Help talk:Watching pages

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More Than One Watchlist?[edit]

Since the effective limit for watchlists is approximately 9800 pages, is it possible to have more than one watchlist? Allen (talk) 23:03, 10 March 2012 (UTC)

No, but the first paragraph at Help:Watching pages#Alternatives to watchlists describes how to get round this. -- John of Reading (talk) 08:01, 11 March 2012 (UTC)

New format for watchlists?[edit]

Is there a new format for user watchlists? Is there a way to go back to the old version? Allen (Morriswa) (talk) 21:50, 8 April 2012 (UTC)

I guess this refers to your problem at Wikipedia:Help desk#Wikipedia is not working correctly, probably caused by [1] where you imported User:Ais523/catwatch.js. PrimeHunter (talk) 01:35, 9 April 2012 (UTC)

What are the green stars for?[edit]

Now all of a sudden there are green stars on my watchlist on almost every entry. Why? --Hammersoft (talk) 21:06, 10 May 2012 (UTC)

It means the page has been edited since you last visited it. There is currently experimentation with a way to indicate this. See Wikipedia:Village pump (technical)/Archive 126#Watchlist - bold letter article titles! The green stars may not stay either. PrimeHunter (talk) 21:11, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
Keep it, please. Or go back to bold. I slightly prefer the bold over the star, but either is a big improvement over a lack of indication whether I have already seen the changed version. Jim.henderson (talk) 21:25, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
  • So now the software keeps track of what pages you've visited? It'd be nice if somewhere on the page it actually told you what the green stars are for. --Hammersoft (talk) 21:34, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Uhg. And now the green stars are gone. Am I hallucinating or are the developers fielding things as haphazardly as they like without any oversight by anyone other than a programmer???? --Hammersoft (talk) 22:16, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
The bolding was discussed at Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)/Archive 83#Enable "Show changes since last visit" on watchlist. Many interface settings are in the MediaWiki namespace which can be edited by any admin. The green star was added to MediaWiki:Common.css in [2] after many complaints about the bolding. PrimeHunter (talk) 22:57, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
So, as of right now, can I turn the bolding/stars off from the settings page, or is it still only possible via CSS? -BlameRuiner (talk) 12:41, 11 May 2012 (UTC)
Other way around, I think. The program was written this way years ago, and other wikis have been happily using this feature for years. A decision was made earlier this year to implement it here, but hundreds of Admins have the power to change the option and several did so, without consulting each other. Which is to say, it's too many supervisors able to meddle without thinking, rather than programmers running amok in cooking up pleasant features. Jim.henderson (talk) 02:18, 11 May 2012 (UTC)

A little off topic but I would deary love to have the opposite of the "Only show edits that are latest revisions" option in my contributions page. -- Alan Liefting (talk - contribs) 03:08, 11 May 2012 (UTC)
See User:Markhurd/hidetopcontrib. PrimeHunter (talk) 03:17, 11 May 2012 (UTC)
I would just like someone to stop changing it back and forth, then tell us exactly what everything means. I used to get bold for edits the happened after I last visited my watch list. Now it looks like it bolds everything anyone else ever did, and doesn't bold any of my edits. Just please decide what you are going to do, then do it, then document it somewhere (not on an archived talk page) instead of flip-flopping. Don Lammers (talk) 19:48, 11 May 2012 (UTC)
I don't want bold or stars. I can remember on my own just fine... Smarkflea (talk) 23:06, 11 May 2012 (UTC)
I reckon having the article be bold when somebody edits is an excellent idea. It should be kept.Mjs1991 (talk) 13:37, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
I also support the Bold when edited protocol, which we had briefly here. It's useful at Commons, and would be useful here. --Pete Tillman (talk) 01:00, 15 May 2012 (UTC)
This topic is a subject of an RFC at Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Watchlist survey and is under discussion in various pages. Perhaps other editors will compile a list of relevant discussions. Jim.henderson (talk) 16:38, 18 May 2012 (UTC)

What is going on?[edit]

Why change soemthing that doesn't need changing? I went to check and edit my "watchlist" as I normally do and when I "clicked" on "You have 1,014 pages on your watchlist (excluding talk pages)", I am redirected to this Help page. I do not need Help, I need my old watchlist format so that I can edit my watchlist. Therefore, and even though it may seem as a contradiction, I must ask you to "Help" me in this issue. Tony the Marine (talk) 18:14, 19 May 2012 (UTC)

  • Never mind. I don't know how, but the problem has been solved. Take care you all. Tony the Marine (talk)

Disable confirmation dialogue when watching a page?[edit]

Is there any way for me to skip that annoying confirmation prompt which asks if I really want to add a page to my watchlist, and go back to the old behaviour whereby a page was added immediately when I said I wanted to watch it? Watching/unwatching is an innocuous action, trivially reversible if a mistake is made, so I've never understood why it was felt necessary to augment the procedure with an extra confirmation step. — Richwales 17:31, 21 June 2012 (UTC)

