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You may find Redirect Manager component very helpful, if you need to get rid of any article/page but do not want to receive 404 error message.
The usage of that component for redirecting links is well-founded if the page you would like to redirect does not exist on your current page.

First of all, check if  Search Engine Friendly URLs SEO option is enabled at Global Configuration of your site.
Secondly,  System - Redirect plugin has to be enabled to make work the component in the way we need. It is enabled by default but if you keep getting the following message after selecting Components ->  Redirect Manager,  check if the plugin is not disabled in Extensions -> Plug-in Manager.

redirectlinks error

The URL you would like to redirect from, must not be the working one but it should be the URL, that is actually disabled at your administrator back-end.
In other words, the Source URL, that you have to specify while creating the redirect, must be the full URL of the content that you want to redirect. After saving the redirect - the component will display the last part of the specified URL.

On the other hand,  the Destination URL has to be entered as a full link and the component will display the full URL.
Please take a look at the page of the page of the new redirect link:

redirectlinks new

After saving the item, you should get similar result as in the example below:

redirectlinks redirect

Have a closer look at the Update selected links to the following new URL part below listing of redirects.
This way you can quickly update existing redirects.

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