Last Updated: February 25, 2016
· widescape

No referer after redirect (Solved)

If you're doing a redirect via HTML, chances are your Firefox and Internet Explorer visitors land on the target page without a referer.

Meta Redirect

<meta http-equiv="refresh" content="0; URL=/target-page"/>
  • Good: Safari and Opera will set the referer to the current page
  • Bad: Firefox and Internet Explorer will submit an empty referer

JavaScript Redirect

<script> window.location.href = '/target-page' </script>
  • Good: Safari, Opera and Firefox will set the referer to the current page
  • Bad: Internet Explorer will submit an empty referer

Best Solution

Use a header redirect. All browsers will preserve the referer.

HTML Solution (using JavaScript)

If you can't set a header redirect, make a JavaScript form submit:

<form action="/target-page" method="get" name="redirect"></form>
<script> document.forms['redirect'].submit() </script>

All browsers will set the referer to the current page.

7 Responses
Add your response

THANK YOU! This was very helpful for me :)

over 1 year ago ·

For some reason, this was dropping query params. When I made action="/target-page?foo=bar", the requested URL was /target-page?. I have no idea why.

over 1 year ago ·

Have you tried adding the parameters as <input hidden>?

over 1 year ago ·

Not sure what you mean. You mean adding the parameters as form inputs? I did not try that, but it's a great idea... I'd have to parse the URI and loop through params. I might try it.

over 1 year ago ·

Yeah adding the query params as inputs works. It's a bit tedious but I think it will be the most robust solution.

The other thing I was trying was to generate a link and then find it and call .click() on it. It worked pretty well but I was worried it wouldn't be supported by all browsers.

over 1 year ago ·

First of all, thanks!

Secondly, regarding passing variable as inputs I did it something like this and works perfectly:

<!DOCTYPE html>
      <form action="<?php echo $_GET['action']; ?>" method="get" name="redirect">
            <?php foreach ($_GET as $key => $value) { ?>
               <?php if ($key != 'action') { ?>
                <input type="hidden" name="<?php echo $key; ?>" value="<?php echo $value; ?>" />
                <?php } ?>
            <?php } ?>
        <script> document.forms['redirect'].submit() </script>
over 1 year ago ·

Pure JS redirect.

var redirect = function(url) {
  var dom = window.document.createElement('form');

  var parts = url.split('?');
  var url_ = parts[0], params = parts[1] || '';
  var paramlist = params.split('&');

  dom.setAttribute('method', 'get');
  dom.setAttribute('action', url_); = 'none'; = 'hidden';

  var e, kv, k, v;
  for (var i = 0; i < paramlist.length; ++i) {
    kv = paramlist[i].split('=');
    k = kv[0];
    v = kv[1];
    e = window.document.createElement('input');

    e.setAttribute('type', 'hidden');
    e.setAttribute('name', decodeURIComponent(k));
    e.setAttribute('value', decodeURIComponent(v));


over 1 year ago ·