Wordpress has a feature whereby it will automatically redirect your URLs if it percieves them to be written wrongly. Here is an example: I have a page called my-page

If I go to:


it will immediately redirect me to


as nothing exists at the first URL.

How can I turn this feature off, and instead just get a 404 if incorrect URL's are typed in?

  • If you watch what is happening (via HttpFox or WireShark or a similar packet sniffer), those pages redirect with a 301 Status-- Moved Permanently-- which is appropriate behavior. It helps search engines keep their databases up to date among other things, and the redirect helps users find pages. This may effect how WordPress handles things when you actually do move a page or change a permalink, so be careful. Anyway, your choice but I am not sure it is a good idea. – s_ha_dum Nov 8 '12 at 15:04
  • I know it's a good thing, I do understand that. However, I have a particular use case where I did not need that behaviour. I am developing a plugin which handles URL redirection and so I want to override that behavior. – Ash Nov 9 '12 at 11:28
  • Here is a more correct answer: link – Binod Dec 19 '14 at 10:54

This worked for me:

remove_action('template_redirect', 'redirect_canonical');
  • Can you guide me for what it will do? what is canonical redirect? i am new to wordpress – Yatin Mistry Sep 25 '14 at 7:50
  • You just saved me a lot of headaches! thank you ! :-D – Jenski Feb 26 '16 at 10:34
  • 1
    Is there nowhere where we can see these redirects so that we can remove them on a one by one basis? – Shane Jones Feb 22 '17 at 13:50
  • This is great. Do you know why wp-admin might still be redirecting after using this? – Gezim Feb 3 '18 at 13:56
  • You can find a detailed explanation of this issue at dev4press.com/blog/wordpress/2015/… – ronnefeldt Jan 14 at 5:33

As Ash suggested, you can turn off the feature by using the following code:

remove_action('template_redirect', 'redirect_canonical');

In looking at the redirect_canonical function in canonical.php, it would appear you can also modify the behavior with your own filter.

At the end of the redirect_canonical() function, there is a call to filter the final answer:

$redirect_url = apply_filters( 'redirect_canonical', $redirect_url, $requested_url );

So you could write your own filter to modify the final redirection or return null to stop the redirection, based upon the input, thus turning off the feature for a particular URL or a subset of URLs.

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