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Help:Revert a page
Each time a page is saved, the old version is kept in the page history. You can 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.
Changing to an old version is called reverting.
To revert to an older version:
- Go to the page, click on "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'.
- You will see something like "(Revision as of 07:52 January 28, 2007)" below the title.
- Make sure this 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- You will get a warning, above the edit box, about editing an out-of-date revision.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 change 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, especially if they were trying to make the page better instead of harming it. If this happens, instead of reverting, try to find a compromise (something you can both agree on) by talking about the issue on an article's 'talk' page.
Reverts and change conflicts
Reverts never cause a change conflict. If you revert a page the same time someone else changes the page, you can overwrite their changes without knowing. Be careful reverting pages when lots of people are changing it at once.
- See also: Wikipedia:Rollback feature
The rollback link is also shown on the Diff page.
Clicking on the link reverts to the last change made by a different user. The change summary will say "Reverted edits by X to last version by Y".
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, rollback lets you do this quickly.
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 contributions. For example, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Special:Contributions&target=BadVandal&bot=1.
When you click the rollback links, 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.
The edits are not hidden from contributions lists, 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.
Latest versions of MediaWiki allow editors to revert a single change from the history of a page without simultaneously undoing all constructive changes that have been made since. To do this, view the diff for the change, and click on 'undo' above the newer version. The software will try to create a change page with a version of the article in which the undesirable change has been removed but all later changes are retained. There is an change summary already created for you, but this can be changed. It is also possible to make more changes to the page before saving.
This feature removes the need to manually redo useful changes that were made after the change which is being reverted. However, it will fail if undoing the change would conflict with later changes. For example, if change 1000 adds a paragraph and change 1005 changes that paragraph, it will be impossible to automatically undo change 1000. In this case, you must determine how to resolve the problem manually.
A revert war, or edit war, is where two or more people keep on reverting to their own version. Revert wars do not help the aims of Wikipedia. They look bad, upset people and make the page history less useful.
Reverts should not be used for edit wars. Use the talk page to discuss the problem and find something you can agree on.
If you are in an edit war, never revert the page more than three times in the same day. On the English Wikipedia, people are blocked (banned from making changes) for a day for breaking this rule.
Ask other people what they think. Perhaps they can change the words of the text to stop the edit war. If it will not stop, ask an administrator to protect the page. You can ask this on Wikipedia:Simple talk, or on the Wikipedia:Administrators page, under the "current issues" section.