Joomla Menu SEF Problem: Incorrect URLs Create Broken Links

In Joomla 1.7 and 2.5, the menu system can get corrupted when you change display settings for menu links or articles. When this happens, some SEF links become incorrect and you will get 404 Not Found errors if you click the link. Luckily, the fix is pretty easy…if you know what to do.

The Joomla menu SEF problem will appear as incorrect URLs which generate 404 errors. For example, a URL that should read will read or

Note: Bold text indicates the error.

The URLs above are examples; you might see several other variations of the problem, but the end result is the same. Broken Links. This problem also manifests itself in Menu item ordering. If you find you cannot change the order of menu items by clicking the up or down arrows or changing the order numbers, the procedure for fixing the problem is the same.

As far as I can tell, this problem occurs when you change display settings for a menu link or an article.

  • For example, if you change the Page Display Options for a menu link to No for Show Page Heading, you can trigger the menu SEF URL problem.
    Page Display Options for Joomla Menu Items
  • Similarly, if you change the Show Title setting in Article Options in a Joomla article, you can trigger the   menu SEF URL problem.
    Article Options for Joomla


    16 Comments — Comments are closed. If you have information to share, contact me here

  1. cesar says

    I’m having a similar problem with this.
    except the broken thing is the reference header files.

    example.. the first 16 menu links are fine, just the 17th (regardless if i delete it and recreate it or make it diferently)

    the header for example, uses incorrectly the SEF address as source to obtain the js, css and other source files, instead of the default path..
    example.. the incorrect link SEF is on /index.php/registrationthingie

    the damaged link output will have headers trying to get
    the source files from /index.php/registrationthingie/modules and so on.
    instead of going back to /

    any idea what could solve this?

  2. Renem says

    Confirmed. It’s was driving me crazy, no up an down errors on the menu items. After rebuild evertythings seems to be oke.

    Tnakxs for sharing.

  3. Enes says

    I have same issue and tried to Rebuild all menu items but no way. All menus works fine with SEF, except some of them gives Not Found error. I don’t know how to solve that.

    • says

      I would turn off the modification, regenerate the xml file and see if there are still broken links. I don’t see any reason why the link would be broken.

  4. Jeff says

    Whenever I create or edit a CATEGORY BLOG I get the broken URLs like you mention. But rebuilding and purging cache after every interaction with these menu items is a real nuisance. Have you stumbled on any longer term fix? Any ideas why it is so specific?

    Also… thank god I finally found someone directly addressing this issue. It’s taken me a week to find this.

  5. Jörn says

    After activating SEF and Rewrite most of my articles worked but not all of them.

    I tried the tips above but nothing worked.

    Then I started to compare those that worked with those that didn’t option by option and parameter by parameter. I found that the language setting on the menu item made a difference.

    After some testing with the language setting to narrow that problem cause it was gone.
    I couldn’t replicate the problem anymore. Maybe this helps someone with a similar problem.