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Use {{Dead link}} when you find a dead link to a website within a paragraph or a reference citation. Doing so will place a note by the URL and add the article to one of the Category:Articles with dead external links categories.

Append this template directly after the link or template, leaving the original link intact. Not doing so will prevent detection from automated tools. If the citation contains multiple URLs (e.g. chapterurl and url) in a template, and only one is broken, you can use <!-- hidden text --> to explain which one is broken.

If the article uses clickable footnotes, then this tag should be placed just before the </ref> that contains the dead link. The notice will then correctly appear in the reference section (instead of in the body of the text, which is not recommended).

Avoid using this template to identify dead external links that are not used as references for article content. Instead, dead external links should usually be removed. See the guideline for external links.

Please also consider doing a search for an archived copy of the dead link and thereby avoiding using the tag altogether. This is of course the best solution when you find a dead link.

Common form (with current date)

{{Dead link|date=november 2021}}

Optional parameters

Provides a history of the linked page via the Wayback Machine. Set only if history actually exists, as otherwise it is misleading to users and editors.
Month name followed by year, for use by the categorization system. Use date=november 2021.
If you don't add a date parameter, a bot will date your entry with the month and year at a later time.
Bot accounts specify the |bot= parameter as a sign that the tag was added by an automated process. Set as bot=<bot name>.


  • <ref>{{cite web |url= |title=Web page title |accessdate=22 September 2012}} {{Dead link |date=September 2012}}</ref>
  • <ref>{{cite news |title=Sorrell accuses Murdoch of panic buying |author=Plunkett, John |url=,14173,1601858,00.html |newspaper=[[The Guardian]] |date=27 October 2005 |accessdate=22 September 2012}} {{Dead link}}</ref>
  1. {{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }} [dead link]
  2. {{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=news }} [dead link]


  • Avoid using free links (e.g.{{Dead link}}) as software unable to handle templates may read an incorrect link. Add brackets if necessary.
  • Avoid complicated formatting. Nesting inside a template is generally not supported well.
  • Avoid using [ ] { | } < > characters between the end of the external link and {{Dead link}}, as they are often used to format text.


<templatedata> {

       "description": "A template to indicate that the preceding URL is dead",
       "params": {
               "date": {
                       "label": "Date",
                       "description": "The month and year the URL was found to be dead, like \"June 2013\"",
                       "type": "string",
                       "required": false
               "bot": {
                       "label": "Bot name",
                       "description": "The name of the bot used to identify the dead link (not used by regular editors)",
                       "type": "string/wiki-user-name",
                       "required": false
               "url": {
                       "label": "Wayback URL",
                       "description": "The dead URL, used only if there is a Wayback Machine archive",
                       "type": "string",
                       "required": false

} </templatedata>

See also

Dead link tools

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