Help:Deletion

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This page is about deleting and undeleting wiki pages. For information on what pages can/should be deleted see the Deletion policy.

Normal and administrator users cannot permanently delete a wiki page, but administrators can delete a page such that it could still be restored. This is a deliberate design feature, and is an important part of why wikis work. Every kind of editing operation can be reverted by any other user, and that includes resurrecting deleted content. 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 administrator permissions: it allows to semi-permanently remove a page from the wiki, until a administrator undeletes (restores) it with the same ease. Typically admins might look for {{D}}, and do a proper delete on these pages, or {{Rfd}} after they have been successfully closed. If for some reason you need a page to be deleted more quickly than that, you will need to contact an admin to request this.

Revision deletion offers a more granular feature of deletion for edits with peculiar problems.

Before deleting[edit source]

Administrators should also be aware of the general advice given on 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:

  1. Use the "What links here" tool. This gives an indication as to how important a page is, and what subjects it relates to. Perhaps the page is still linked to prominently from many places. All incoming links will become red links if you proceed with the delete. Ideally all incoming links should be changed/removed, if there is genuinely no need for this page to exist. You could do this work prior to deleting, or ask others in the wiki community to do it.
  2. Check the page history and the associated talk page or the Rfd. Who was proposing the deletion? Does anyone disagree? Has it been properly discussed? Did people have adequate time to raise objections? 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. Remember that only administrator users can undo a delete action, so to a normal user the information appears to be lost forever. Remember to make sure the deletion fits the deletion policy.

Use the 'delete' action[edit source]

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

Remember that only administrators can delete uploaded files.

Undeleting[edit source]

Pages can be completely undeleted, all revisions and page contents are stored. To undelete a page you must navigate to the exact page name of the page. 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?". Tick the box next to the revision you wish to restore.

Configuring deletion reasons[edit source]

The list of reasons in the dropdown box is maintained at MediaWiki:Deletereason-dropdown.

Deleting page revisions[edit source]

Main article: RS:REVDEL

Administrators have the ability to selectively delete revisions and edit summaries from article and file histories. This should be used only under specific circumstances, such as containing extremely offensive material or links.

See also[edit source]

  • Template:Rfd, the template to nominate for deletion where a consensus from the wiki's community is appropriate.
  • Template:D, the template to nominate for speedy deletion.