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File links turn grey and inactive


Can someone please share their knowledge about file links turning grey?

Recently we noticed that some of the files that were originally uploaded to a page as links turned grey and are now inactive - we cannot access those files by clicking on the link or via attachments of the page.

How do those files end up being removed from the page if nobody deletes them? Can it be related to the moving of the page to another place? We have moved several pages yet only one is now missing the files.

Links are turning blue when editing the page yet there is still no way to open or edit them.

Has anyone experienced this and maybe found out the reason or a solution?

Thank you!

2 answers

1 vote

Welcome to the Community!

Links will go grey when, as you say, the target is no longer there, or you don't have permission to see it.

So, yes, either someone is deleting the attachments, or a move of page is making them unavailable.

My guess is the second one - if you have been linking to files by pasting in their urls, that would explain it.  When you move a page to a different space, its url changes, including the urls for the attachments on it.  (Also, the new space may have different permissions, so you'll need to think about that too if your spaces are not broadly readable by everyone)

Don't use url links in Confluence that link to things inside Confluence, you should use Confluence's page reference functions instead - these won't have this problem when you move things around.

Hi @Nic Brough -Adaptavist- ,

Could you clarify, please, what functionality you mean by 'Confluence's page reference functions'?

I will be really grateful for this!


Kind regards,


Confluence refers to pages by their space and name, as well as their internal IDs (humans rarely use the IDs, as they're just a number and hence not particularly memorable or searchable)

Macros that refer to pages within Confluence ask for the parameters "space" and "page name" as page references, but the most common page reference function you are likely to see is directly embedding a page name in the body of another page.  Instead of (which is an external link, not a "page reference"), you'll see [SPACE:Page name] - highlighted as a link because it's clickable.   And if the page is moved or renamed, the page reference will automatically be shown with the new name or location because it's not static, it's a reference to a fixed place.

Like Dolores Rhyme likes this

@Nic Brough -Adaptavist-Thank you a lot fot the answer! Is it some macro that provides this fucntionality?

Yes, albeit one that looks a little more simple than most macros.  Try the "links" functions in the editor menu.

Do you mean this ordinary link function? But I can't find the functionality you've mentioned. Maybe for you it's obvious, but I can't get:(  I'm sorry for a nitpicker mode.2022-12-02_10-46-19.png

Eep, sorry, that was more for Cloud Confluence.

On server, you can do it with a simple inline link (although you can use the search and recently viewed options in your screenshot to do it as well).

Go back into the edit of the body of the text and type a single [

This will pop a drop-down of a few suggested pages, and will adjust as you type more.  If you select a page, your page will display an internal link to the page when viewed.  If you give it the name of a page that does not exist, and close it with a ], it will keep it.  When you save the page and go back to view it, you'll find the new link will be red, meaning "target page doesn't exist", and clicking the link will take you into the page create process!

I've tested it and now I see what you mean. Thank  you a looot for this detailed explanation. I appreciate sooooo much!!!!

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