Help:Sysop deleting and undeleting

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<languages/> Template:TNT <translate> Normal users cannot permanently delete a wiki page.</translate> <translate> This is a deliberate design feature, and is an important part of why wikis work.</translate> <translate> Every kind of editing operation can be reverted by any other user, and that includes resurrecting deleted content.</translate> <translate> It doesn't cause significant wasted space; and with nothing but a 'delete' label, the page is effectively deleted anyway.

Deleting a page is, on the other hand, a straightforward operation for anyone with [[<tvar|h-sysops>Special:MyLanguage/Help:Sysops and permissions</>|sysop permissions]]: it allows to semi-permanently remove a page from the wiki, until a sysop undeletes (restores) it with the same ease.</translate> <translate> Typically sysops might look for delete labels, and do a proper delete on these pages, after a period of time.</translate> <translate> If for some reason you need a page to be deleted more quickly than that, you will need to contact a sysop to request this.

[[<tvar|h-revision-del>Special:MyLanguage/Help:RevisionDelete</>|Revision deletion]] offers a more granular feature of deletion for edits with peculiar problems.

Before deleting

Sysops should also be aware of the general advice given on [[<tvar|when-not>#When not to delete a page</>|When not to delete a page]]: in particular, there are many situations where a deletion is too drastic. For example, a redirect is often more appropriate.

Before deleting you could perform various checks:

  • Use the "What links here" tool.</translate> <translate>

This gives an indication as to how important a page is, and what subjects it relates to.</translate> <translate> Perhaps the page is still linked to prominently from many places.</translate> <translate> All incoming links will become red links if you proceed with the delete.</translate> <translate> Ideally all incoming links should be changed/removed, if there is genuinely no need for this page to exist.</translate> <translate> You could do this work prior to deleting, or ask others in the wiki community to do it.</translate> <translate>

  • Check the page history and the associated talk page.</translate> <translate>

Who was proposing the deletion?</translate> <translate> Does anyone disagree?</translate> <translate> Has it been properly discussed?</translate> <translate> Did people have adequate time to raise objections?</translate> <translate> Did somebody vandalize a page, which then led to a deletion proposal?

The care taken over these things might depend on the size of the wiki community, and how clear-cut the case for deletion is.</translate> <translate> Remember that only sysop users can undo a delete action, so to a normal user the information appears to be lost forever.

Use the 'delete' action

Sysops should see a 'delete' tab or action menu option at the top of every page.</translate> <translate> To find the action menu, look for a down arrow or triangle next to the "View History" tab.</translate> <translate> If you mouse over the triangle you should see "delete", "move", "protect" and "watch".</translate> <translate> Click the delete action to delete the page.</translate> <translate> When using browsers which support keyboard shortcuts, you can also use (Control-Alt-D).</translate> <translate> You will be asked to confirm, and to supply a "Reason for deletion".</translate> <translate> This is a short textual description of why the page is being deleted.</translate> <translate> Your action will appear on the recent changes display, and in the deletion log (<tvar|spec-log>Special:Log</>).

Remember only the administrator can delete uploaded photograph files.


To undelete a page you must navigate to the exact page name of the page.</translate> <translate> You can find this in the deletion log (Special:Log) if you don't remember it.

You should then see a link to "View or restore n deleted edits".</translate> <translate> Tick the box next to the revision you wish to restore.

Configuring deletion reasons

The list of reasons in the dropdown box is maintained at <tvar|mw-delreasons-dropdown>MediaWiki:Deletereason-dropdown</>. </translate>


When not to delete a page

Typically you would delete a page if the contents are entirely inappropriate and do not match the purposes of the Wiki.</translate> <translate> In other situations, you would take a less extreme course of action, for example:

  • The page should have a different title.</translate> <translate>

See <tvar|1>Template:Ll</>.</translate> <translate>

  • The contents should have been placed on a different page -- Add the contents to the other page, and then supply a redirect.</translate> <translate>

See <tvar|1>Template:Ll</>.</translate> <translate>

  • The contents are already on a different page -- Delete the duplicate content and leave a redirect.</translate> <translate>

That way, the page title, which made sense to somebody, will helpfully redirect to the information.</translate> <translate> See <tvar|1>Template:Ll</>.</translate> <translate>

  • The page is out-of-date -- Re-word sentences to be in the past tense, to make the page a historical record.</translate> <translate>

Alternatively, label the information as out-of-date, with a warning notice.</translate> <translate>

  • [[<tvar|meta-dont-del-redir>m:Special:MyLanguage/Don't delete redirects</>|m:Don't delete redirects]].

An actual delete is generally necessary only if the title of the page is inappropriate.</translate> <translate> In other situations, a merge and redirect is more appropriate.

Proposing changes

Deciding on appropriate content/page titles can be a difficult aspect of Wiki organization, and one which can often provoke debates.</translate> <translate> If the merge or deletion you have in mind is one which might cause upset, you should propose the change first.</translate> <translate> Do this by leaving a note to give your reasons on the [[<tvar|h-talkpages>Special:MyLanguage/Help:Talk pages</>|talk page]].</translate> <translate> You might also establish a system for labeling the page with a delete/merge proposal template, to make everybody aware of your intentions.

Unlinking a page

The 'What links here' toolbox feature (bottom of left sidebar) will tell you which other Wiki pages link to the current page.</translate> <translate> Always use this feature to check before proceeding with deleting.</translate> <translate> These related pages will need to be edited for their links to reflect the change.

See also

  • [[<tvar|m-admins-del>Special:MyLanguage/Manual:Administrators#Deletion</>|Manual:Administrators#Deletion]]
  • [[<tvar|h-revision-del>Special:MyLanguage/Help:RevisionDelete</>|Help:RevisionDelete]] - optional feature that must be enabled, see <tvar|m-revision-del>Template:Ll</>.

</translate> [[Category:Help{{#translation:}}|Sysop deleting and undeleting]]