Help:Reverting

On Wikipedia, reverting means undoing or otherwise negating the effects of one or more s, which results in the page (or a part of it) being restored to a previous version. Partial reversion involves restoring one part of the page to a previous version, but leaving other contributions intact. Self-reversion is the act of reverting your own s. Reverting does not always involve the use of the undo tool. Any method of ing that has the practical effect of returning some or all of the page to a previous version counts as a reversion.

Reverting a contribution is sometimes appropriate. However, reverting good-faith actions of other ors can also be disruptive and may lead to the reverter being temporarily blocked from ing. The three-revert rule (part of the warring policy) limits the number of times an or can revert s (including partial reversions) on a page.

Before reverting[]

Consider very carefully before reverting, as it rejects the contributions of another or. Consider what you object to, and what the or was attempting. Can you improve the , bringing progress, rather than reverting it? Can you revert only part of the , or do you need to revert the whole thing?

In the summary or on the talk page, succinctly explain why the change you are reverting was a bad idea or why reverting it is a better idea. In cases of blatant vandalism, uncontroversially disruptive changes or unexplained removals, the amount of explanation needed is minimal. But in the event of a content dispute, a convincing, politely-worded explanation gains much importance and avoids unnecessary disputes.

Manual reverting[]

There are several ways to revert s. A reversion can be carried out manually by ing the page to delete wrongly added text or restore wrongly deleted text. You can do this by copying and pasting text from a past version.

You can also restore a past version of the page. To do this:

  1. Click the View history tab at the top of the page to display the page history.
  2. Click the time and date (e.g. 00:00, 1 January 1970) of the earlier version to which you want to revert. You will see a warning similar to:
    "This is an old revision of this page, as ed by Example (talk | contribs) at 00:00, 1 January 1970 (Example summary). The present address (URL) is a permanent link to this revision, which may differ significantly from the current revision."
    • Important: In the case of vandalism, there may be multiple consecutive vandal s or they may be interspersed between constructive s. Be sure not to revert constructive s by simply choosing the last version before the vandalism occurred. In these cases, the vandalism should be removed manually.
  3. Click the Edit tab as you normally would. Above the box, you will see a warning similar to:
    "You are ing an old revision of this page. If you publish it, any changes made since then will be removed. You may wish to the current revision instead."
    • If ing requires a registered account, log in first, or go to the article's Talk page and ask a registered or to take care of the matter.
    • Explain what you're doing in the summary field. Use complete words, not abbreviations. For example, "Reverting" or "Reverting vandalism".
  4. Preview the page.
  5. Publish changes.
    • In the Revision history, your revision will automatically be tagged with (Tag: Manual revert).
    • Optional: Go to the Talk page and explain what you've done, and why.

Undo[]

The MediaWiki software sometimes enables ors to easily revert (undo) a single from the history of a page, without simultaneously undoing all constructive changes that have been made since. To do this, view the page history or the diff for the , then click on "undo" next to the in question. The software will attempt to create an page with a version of the article in which the undesirable has been removed, but all later s are retained. There is a default summary, but this can be modified before saving.

It is also possible to undo several consecutive s, even if they conflict among themselves: view the "diff" to be removed (by selecting the earliest and most recent revisions in the history and clicking "compare selected revisions"), and click the "undo" link.

Mobile[]

By default, undo functionality is not available in Wikipedia's mobile user interface. If advanced mode is enabled, undo is available from history pages, but not from diff pages. See T191706 for discussion. Its full access is also available to mobile users with desktop view enabled.

Rollback[]

Administrators and ors who have been granted access to the rollback feature have additional links that:

Rollback links appear on the user contributions pages, user watchlists, recent changes pages, history pages and diff pages. Note that in the last case, rollback links can be misleading, since reversion is not necessarily to the old version shown (the diff page may show the combined result of s, including some by other ors or only part of the s the rollback button would revert). To see the changes the rollback button will revert, view the specific diff that compares the last version from the last or with the last version from the previous or. Users with Twinkle enabled will also have three buttons which work similar to rollback, but each is used in a different situation;

Rollback AGF is used to revert good-faith s, so an summary is required.

The standard rollback allows doing mostly the same thing, but with an summary.

The vandalism button should only be used to revert obvious vandalism, since it only takes a single click and does not require an summary.

