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Help:Reverting a page to an earlier version

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Reverting

Each time a page is saved, the old version is kept in the page history. Reverting is when you change the page back to one of these old versions. You can do this when a page has been vandalised, or when something has been added or removed when it should not have been. You can not revert the creation of a page. Instead, you will need to delete the page.

How to

To revert to an older version:

  • Go to the page, click on "Page history", and click on the time and date of the earlier version you want to revert to. It will not work if you click on (cur) or (last) links.
  • You will see (for example) "(Revision as of 23:19 Aug 15, 2002)" below the title.
  • Make sure the displayed version is the one you want to save, then click to edit the page, as you would normally.
  • You will get a warning, above the edit box, about editing an out-of-date revision.
  • Ignore the warning and save the page. Be sure to add the word "revert" to the edit summary. Say which one you are reverting to, and why you are doing this.

A revert is usually for dealing with vandalism. It is not a good idea to do this just because you don't like what someone did to a page. Instead, find a compromise (something you can both agree on) and update the current version of the page to reflect that compromise.

Reverts and edit conflicts

Reverts never cause an edit conflict. However, if you revert a page at the same time someone else edits the page, you can overwrite their changes without knowing it. Be careful reverting pages when lots of people are editing at once.

Admin-only options

Rollback link

On the User contributions and Diff pages administrators see "[rollback]" links.

Clicking on the link automatically removes all of the most recent edits made to the page by the individual who made the "rolled back" edit. For example, if a vandal added spam several times in a row to the Main Page, you could visit his user contribution page and click on the [rollback] link next to the Main Page edit. This would automatically remove all of his recent edits to the Main Page. The edit summary will say "Reverted edits by vandal to last version by legitimate user" (where vandal would be the IP address or username of the vandal and legitimate user would be the most recent editor of the page prior to the vandal's edits).

If someone else has already reverted the page, you will see an error message.

If there is a vandal who needs all their edits reverted, the rollback lets you do this quickly. Just visit their User contributions page and click on all of the rollback links. You would probably want to block this user from making future edits as well.

If you don't want the vandalism to show up on the Recent changes page, you can follow the procedure outlined in the next section.

Bot rollback

In cases of flood vandalism (lots of vandalism by one user in a short time), administrators can hide the vandalism from Recent changes. To do this, add &bot=1 to the end of the URL used to access a user's contribution page. For example,

http://gistsupport.medshelf.org/index.php?title=Special:Contributions&target=BadVandal&bot=1

The username BadVandal would be replaced with the vandalizer's username or IP address.

Once you have done this, if you use the "rollback" link (on a user's contribution page), then the revert and the original edit that you are reverting will be hidden from the default Recentchanges display. It does this by marking the edits as "bot edits" (edits by a robot), which are hidden from recent changes by default.

The edits are not hidden from User contributions pages, page histories or watchlists. The edits are still in the database and are not removed, but they no longer show up on Recentchanges. This is done so flood vandals do not annoy people using recent changes. This should not be used for reverting a change you just don't like, but is meant only for massive floods of simple vandalism.