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Wikipedia:Soft redirect

A soft redirect is a replacement of usual or "hard" redirects and is used where the destination is a Wikimedia sister project (See Wikipedia:Wikimedia sister projects § Soft redirects from Wikipedia to a sister project), another language Wikimedia site (e.g. User:Foreign), or in rare cases another website (e.g. meatball: targets). They may also be used for local targets in some cases (e.g. WP:AN/K). Soft redirects differ in that they leave the reader on the redirect page, requiring them to click through to the redirected link as opposed to automatically taking them there.

Unlike normal redirects, a soft redirect does not use special code or functionality of the wiki software. All they consist of is a notification to users, showing the destination to another site to obtain the information they were seeking.

The technique is particularly likely to be used when redirecting users across Wikimedia sister projects—for example Wikipedia:Gather is a soft redirect to mw:Gather. Normal redirects would be undesirable in these circumstances, and hard interwiki redirects are disabled. (Reasons: they could not be easily edited without hand-crafting the correct URL, since clicking on a link to the redirect page would take you straight to the redirect's target and there would be no "Redirected from foo" message to click, so it would be difficult to return to the redirect page itself; there would also be infinite-loop security considerations.)

Another situation where soft redirects are used is when the intended target is a special page, and the system automatically "softens" attempted hard redirects to special pages. For example, Wikipedia:List of tags redirects to Special:Tags.

Soft redirects to non-English language editions of Wikipedia should be avoided because they will generally be unhelpful to English-language readers.

Soft redirects are intended mostly for external use, where hard redirects will not function. For internal use in general, hard redirects should be used instead.

Category soft redirects

In English Wikipedia, categories with the {{Category redirect}} template are also called "soft redirects", due to their similarity to interwiki soft redirects. See Wikipedia:Categories for discussion#Redirecting categories for the policy.

Do not put redirect categorization templates on soft redirects ({{Wikidata redirect}} is an exception).


The following templates are used to create a soft redirect link:

Categories to add for cross-namespace soft redirects

Soft redirects to targets outside Wikipedia (e.g. to do not require any categories to be added manually.

For soft redirects that go from Wikipedia's mainspace to targets outside Wikipedia or to targets in any other Wikipedia namespace, add Category:Unprintworthy redirects to mark them unsuitable for any printable version of Wikipedia.

For any soft redirect that goes from one Wikipedia namespace to another Wikipedia namespace, add the relevant category placing it within the appropriate sub-category of Category:Cross-namespace redirects, i.e. describing it by the target namespace:


For purposes of administration, particularly deletion, soft redirects are subject to the same administration processes as regular redirects, and should not be handled by processes that are intended for articles. For deletion this means that soft redirects are subject to R2 - R3 speedy deletion criteria, and are not subject to A1 - A10 speedy deletion criteria. For more deliberative deletion, soft redirects should be handled through Wikipedia:Redirects for discussion, and are not subject to either Wikipedia:Proposed deletion or Wikipedia:Articles for deletion. They are also specifically subject to G8 deletion if their target does not exist, as this has replaced the old R1 criterion.

See also