Techniques for WCAG 2.0

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F40: Failure of Success Criterion 2.2.1 and 2.2.4 due to using meta redirect with a time limit

Important Information about Techniques

See Understanding Techniques for WCAG Success Criteria for important information about the usage of these informative techniques and how they relate to the normative WCAG 2.0 success criteria. The Applicability section explains the scope of the technique, and the presence of techniques for a specific technology does not imply that the technology can be used in all situations to create content that meets WCAG 2.0.


All pages

This failure relates to:


meta http-equiv of {time-out}; url=... is often used to automatically redirect users. When this occurs after a time delay, it is an unexpected change of context that may interrupt the user.

It is acceptable to use the meta element to create a redirect when the time-out is set to zero, since the redirect is instant and will not be perceived as a change of context. However, it is preferable to use server-side methods to accomplish this. See SVR1: Implementing automatic redirects on the server side instead of on the client side (SERVER) .


Failure Example 1

The page below is a failure because it will redirect to the URI after a time limit of 5 seconds.

Example Code:

<html xmlns="">
      <title>Do not use this!</title>     
      <meta http-equiv="refresh"
      content="5; url=" />   
         If your browser supports Refresh, you'll be       
         transported to our        
         <a href="">new site</a>        
         in 5 seconds, otherwise, select the link manually.     


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  1. View a page.

  2. Check that the page does not redirect after a time-out.

Expected Results

  1. If check #2 is false, this failure condition applies and content fails the Success Criterion.