Alternative for $_SERVER['HTTP_REFERER'] PHP variable in MSIE

I have used $_SERVER['HTTP_REFERER'] variable in my application (used PHP).
On Firefox above variables is wokring. But i observed that $_SERVER['HTTP_REFERER'] is not working on Microsoft Internet Explorer 8.
I also got to know that HTTP_REFERER variable doesnt work on MSIE8 and MSIE7.

Please give me your suggestions, how to use $_SERVER['HTTP_REFERER'] variable to get rid on MSIE7/8 or is there any other alternative for $_SERVER['HTTP_REFERER'] variable

Thanks for your suggestion.


Here is Solutions:

We have many solutions to this problem, But we recommend you to use the first solution because it is tested & true solution that will 100% work for you.

Solution 1

If you only need to use the referrer information internally for your website (ie: between pages of your website, not externally), you can manually keep track of a user’s referrer information.

// Get the full URL of the current page
function current_page_url(){
    $page_url   = 'http';
    if(isset($_SERVER['HTTPS']) && $_SERVER['HTTPS'] == 'on'){
        $page_url .= 's';
    return $page_url.'://'.$_SERVER['SERVER_NAME'].$_SERVER['REQUEST_URI'];

/* (Assuming session already started) */
    // Get existing referrer
    $referrer   = $_SESSION['referrer'];

} elseif(isset($_SERVER['HTTP_REFERER'])){
    // Use given referrer
    $referrer   = $_SERVER['HTTP_REFERER'];

} else {
    // No referrer

// Save current page as next page's referrer
$_SESSION['referrer']   = current_page_url();

Then, to access the referrer, just use the $referrer variable.

    echo 'Referred from "'.$referrer.'"';
    echo '<a href="'.$referrer.'" rel="nofollow noreferrer noopener">Back</a>';
} else {
    echo 'No referrer';

That way, if a user visits, they will see the referrer information if their browser has provided it, otherwise no referrer. Then when they visit, and any subsequent pages of your site, the referrer will be accessible.

Solution 2

Please don’t use session to guess the referrer. This will lead to undesired behaviour and strange errors.

If you really need to know the referring page, pass it via request parameter. You can add the parameter with JS script or on the server side.

jQuery variant for all links on the page:

    $('a').on('click', function(e) {
        url = this.getAttribute('href');
        // Check if the page is internal.
        if (url.charAt(0) != '/') {
        // Append referrer.
        url += url.indexOf('?') === -1 ? '?' : '&';
        url += 'referer=' + encodeURIComponent(document.URL);
        window.location = url;

Note: Use and implement solution 1 because this method fully tested our system.
Thank you 🙂

All methods was sourced from or, is licensed under cc by-sa 2.5, cc by-sa 3.0 and cc by-sa 4.0

Leave a Reply