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(To go to a redirect click and change the page name (here X) in the address bar of the browser. Type it in canonical form, i.e., starting with a capital and with underscores for spaces.)

For general info on redirects in MediaWiki, see meta:Help:Redirect — part of the MediaWiki User's Guide. This article discusses policy on the use and abuse of redirects on the English Wikipedia. Other MediaWiki projects may have different approaches.


How to make a redirect

To redirect a page (1) to a different page (2), enter on the top of page 1:


For example, to redirect the Cambridge University page to the University of Cambridge page, edit the Cambridge University page and enter:

#REDIRECT [[University of Cambridge]]

Please note that you can only redirect to articles, not sections in them; although the syntax allows them, e.g.

#REDIRECT [[University of Cambridge#History]]

they don't work.

Everything after the redirect line will be blanked when you save the page. Any text on the same line as the redirect will stay, but will not be visible unless someone edits the page.

More examples are included below:

What do we use redirects for?

Reason Usage notes, and text that will be shown Tag Category to find articles so tagged

This is a redirect from a title with an abbreviation.

For more information, follow the category link.

{{R from abbreviation}} Category:Redirects from abbreviation

This is a redirect from a misspelling or typographical error.

Pages using this link should be updated to link directly to the page this link redirects to.

For more info, follow the category link.

{{R from misspelling}} Category:Redirects from misspellings
Other spellings, other punctuation  

This is a redirect from a title with a different spelling.

Pages using this link should be updated to link directly to the page this link redirects to.

For more info, follow the category link.

{{R from alternate spelling}} Category:Redirects from alternate spellings
Other capitalisations, for use in links  

This is a redirect from a title with another method of capitalisation. It leads to the title in accordance with the Wikipedia naming conventions for capitalization, and can help writing.

{{R for alternate capitalisation}} Category:Redirects for alternative capitalisation
Other capitalisations, to ensure that "Go" to a mixed-capitalisation article title is case-insensitive  

This is a redirect from a title with another method of capitalisation. It leads to the title in accordance with the Wikipedia naming conventions for capitalization, and can help writing.

Adding a redirect for mixed-capitalisation article titles (e.g., Isle of Wight) allows "Go" to these articles to be case-insensitive. For example, without the redirect Isle of wight a "Go" for "Isle Of wight" or any capitalisation other than exactly 'Isle of Wight' would not find the article Isle of Wight.

Why: Articles whose titles contain mixed-capitalisation words (not all initial caps, or not all lower case except the first word) are found via "Go" only by an exact case match. (Articles, including redirects, whose titles are either all initial caps or only first word capitalised are found via "Go" using a case-insensitive match.)

Note: "Go" related redirects are needed only if the article title has more than two words and words following the first have different capitalisations. They are not needed, for example, for proper names which are all initial caps.


  • Redirect Vice chancellor of austria to Vice Chancellor of Austria is needed because the Go search is case-sensitive for mixed-caps titles. Adding this redirect allows the article to be found when a user enters "vice chancellor of austria" or "vice chancellor of Austria" as a Go search.
  • No redirect to Francis Ford Coppola is needed because the "Go" command is case-insensitive for an article whose title is all initial caps. Any capitalisation (e.g. "francis fOrD CoPPola") entered as a "Go" will find the article.
{{R for alternate capitalisation}} Category:Redirects for alternative capitalisation
Other names, pseudonyms, nicknames, and synonyms  

This is a redirect from a title that is an alternative name, a pseudonym, a nick name or a synonym.

It leads to the title in accordance with the naming conventions for common names and can help writing.

For more information, follow the category link.

{{R from alternate name}} Category:Redirects from alternate names
Other languages  

This is a redirect from a title in a language other than English.

It leads to the title in accordance with the naming conventions for titles in other languages and can help writing.

For more info, follow the category link.

{{R from alternate language}} Category:Redirects from alternate languages

This is a redirect from a title in basic ASCII. It's likely that it lacks diacritics available in UTF-8.

