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|This page documents an English Wikipedia behavioral guideline.|
The Rollback feature provides a button that will undo (revert), with a single click, the last edit to a given page and all consecutively previous edits by the same editor. It is used to undo problematic edits such as vandalism.
An editor with rollback rights sees a rollback button next to relevant revisions on pages such as their watchlist.
Rollback is available to all administrators and can be given to other users upon request, subject to the approval of an administrator. A user who has been assigned this right explicitly is called a rollbacker. There are currently 1,191 administrators and 6,059 rollbackers (7,250 total), not including global rollbackers and stewards who have been assigned the right across all Wikimedia projects.
Standard rollback may only be used in certain situations – editors who misuse standard rollback (for example, by using it to reverse good-faith edits in situations where an explanatory edit summary would normally be expected) may have their rollback rights removed. Since rollback is part of the core administrator tools, an admin could be stripped of their administrative privileges entirely to remove those tools.
Clicking one of these links restores the page to the most recent revision that is not made by the revision's author. This appears in the page history with a generic summary that looks like this:
A link to the reverted user's contribution history is provided, so that it may be easily checked for further problematic edits. It does not appear if you are reverting contributions done by a user whose username has been removed, the result being:
Rules and limitations:
Note that methods exist for performing rollback with non-generic edit summaries – see the Additional tools section below.
Standard rollback is a fast way of undoing problematic edits, but it has the disadvantage that only a generic edit summary is generated, with no explanation of the reason for the change. For this reason, it is considered inappropriate to use it in situations where an explanatory edit summary would normally be expected. Rollback may be used:
Use of standard rollback for any other purposes – such as reverting good-faith changes which you happen to disagree with – is likely to be considered misuse of the tool. When in doubt, use another method of reversion and supply an edit summary to explain your reasoning.
The above restrictions apply to standard rollback, using the generic edit summary. If a tool or manual method is used to add an appropriate explanatory edit summary (as described in the Additional tools section below), then rollback may be freely used as with any other method of reverting.
As with other methods of reverting, when using rollback to restore text to a page, ensure that the text restored does not violate Wikipedia policies.
Administrators may revoke the rollback privilege or issue a block in response to a persistent failure to explain reverts, regardless of the means used. However, they should allow the editor an opportunity to explain their use of rollback before taking any action – there may be justification of which the administrator is not aware (such as reversion of a banned user). Similarly, editors who edit war may lose the privilege regardless of the means used to edit war. Administrators who persistently misuse rollback may have their administrator access revoked, although in practice such cases would require the intervention of the Arbitration Committee.
To request rollback rights, ask at Wikipedia:Requests for permissions/Rollback or ask one of the administrators listed here. Any administrator may grant or revoke rollback rights, using the user rights page.
While there is no fixed requirement, a request is unlikely to be successful without a contribution history that demonstrates an ability to distinguish well-intentioned edits with minor issues from unconstructive vandalism. Rollback is not for very new users: it is unlikely that editors with under 200 mainspace edits will have their request granted. In addition, editors with a recent history of edit warring will often not be granted rollback given concerns of abuse through revert warring.
If you have been granted rollback rights and are not sure how it works, you may wish to test it out here.
Because rollback only takes a single click, without asking for confirmation, even experienced users may sometimes accidentally click rollback when attempting to click somewhere else. If this occurs, simply revert your edit manually, with an edit summary like "Self-revert accidental use of rollback".
If rollback is used accidentally instead of undo to revert a good faith edit, simply follow it with a dummy edit, with an edit summary like "Accidental use of rollback - reason for reversion". The reason for reversion, i.e., the reason for undoing the good faith edit, will then appear in the edit summary for the dummy edit instead of the edit summary for the rollback.
Editors have the option of installing any of the multiple user scripts that enable mandatory confirmation from the user before rolling back an edit.
It is possible to hide the
[rollback] links at Special:Watchlist, which is the source of most accidental uses, while leaving
[rollback] links available in other locations (e.g., diffs). See here for instructions.
It is also possible to use rollback with an explanatory edit summary (instead of the default or standard generic edit summary). Various editing tools let you do this; for example, see this list of tools. To do it manually, copy the URL of the rollback link, paste it into your browser's address bar, and append
&summary= followed by your desired summary to the end of the URL.
The patrolling tool Twinkle adds links in similar places to the "rollback" links, and also calls them "rollback". Unlike rollback, Twinkle may be used by any autoconfirmed user. Other than this, the links are functionally the same, but differ in their choice of edit summaries. Twinkle also offers additional options. (Anyone using both tools will see two "rollback" links, which can be confusing; see the picture.)
For further customization, you can use the following user scripts: