Nico Schlömer Nico Schlömer - 22 days ago 12x
HTTP Question

CORS request with Preflight and redirect: disallowed. Workarounds?

I'm designing an API that allows the user to authenticate (using tokens) and that contains redirects within the same domain. Now, for an unauthenticated request to an endpoint that returns 303,

GET /documents/123 --> 303 redirect to `/documents/abc`
GET /documents/abc --> 200

everything works out nicely.

Let's do an authenticated request to the same endpoint where the
header is sent. This makes the request a preflighted request and the browser does a preflight
request, i.e.

OPTIONS /documents/123 --> 204 (everything okay, please proceed)
GET /documents/123 --> 303 redirect to `/documents/abc`

At this point, instead of
ting the actual resource at
, the browser yields

XMLHttpRequest cannot load http://localhost:8000/people/username/nschloe.
The request was redirected to 'http://localhost:8000/people/YDHa-B2FhMie',
which is disallowed for cross-origin requests that require preflight.

This behavior is in accordance with the standard:

7.1.5 Cross-Origin Request with Preflight

If the response has an HTTP status code that is not in the 2xx range

Apply the network error steps.

This seems to mean that one cannot do redirects for authenticated resources, even if the redirect is on the same domain (

Can this really be true? Is there a common workaround?


The original standard does preclude redirect after a successful CORS preflight. Quoting ยง

This is the actual request. Apply the make a request steps and observe the request rules below while making the request.

  • If the response has an HTTP status code of 301, 302, 303, 307, or 308 Apply the cache and network error steps.

Due to your efforts (thanks!), on August 4 the standard was updated to allow redirect after successful CORS preflight check.

Until browsers catch up, the only feasible options seem to be one or a combination of:

  1. Issue redirects only for simple requests.
  2. Issue a 305 redirect, with your own URL in the Location header as the "proxy". Be prepared for limited browser support, as 305 is deprecated.
  3. Do a fake "redirect":
    • return HTML with meta refresh and/or Javascript Location change.
    • return HTML that has a viewport-filling iframe with the redirect target as the iframe's source.
    • display a link that the user has to click in order to access the content.