The rollback button will look similar to this:

[rollback: # s]

Rollback works much more quickly than undo, since it:

On the other hand, it is not as versatile as undo, since it does not allow specification of which s have to be undone. One may want to revert more or fewer s than the rollback does, or s that do not include the last . It also does not allow adding an explanation to the automatic summary without external scripts. Rollback without an summary may only be used in certain circumstances; most commonly to revert obvious vandalism. Rolling back a good-faith or even during an war may be interpreted as "I think your was no better than vandalism, and reverting it doesn't need an explanation". The rollback right can be revoked on misuse: refer to its main page.

If someone else ed or rolled back the page before you clicked the "rollback" link, or if there was no previous or, you will get an error message.

Bot rollback[]

In cases of flood vandalism (rapid changes to many articles), administrators, and global rollbackers, may choose to hide vandalism and reverts from recent changes. To do this, add &bot=1 to the end of the URL used to access a user's contributions. For example: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Special:Contributions&target=SomePersistentVandal&bot=1.

When the rollback links on the contributions list are clicked, the revert and the original that you are reverting will both be hidden from recent changes, unless you click the "bots" link in the Recent Changes to set hidebots=0. The s are not hidden from contributions lists, page histories or watchlists. The s remain in the database and are not removed, but they no longer flood "Recent changes". The aim of this feature is to reduce the annoyance factor of a flood vandal, with relatively little effort. This should not be used for reverting a change you just don't like, but is meant only for massive floods of simple vandalism.

Reverting images[]

To revert an image to a previous version, go to the image page and click on "File history."

You will then see a list of past s and a thumbnail graphic of each. Logged-in users will also see a "Revert" link for versions other than the current one. Click on a Revert link to make the change.

If the image is at Wikimedia Commons you must click through to the image page there to do the revert. Then scroll down to the thumbnails. Beside the thumbnail you wish there will be the word "Revert". You will need to be logged in at Commons.

Reverting multiple non-contiguous s[]

Ultimately, it is the responsibility of the person reverting s on the page to be sure that any intervening helpful s are not reverted, or are re-applied to the article.

In some instances, it is possible to progressively undo changes starting from the most recent and working backward in time, skipping those s which are not to be reverted. The success of being able to do this will depend on where the various s are located within the article text. If they overlap or are close together within the text, the software will consider them to be conflicting with more recent s and not permit an "undo" operation. In some cases, it is easier to begin with this technique as it may revert at least some of the unhelpful s, providing a point from which it is easier to begin hand ing.

When considering reverting multiple s, one should examine all the intervening s. These are often a mix of both helpful and unhelpful s. The goal is to remove the effect of the unhelpful s and leave the helpful ones. This can be done either by undoing the unhelpful s or reverting to a version of the page prior to the beginning of the unhelpful s and re-applying, by hand, the helpful s. To re-apply helpful s, or revert unhelpful s, it is usually easier to copy-and-paste portions of a version of the article which contains, or does not contain those s. In complex situations, this may result in combining portions of text from multiple versions of the article. The choice of starting this process from the current version as your base text, or using a prior version as your base will depend on the relative extent and localization within the article text of the changes which are to be kept and those to be reverted. It is usually easier to have the by-hand operation be on localized areas of text, rather than those changes spread throughout an article. This can be a long (hours) and complex process. It can be quite helpful to use the "Show changes" button in the window to compare the current diff against a diff, in a different tab or window, of the changes which you are attempting to remove or re-apply.

If you are re-applying s by other ors, you should state the original author(s) and which (s) in your summary to provide appropriate cr. If you are reverting to a prior version with the intent of re-applying changes in follow-up s, you should explicitly say so in the summary of your reversion and use the {{in use}} template to indicate to other ors that you are working on the article. This is particularly important because the ors responsible for any s which you have reverted will immediately be notified that their has been reverted. If there is no indication that you are working on the article, particularly if you are working to re-apply helpful s, the other ors may the article in the intervening time, creating an conflict. Having an reverted can be upsetting to other ors, particularly if considerable time and effort were put into performing the . If you are planning to re-apply such s, it is best to let the ors know that up-front.

The choice of method to use in complex situations is often based on your experience with the process and the available tools. Keep in mind that if you get into a situation which you find difficult to resolve, it is always possible to completely revert your own (s) and return the article to the condition in which you found it.

See also[]