List others. Edit the message.

See also

{{R from ASCII}} Category:Redirects from titles with ASCII
Plurals, tenses, etc  

This is a redirect from a plural word to the singular equivalent. For more information follow the category link.

{{R from plural}} Category:Redirects from plurals
Related words  

This is a redirect from a related word.

Related words in an article are good candidates for Wiktionary links.

Redirects from related words are not properly redirects from alternate spellings of the same word. But at the same time, they are also different from redirects from a subtopic, since the related word is unlikely to warrant a full subtopic in the target page.

For more info. follow the category link.

{{R from related word}} Category:Redirects from related words
Sub-topics or closely related topics that should be explained within the text  

This is a redirect from a title for a topic more detailed than the topic of the page this redirects to. Eventually if the target page becomes too big, this redirect may be replaced with an article carved out of the target page.

For more info. follow the category link.

{{R with possibilities}} Category:Redirects with possibilities
Facilitate disambiguation  

This is a redirect to a disambiguation page. This redirect is pointed to by links that should always point to the disambiguation page rather than be disambiguated.

For more info. follow the category link.

{{R to disambiguation page}} Category:Redirects to disambiguation pages
To track statements that date quickly  

This redirect page effects an "as of ..." link.

The primary purpose of linking to this redirect is to keep track (using the "Whatlinkshere" feature) of information that was current in the year when the link to this redirect was created, but may need updating later.

For more info. follow the category link.

{{R for as of}} Category:Redirects from "As of"
To redirect to decade article  

This is a redirect to the decade article.

According to "Wikipedia:Timeline_standards" years from 1700 BC to 500 BC should redirect to the relevant decade.

{{R to decade}} Category:Redirects to decade
To redirect from a shortcut  

This is a redirect from a shortcut. Shortcuts are reserved for Wikipedia project reference pages (WP: namespace) only.

For more information see Wikipedia:WP for a list of all shortucts.

{{R from shortcut}} Category:Redirects from shortcut
Oldstyle CamelCase links  

This is a redirect from a CamelCase title. In the initial versions of Wikipedia, all links had to be CamelCase.

They are kept to keep edit history and to avoid breaking links that may have been made externally.

For more information, follow the category link.

{{R from CamelCase}} Category:Redirects from CamelCase
links autogenerated from EXIF information  

This is a redirect of a wikilink created from JPEG EXIF information (i.e. the "metadata" section on some image description pages). Since MediaWiki offers no control over the link target of these autogenerated wikilinks, redirects like this are created to make the wikilinks useful.

WARNING: It might appear that no pages link to this redirect. This is because the EXIF links don't show up in these listings. This redirect is most probably not orphaned!

See also: Category:Redirects

{{R from EXIF}} Category:Redirects from EXIF information
  • Avoiding broken links (see below)
  • Minor but notable topics

Sub-topic redirects are often temporary, eventually being replaced by fully fledged articles on the sub-topic in question. Be conservative when creating sub-topic redirects — they can sometimes be counter-productive, because they disguise the absence of a proper article from editors. Sub-topic redirects should only be used where the main article has a section on the sub-topic. For example, denial of service has a section on distributed denial of service. Sub-topics should be boldfaced on their first appearance in the section, to indicate that they are in fact alternate titles or sub-titles.

In accordance with wikipedia:naming conventions (precision) it's best to have an article at a well-defined, unambiguous term, with redirects from looser colloquial terms, rather than vice versa.

See also: Redirect template message list

Renamings and merges

We try to avoid broken links, because they annoy visitors. Therefore, if we change the layout of some section of Wikipedia, or we merge two duplicate articles, we always leave redirects in the old location to point to the new location. Search engines and visitors will probably have linked to that page at that url. If the page is deleted, potential new visitors from search engines will be greeted with an edit window. The same is true for anyone who previously bookmarked that page, and so on.

