Reverting means reversing a prior or undoing the effects of one or more s, which typically results in the article being restored to a version that existed sometime previously. A partial reversion involves reversing only part of a prior , while retaining other parts of it.

What is a reversion?[]

A reversion is an , or part of an , that completely reverses a prior , restoring at least part of an article to what it was before the prior . The typical way to effect a reversion is to use the "undo" button on the article's history page, but it isn't any less of a reversion if one simply types in the previous text.

A single may reverse multiple prior s, in which case the constitutes multiple reversions.

Any to existing text could be said to reverse some of a previous . However, this is not the way the community defines reversion, because it is not consistent with either the principle of collaborative ing or with the ing policy. Wholesale reversions (complete reversal of one or more previous s) are singled out for special treatment because a reversion cannot help an article converge on a consensus version.

Editor action Classification
Alice re-phrases the wording in the first paragraph of an existing article. A normal change, not a reversion.
You reverse all of Alice's changes in wording, restoring the article to the previous version. A complete reversion.
Alice adds a new paragraph at the end of the article. A normal change, not a reversion.
You remove most of Alice's new paragraph, but leave one or two sentences. A partial reversion.

Number of times Alice has made a reversion: Zero.

Number of times you reverted Alice's s: Two.

When to revert[]

Reverting is appropriate mostly for vandalism or other disruptive s. The Wikipedia warring policy forbids repetitive reverting.

If you see a good-faith that you believe lowers the quality of the article, make a good-faith effort to reword instead of just reverting it. Similarly, if you make an that is good-faith reverted, do not simply reinstate your  – leave the status quo up, or try an alternative way to make the change that includes feedback from the other or.

If there is a dispute, ors should work towards consensus. Instead of engaging in an war, which is harmful, propose your reverted change on the article's talk page or pursue other dispute resolution alternatives.

Do not revert an otherwise good solely because an or used a poor summary or has a bad username. You cannot remove or change prior summaries by reverting, even if you made the in question. If an summary violates the privacy policy or otherwise qualifies for oversighting or deletion, then see Help:Edit summary § Fixing. Otherwise, ignore it. In the case of a bad username, see WP:BADNAME.

Avoid reverting during discussion[]

During a dispute discussion, you should not revert away from the status quo ante bellum until a consensus is established. Instead of reverting, insert an appropriate tag indicating the text is under discussion and leave the tag in place until the discussion concludes. If a dispute arises regarding which version is the status quo ante bellum, then be the adult in the room and don't revert. Tag instead.

Exceptions to this recommendation include the following:

The procedural practice of temporarily favoring the status quo prevents warring while discussion is taking place. Because it protects the wrong version, it should not be used for any other purpose. See, for example, Wikipedia:Consensus#Through ing (presumed consensus exists only in the absence of a dispute) and Wikipedia:Status quo stonewalling (ors favoring an older version should provide substantive reasons).

Do a partial reversion when appropriate[]

Don't throw out the baby with the bathwater!

Ideally, each should contain one distinct change. But in practice, ors often bundle multiple changes into a single , such as adding a new section while also fixing a copy error elsewhere on the page. If you object to only part of an , consider reverting only that part and leaving the rest alone. The encyclopedia is damaged when positive contributions that should be preserved are caught up and lost in a revert. It is often difficult for an or to restore an uncontroversial portion of their without seeming like they are warring. If you do feel that all parts of a multi-part warrant reversion, it is good practice to note so in your summary for clarity.

Different ways to revert[]

When you have decided to revert, please consider whether you will use the undo link in the page history, or revert manually. If you use the undo link, the ors whose s you revert will receive a notification (if they have requested notification of reversions). If you revert by manually changing the text to the old version, they will not receive a notification, which some ors appreciate. If the s you revert are clearly disruptive or vandalism, it may be better not to notify the disruptor or vandal of your correction, by reverting manually.

Note that when intermediate s have been made, it is sometimes not possible to use the undo link.

Explain reverts[]

Edit summaries, always a good practice, are particularly important when reverting. Provide a valid and informative explanation including, if possible, a link to the Wikipedia principle you believe justifies the reversion. Try to remain available for dialogue, especially in the half-day or so after reverting.

A reversion is a complete rejection of the work of another or and if the reversion is not adequately supported then the reverted or may find it difficult to assume good faith. This is one of the most common causes of an war. A substantive explanation also promotes consensus by alerting the reverted or to the problem with the original . The reverted or may then be able to revise the to correct the perceived problem. The result will be an improved article, a more knowledgeable or, and greater harmony.

In addition to helping the reverted or, providing information regarding the reversion will help other ors by letting them know whether – or not – they need to even view the reverted version, such as in the case of blanking a page. Explaining reverts also helps users who check histories to determine the extent to which the information in the article is reliable or current.

If your reasons for reverting are too complex to explain in an summary, leave a note on the article's Talk page. It is sometimes best to leave a note on the Talk page first and then revert, rather than the other way around; this gives the other or a chance to agree with you and revise their appropriately. Conversely, if another or reverts your change without any apparent explanation, you may wish to wait a few minutes to see if they explain their actions on the article's or your user's talk page.

Edit wars are harmful[]


Edit wars are usually considered harmful, for the following reasons:

  1. Edit wars destabilize the article in question and may be off-putting to the observant and wary ors who would otherwise contribute stabilizing improvements to it.
  2. Edit wars tend to cause ill-will and probably delay or development and reduce or retention. An or can feel a revert is "a slap in the face" – "I worked hard and someone reverted it!"
  3. Edit wars do waste space in the database, make the page history less useful, and flood recent-change lists and watchlists.
  4. Edit wars are often myopic, occurring while neither participant is familiar with the big picture. The ors involved tend to focus on only one part of an article without considering other sections of the article or other articles linked dependently to the area in question, resulting in inconsistencies with the big picture concerning the content in question. The noticeboard is part of the big picture too.


Editors should not revert simply because of disagreement. Instead, explore alternative methods, such as raising objections on a talk page or following the processes in dispute resolution.

Three-revert rule[]

As a means to limit wars, Wikipedia's policies and guidelines state that one may not revert any article more than three times in the same 24-hour period. This is a hard limit, not a given right. Attempts to circumvent the three-revert rule, such as making a fourth revert just after 24 hours, are strongly discouraged and may trigger the need for remedies, such as an ing block on one's account.


Edits that do not contribute to warring are generally considered to be exceptions to the three-revert rule. These include reverts of obvious vandalism, reverts of banned users, and removal of potentially libelous text.

Please request protection rather than reverting. Violation of the three-revert rule may lead to protection of the page on the version preferred by the non-violating party, blocking or investigation by the Arbitration Committee.

See also[]