the new page, just like following the link, except that the browser shows the original URL, and the new page shows a redirection message below the title.

For example, if somebody browses to:, or follows a link to redirection, then they will end up at this page instead, and the top of the page will look like:

(Redirected from Redirection)


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

If the link is to a page in another project, going to the redirect results in following the link, regardless of existence (a project does not retrieve information about existence of pages on another project, but just sends through). The browser shows the new URL.

Purposes of a redirect

  • Finding a page
  • Conveniently going to a page
  • Conveniently linking indirectly to a page, without the need for a piped link. For this purpose, making the stem (the common first part) of a collection of strongly related terms a redirect reduces the need for having many redirects. E.g. categor can be used for category, categories, categorical. Note that having the other redirects anyway is even better; also 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 eventual 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.

Due to redirects, after renamings and merges, old URLs in links, bookmarks, search engines, etc., still lead to the appropriate page.

The move tool

When a page is renamed/moved with the Renaming (moving) a page function, a redirect is automatically created from the old to the new name, and also one for the corresponding talk page.

How do I create a redirect?

If you’re creating a new redirect, start a new page, write #REDIRECT [[pagename]] (or #redirect[[pagename]]) at the top of the page, where pagename is the name of the target page. Here is an example. If you’re 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 [[pagename]].

Extra text on the page after the #REDIRECT command and link is automatically deleted on Save (not yet on Preview). 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. Consider copying the #REDIRECT [[pagename]] text into the edit summary so that people know that you have created a redirect.

After you create a redirect, you get sent to a page with the string “&redirects=no” in the URL. Thus the just created redirect page is shown, not the page to which it redirects. 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.

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.

How do I change a redirect?

Click on a link to the redirect page. Then look for the “(redirected from pagename)” link at the top of the page you’ve been redirected to. You will be taken to a page looking something like:

From {project name} …

  1. REDIRECT target page

Then click Edit this page. You can then either change the target of the redirect, or replace the redirect with a brand new page.

Another way to do the same thing: 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 above.

These things do not work for redirects to other projects or to Special pages. Use http://{project domain name}/w/wiki.phtml?title=…&redirect=no (for projects outside Wikimedia the “w/” is not always used).

Here on Meta, go to and change the page name (here Redirection) in the address bar of the browser.

How do I delete a redirect?

Administrators can delete redirects in the same way as any other page. There may be project-specific guidelines on when this is appropriate.

Inter-wiki redirects and redirects to Special pages

It is also possible to set up redirects between MediaWiki wikis, such as between Wiktionary and Wikipedia. Simply append the language code and the page name to the word “Wikipedia” (or other WikiMedia projects: Wikibooks, Wikitext?, Wikiquote?, Wikisource?, …?) with colons. To link to the Wikipedia article for dog from an article in wiktionary, one would use [[Wikipedia:en:dog]]. For example Wikipedia:en:dog. As a redirect: #REDIRECT [[Wikipedia:en:dog]]

However, compared with redirects within a MediaWiki wiki there are restrictions and drawbacks:

  • The message “Redirected from …” is not shown.
  • Editing the redirect page is cumbersome, one has to use http://{project domain name}/w/wiki.phtml?title=…&redirect=no
  • “What links here” does not work across wiki’s; this applies also to redirects, so one can not see which page(s) redirect(s) to a given page.
  • Being led to an other wiki without explicit request may be confusing.

In order to change an inter-wiki redirect (perhaps restoring previous content), manually go to a URL like http://{project domain name}/w/wiki.phtml?title=my_title&redirect=no , but replace “my_title” with the title of the page in question. You can then view page history, edit the page, etc, in the normal fashion. This is tedious, but it is the only way of doing this, currently.

The same applies to redirects to Special pages.

To avoid these problems, consider direct interwiki links (or direct links to Special pages) without redirect, or a “non-automatic redirect”: a page with “See …”, e.g. en:Wikipedia:Enhanced Recent Changes. This requires an extra click to use, but is less confusing and the redirect page itself is easier to go to (to edit, to apply “What links here” and to discuss it on its Talk page).

If you use a “real” interwiki redirect anyway, put on the page to which the redirect points links to such redirect pages, using a URL with “redirect=no”. This is not possible in the case redirect-to-Special.

Alternatively a page like en:Wikipedia:What it thinks it is – go to interwiki redirect page itself can additionally be made, a redirect page to en:Wikipedia:What it thinks it is which is an interwiki redirect page; linking to the first-mentioned page leads you to the interwiki redirect page, making use of the fact that redirection is not recursive. Other examples are Be bold – go to interwiki redirect page itself and the page “Image Go To A Random Page .png ″ go to redirect-to-Special page itself” on Wikibooks:

There are plans to adjust the software so as to reduce the complications.

Double redirects

As a simple way to avoid problems with infinite recursion, in the case one is redirected within the same project to another redirect page, the second redirect is not applied.

Redirects to an anchor

An example of this:

#REDIRECT [[definitions#G]]

This currently is not possible. You will still be redirected to [[definitions]] but you will not be sent to the #G anchor.

Images linking to a page

An image can link to a page of choice instead of the image description page by putting a redirect as “image description”. The actual image description then has to be put on the Talk page.

For clarity it may be useful to add a text near the image, which can be made a link to the same page. Thus clicking on the text and on the image has the same effect.

However, when arriving at the target page, not only is the message (Redirected from displayed, but so is the image itself. This may not be the effect sought. As an alternative navigable images provides image anchored navigation in projects that allow embedding images in external link style.

If the main function of the image is just being a symbol for the link, then, before uploading, give it a name describing that function rather than describing the image itself.