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XF 1.3 Links posted to Facebook are malformed - "The requested page could not be found"


Active member
I don't believe this is a bug with xenForo per sé, hence why I have posted in here asking for support, rather than submitting a Bug Report.

I have just shared a link to a thread on my Facebook page. If you click this from a computer, it works fine, and takes you to the thread in question. If you click it from the Facebook app on iPhone, however, it results in:


I have copy & pasted the link that the Facebook app is actually sending people to, and it seems to have parsed incorrectly.

It should be:

But the Facebook app seems to be sending people to:

I've tried reducing this to just:

Thinking that this would eliminate a lot of the malformed control codes and thus solve the problem, but alas no joy.

A friend has tested it on his HTC One M8 and it works fine for him, so it seems to just be iOS (tested on iOS 7 on iPhone 5 and iPad 3).

Any suggestions? I appreciate that this is more of a Facebook/Apple bug than xenForo, but I thought some of you resourceful types might have a way round the issue. :)

All I can think of is using a URL shortening service and post the short URL, but I'm not sure if this would even work (e.g. would it present the OG logo, etc.).

Any help appreciated; so many users browse on their phones these days, I'd really like to get this sorted!



XenForo moderator
Staff member
A forward slash / is actually URL double-encoded as %252F, which is what you are seeing.
It's only happening after the query string though.

It's more than likely a FB/iOS issue as that should be URL decoded.


XenForo developer
Staff member
If it is only happening in the query string, then enabling friendly URLs may help. But yeah, almost certainly a FB issue.


Active member
If it is only happening in the query string, then enabling friendly URLs may help. But yeah, almost certainly a FB issue.
Hmm. It only seems to be encoding the forward slashes after the ampersand, so I dare say you're right. I've always been scared by enabling friendly URLs, though, as it says you need a specific .htaccess, and I'm worried I'll bugger it up!

Ah well. Perhaps a URL shortener would be my only way round it for the time being.


Active member
Instructions for Friendly URLs are here: https://xenforo.com/help/friendly-urls/

In most cases all you need to do is rename the htaccess.txt file to .htaccess
Ah, perhaps it's not as scary as I thought!

My current .htaccess is:

Options +FollowSymlinks
RewriteEngine on
rewritecond %{http_host} ^mydomain.com [nc]
rewriterule ^(.*)$ http://www.mydomain.com/$1 [r=301,nc]

ErrorDocument 404 http://www.mydomain.com/index.php?pages/404page/
As I'm sure you can figure out, this is so that people are pointed to a custom 404 page, in addition to making sure everyone is redirected to the www. prefixed site.

Would I still need to make any changes before clicking that magical "Enable Full Friendly URLs", or would the above suffice?



XenForo moderator
Staff member
You would need to include the relevant lines from the htaccess.txt file.

    RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} -f [OR]
    RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} -l [OR]
    RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} -d
    RewriteRule ^.*$ - [NC,L]
    RewriteRule ^(data/|js/|styles/|install/|favicon\.ico|crossdomain\.xml|robots\.txt) - [NC,L]
    RewriteRule ^.*$ index.php [NC,L]