Sometimes (on the request of the local community), the CMs mass replace some dead links by new ones. See, for example, this post (and Shog9's answer): How to find and/or change a set of hyperlinks on a site?

The tool is a simple search-and-replace tool - it can replace a given string in the URLs by another string. This is typically used when some frequently linked domain changed the structure - but it can still be fixed in an automated way.

Question: Does the tool used for bulk replacement also check whether the new link works?

I suppose that it shouldn't be too difficult to automate the check whether the link returns a 404 error. Basically the question is whether this check should be done by users of the site (before requesting the mass replacement), or whether this is checked by the Stack Exchange software when the links are being replaced.

  • Maybe requalify that as a feature-request for it to make such a check? Is there a valid use case to link to something that returns a 404 page? Apr 10, 2022 at 12:55
  • I am not exactly sure what exactly you mean by "valid use case" @OlegValteriswithUkraine. AFAICT this is typically used on links which used to work - but no longer work after some changes on the target site. Even if most of the changed links follow a specific patter, one cannot always be 100% sure that all links have been transformed in the same way.
    – Martin
    Apr 10, 2022 at 13:04
  • Oh, I just wanted to brainstorm if there is any reason for this check not to be made. If there isn't (of which I am pretty sure), it makes sense to make it a feature request (probably as a new question as such an edit will likely invalidate Catija's response) Apr 10, 2022 at 13:06
  • 1
    @OlegValter I have posted the feature request as a new question: Could the bulk replacement tool also check link availability and return list of links and posts? (As suggested in your comment.)
    – Martin
    Apr 24, 2022 at 10:10
  • Thumbsup! A single check per link should not be that big of a deal and would make the tool more useful (I sometimes wish the same was available natively for reviewing suggested edits). Apr 24, 2022 at 14:13

1 Answer 1



It gives us a preview and we spot check a few links manually before we approve the change. It's an extremely basic tool.

  • If the user(s) proposing the change would like to check whether the new links are working, is it possible to get a list of the (new) links from the CM who did the conversion?
    – Martin
    Apr 11, 2022 at 15:34

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