Help, my Tumblr blog tag links are broken


If you found this post, then you likely host a website using Tumblr. If your Tumblr theme is an older theme, then the breaking of your tags links probably started occurring on your site around October 2021.

Changes to Tagged and Searched URLs on Tumblr

Tumblr posted about this breaking update in the Changes on Tumblr blog. The article you want to read is titled, “Changes to Tagged and Searched URLs on Tumblr.”

Fortunately, there’s also a relatively simple way to revert and keep your legacy Tumblr theme working as it always has.

On my Tumblr site, which I started in 2004 with a cheaply purchased theme. Amazingly, I have not needed to provide any maintenance in eight years! Talk about an efficient process!

So, back to the Tumbl tag link. My site’s tagged links URLs used underscores to separate words. So for instance, my tagged Print Design URL has always been

After the Tumblr update in 2021, multi-word tags defaulted to having spaces. The new URL for Print Design was now Note the %20 standing for space in the URL. This broke my site, my Work dropdown linking to portfolio categories was now broken.

Short-Term Fix

My short-term solution was simply to turn off the Tags dropdown menu. In Tumblr > Edit Appearance, I was able to toggle the option reading, “Enable Navigation Tags Dropdown.” This temporarily fixed my issue.

Tumblr: Enable Navigation Tags Dropdown
Tumblr: Enable Navigation Tags Dropdown

Long-Term Fix

After a bit of research, I realized there is a simple long-term fix to the issue, too. By default, when the change happened a toggle option was turned on for my theme. To fix the issue, I simply needed to find the toggle and turn it off.

Tumblr: Use better tagged and search URL decoding
Tumblr: Use better tagged and search URL decoding

In my theme’s edit panel, I scrolled down to URL Handling, and turned off the option to “Use better tagged and search URL decoding.”

This returned my URLs to underscores. Then, I was able to turn back on my dropdown tag navigation, too. Once again, now all is working as intended.

Hallelujah! And, here’s to another eight years of a maintenance-free portfolio site.

Happy Web Designing!

About the author

Kelly Barkhurst

Designer to Fullstack is my place to geek out and share tech solutions from my day-to-day as a graphic designer, programmer, and business owner (portfolio). I also write on Arts and Bricks, a parenting blog and decal shop that embraces my family’s love of Art and LEGO bricks!

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