This page uses content from Wikipedia and is licensed under CC BY-SA.

Wikipedia:High-risk templates

Following the Wikipedia:Protection policy, page protection may be indefinitely applied to all templates, template redirects, and Lua modules that have been identified by the community as being of high risk to Wikipedia. If fully protected, so that they can only be edited by administrators, or template-protected, so that they can only be edited by administrators and template editors, these pages should be changed only after consensus for the change has been established on the corresponding talk page. If semi-protected, templates and modules may be edited by any established user, but users should ensure there is consensus for their edits and avoid edit wars.

The most common reasons a template or module is considered high-risk are:

  • It is used in a permanently highly visible location, and it isn't cascade protected.
  • It is transcluded into a very large number of pages.
  • It is substituted extremely frequently by multiple users on an ongoing basis (for example, templates used to warn users about inappropriate editing).

There are no fixed criteria, and no fixed number of transclusions, that are used to decide whether a template or module is high-risk. Each page is considered separately. If a template or module relates to a biography of a living person that would strengthen any arguments in favor of its preemptive protection.


The risk of vandalism is increased for a template or module that is transcluded many times or is shown on high-visibility pages. The fact that numerous readers would see an edit to these pages provides an incentive to vandalize them and also magnifies the damage done by such an act. There have also been cases where well-meaning editors introduced an error to a template that broke millions of pages.

Although this kind of vandalism is reverted very quickly (often within one minute), it might be seen by thousands of viewers before it is removed; protection lowers this risk. An additional risk is that, before the vandalism is fixed, some of the pages may have their caches updated, and these may stick around for a long time after the vandalism is fixed. Because experience has shown that vandalism to templates is often performed from multiple autoconfirmed accounts, full protection or template protection may be required to prevent abusive editing.

Documentation and padlock

Semi- and fully protected templates should normally have the {{Documentation}} template. It loads the unprotected /doc page, so that non-admins and IP-users can edit the documentation and categories. It also automatically adds {{pp-template}} to protected templates, which displays a small padlock in the top right corner and categorizes the template as a protected template. Only manually add {{pp-template}} to protected templates that don't use {{Documentation}} (mostly the stub templates).

The bottom of protected templates should usually look like this:

<!--Last line of the template code--><noinclude>

<!-- Categories go on the /doc subpage, and interwikis go on Wikidata. -->

This process is not necessary for Lua modules, as the documentation from the module's /doc subpage is automatically shown on the main module page.

Relevant discussions

See also