On a small scale, this applies to cases where we had duplicate articles on some subject, or lots of twisty little stubs on different aspects of the same overall subject. On a larger scale, we've had a few fairly major reorganisations:

When should we delete a redirect?

To delete a redirect without replacing it with a new article, list it on redirects for deletion. See deletion policy for details on how to nominate pages for deletion.

This isn't necessary if you just want to replace a redirect with an article, or change where it points: see How do I change a redirect? for instructions on how to do this. If you want to swap a redirect and an article, but are not able to move the article to the location of the redirect please use Wikipedia:Requested moves to request help from an admin in doing that.

The major reasons why deletion of redirects is harmful are:

  • a redirect may contain nontrivial edit history;
  • if a redirect is reasonably old, then it is quite possible that its deletion will break links in old versions of some other articles — such an event is very difficult to envision and even detect.

Therefore consider the deletion only of either really harmful redirects or of very recent ones.

You might want to delete a redirect if one or more of the following conditions is met (but note also the exceptions listed below this list):

  1. The redirect page makes it unreasonably difficult for users to locate similarly named articles via the search engine. (see m:redirects in search results — proposed software changes for proposals to lessen this impact)
  2. The redirect might cause confusion. For example, if "Adam B. Smith" was redirected to "Andrew B. Smith", because Andrew was accidentally called Adam in one source, this could cause confusion with the article on Adam Smith, so it should be deleted.
  3. The redirect is offensive, such as "Joe Bloggs is a Loser" to "Joe Bloggs", unless "Joe Bloggs is a Loser" is discussed in the article.
  4. The redirect makes no sense, such as redirecting [[Pink elephants painting daisies]] to love.
  5. It is a cross-space redirect out of article space, such as one pointing into the User or Wikipedia namespace.
  6. If the redirect is broken, meaning it redirects to an article that does not exist, it can be deleted immediately, though you should check that there is not an alternative place it could be appropriately redirected to first.

However, avoid deleting such redirects if:

  1. They have a potentially useful page history. If the redirect was created by renaming a page with that name, and the page history just mentions the renaming, and for one of the reasons above you want to delete the page, copy the page history to the Talk page of the article it redirects to. The act of renaming is useful page history, and even more so if there has been discussion on the page name.
  2. They would aid accidental linking and make the creation of duplicate articles less likely, either by redirecting a plural to a singular, or by redirecting a misspelling to a correct spelling, or by redirecting a misnomer to a correct term, or by redirecting to a synonym, etc. In other words, redirects with no incoming links are not candidates for deletion on those grounds.
  3. They aid searches on certain terms.
  4. You risk breaking external or internal links by deleting the redirect. There is rarely a reason to delete historical CamelCase links.
  5. Someone finds them useful. Hint: If someone says they find a redirect useful, they probably do. You might not find it useful — this is not because the other person is a liar, but because you browse Wikipedia in different ways.
  6. The redirect is to a plural form (or to a singular).
  7. The redirect is from an old article subpage which has been moved to a top-level page, particularly the various standard country subpages.

For example, redirecting Dubya to George W. Bush might be considered offensive, but the redirect aids accidental linking, makes the creation of duplicate articles less likely, and is useful to some people, so it should not be deleted.

What needs to be done on pages that are targets of redirects?

We follow the "principle of least astonishment" — after following a redirect, the readers's first question is likely to be: "hang on ... I wanted to read about this. Why has the link taken me to that?". Make it clear to the reader that they have arrived in the right place.

Normally, we try to make sure that all "inbound redirects" are mentioned in the first couple of paragraphs of the article. For example:

Don't cause a secondary redirect. They don't work like a primary redirect; same with tertiary redirects.

Self-links, duplicate links

Avoid self-links, including self-links through redirects ("loop links"). Also, avoid having two links that go to the same place. These can confuse readers, and cause them to unnecessarily load the same page twice.

See also

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