Xenu's Link Sleuth

After you enter the URL for Xenu to check and click the OK button in the "Xenu's starting point" dialogue box, a rapid listing of the links being checked will appear within the Xenu main window.

Xenu shows good links in green, broken links in red, excluded types of links in dark blue, and links yet to be checked in grey. When the program has finished checking the links, it will inform you that "Link sleuth finished" and ask you if you want a report.

HTML Report

Click Yes if you'd like the HTML page report, otherwise click No. You can also generate the HTML report later by using Report command in File menu.

Xenu's report format is an HTML page that will open in a default browser window to show you the root URL that was checked and to provide the following summary for that URL (depending on enabled options):

  • Broken links, ordered by link
  • Broken links, ordered by page
  • Broken local links
  • List of redirected URLs (URLs that have moved)
  • List of ftp and gopher URLs
  • List of valid URLs you can submit to a search engine
  • Site Map of valid HTML pages with a title
  • Orphan files (requires FTP access for remote files checking)
  • Statistics for managers

Non-HTML Report in the Xenu Main Window

You can view the detailed results in the main Xenu window. The report shows the following details for each link:

  • Address - Full URL for current link.
  • Status - shows whether the link is OK, broken, skipped etc.
  • Type - MIME Type for current link.
  • Size
  • Title - shows Title for retrieved web pages, link text for skipped URLs.
  • Date - Date-Modified stamp of the file/URL.
  • Level - 0 for start page, 1 for URLs linked from start pages, 2 for URLs linked from that pages etc., depending on the number of levels allowed in Options dialog.
  • Links out - number of outgoing links on checked page.
  • Links in - number of inbound links on checked page.
  • Server - server software for internet URLs (empty for local URLs)
  • Error - error description.
  • Duration - the duration of retrieving process.
  • Charset - character encoding.

You can sort the results by clicking on these headers, which is useful when you want to get a quick impression of the number and type of errors, if certain types of links have been checked, or skipped, etc.

Filter the results

Under the View menu you can switch to Show broken links only, which will help you to see any broken links more easily. (Note: if you have selected this option but do not have any broken links, nothing will be displayed in the window. Turn it back to off to see all the links that were checked.)

Locate the referring page

Right-click the broken link and select Properties to see what pages in your site contain the link. The URLs for the referring pages will appear in the bottom window under Pages Linking to this one.

Export to other formats

You can easily export Xenu report to a couple of other file formats by using the appropriate Export to... commands in File menu. The following formats are currently supported:

  • Tab separated file (best to view in Excel and other spreadsheet programs)
  • GraphViz file (open format for representing structural information as diagrams)
  • Google Sitemap file (can be submitted to Google and other search engines to better crawl your site)