It never asks confirmation from me, so must be some setting under "My Preferences" I think. - JohnnyWiki (talk) 18:19, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
I'm not aware of a preference to add such a confirmation step. Maybe you add pages using some script instead of the default way. What is your skin and how do you add a page to your watchlist? I have the default Vector skin and click the star tab to the right of the history tab. PrimeHunter (talk) 19:10, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
I'm using Monobook. I'm also using the "Add page and user options to drop-down menus on the toolbar" gadget — this moves the watch/unwatch function to a drop-down menu item under the "page" tab at the top of the screen. Additionally, I'm using Twinkle.
I do see a difference in the watch/unwatch behaviour when I use this gadget (it gives me a separate screen asking me if I want to watch/unwatch), as opposed to when I don't use this gadget (it does the watch/unwatch immediately, adding a notice near the top of the page, but without leaving the page). I would obviously prefer the latter behaviour — but I'm not willing to give up the page/user options gadget because, without it, all the extra Twinkle tabs stretch way off the right-hand edge of my browser window.
So, I guess that means I should bring up my issue with the maintainers of the drop-down menu gadget, right? — Richwales 19:50, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
After poking around the drop-down menu gadget and the MediaWiki "watch" API, it appears the problem is that the drop-down menu gadget is not supplying a "watch token" parameter (added to the API a few months ago) as part of its "action=watch" or "action=unwatch" call. The default watch/unwatch button, on the other hand, does include the watch token value. I assume, again, that I'll need to bring up this issue with the maintainer of the drop-down menu gadget. — Richwales 20:40, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
Documentation at mw: is often missing or behind. The token is older than the February addition to mw:API:Watch. There is already a small discussion at User talk:Haza-w/Drop-down menus#Remove this page from your watchlist? It seems like the right place but may need more attention. I don't know how to make the fix. Haza-w seems inactive. The discussion was started by Gadget850 who is also an admin. PrimeHunter (talk) 10:29, 27 June 2012 (UTC)

Suspicious page size change calculation[edit]

Spratly Islands is on my watchlist. I have this entry for 22 June 2012:

19:00 (cur | prev) . . (+34,288)‎ . . CommonsDelinker (talk | contribs) (Removing "Vietnam_Spratly_island.jpg", it has been deleted from Commons by Martin H. because: copyright violation.)

The diff[3] linked from prev shows no changes. As its name implies, User:CommonsDelinker doesn't add content to pages; it typically removes one wikilink of about 100 bytes. It is curious that the watchlist entry shows a change of +34,288 bytes for this edit. Certes (talk) 13:42, 23 June 2012 (UTC)

It's a bug which has occurred on many pages. 34,288 is the page size. It's discussed at Wikipedia:Village pump (technical)#Diff/watchlist difficulties. PrimeHunter (talk) 10:11, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
Thank you, it's good to know that someone is already addressing the problem there. Certes (talk) 10:16, 27 June 2012 (UTC)

Watch both main and talk page[edit]

I guess I missed the memo. Since when have Watched pages automatically included the associated talk pages? Can that be disabled so we don't need to follow every talk page associated with those which we watch. NECRATSpeak to me 09:27, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

That's been the behaviour for years; here is a version of the help page from 2006. There was a discussion a few months ago (where?) about allowing the two pages to be watched separately, but, as far as I know, nothing has been done about implementing it. -- John of Reading (talk) 09:39, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
It's possible to separate the two, if you manually edit your watchlist. I've done it once, to ignore a high-traffic Talk page, but monitor the low-traffic article. Some discussions are just too upsetting to even watch the edit summaries. --Lexein (talk) 09:47, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
See the section Help:Watching pages#Hiding pages from a watchlist for details on how to hide pages and/or talkpages. -- Quiddity (talk) 23:24, 28 August 2012 (UTC)

New system? Where when what[edit]

  1. People are wondering at WP:VPT#Watch/unwatch box, where the new system came from (the overlay balloon below the searchbox, instead of the old wide-box that pushes the entire page-content down), and asking if they can personally disable/revert this new feature. Please reply there and/or here.
  2. The note at Help:Watching pages#cite_note-0 links to the non-existent and the links in WP:CLASS to ajaxwatch.js ( are also kaput. (possibly related to point#1, and should be updated)

P.s. My only guess was MediaWikiWiki:User:Blackjack48/GSOC proposal for watchlist improvements reported on at WP:Wikipedia Signpost/2012-08-13/Technology report#Google Summer of Code: Watchlist improvements but I can't trace what got changed.

Thanks :) -- Quiddity (talk) 23:52, 28 August 2012 (UTC)

How can watchlist notices be restored?[edit]

The old trick of deleting Wikipedia watchlist cookies doesn't work. --Lexein (talk) 16:19, 20 October 2012 (UTC)

Edit request on 22 October 2012[edit]

Navunaveen (talk) 06:31, 22 October 2012 (UTC)

Not done: You have not explained what you want to be changed. -- John of Reading (talk) 06:47, 22 October 2012 (UTC)

Subtitles - How to add?[edit]

How to add subtitles to the video? Is the video's talk site [4] the one to ask? Thank u4 reply.

--Monowysiwyg (talk) 21:50, 11 November 2012 (UTC)

Request for updated images[edit]

Could someone please update the images on this help page to show "Talk, Preferences, Watchlist" instead of "My talk, My preferences, My watchlist"? Thanks! GoingBatty (talk) 16:33, 1 December 2012 (UTC)

Technical glitch with the Watchlist[edit]

I recently noticed that my Watchlist stopped updating at approximately 04:03 February 18, 2013 with any new updates that were made to any articles on my watchlist. I know this to be true due to the fact that I, myself, have made some updates to some of the articles on my watchlist, and the edit that shows up as most recent on my watchlist was the edit that happened before the one I just did. Is there an issue going on with the watchlist that needs to be resolved?

The action I have taken so far, due to the fact that I know that this can most likely not be fixed by any user or administrator on here, is I went to Wikipedia:Contact us and sent an email to the email address provided in that section. Other than that, I do not know where to take this issue. This page does not state anything about how to resolve a technical issue with the watchlist when it is not working as it should, and I highly suggest that we add an additional section to this article detailing how to resolve an issue like this, and/or who to contact and how to contact them if an issue like this happens again in the future. In fact, there could even be some sort of "server maintenance window" happening on Wikimedia's servers that might need to be included in this article, in case the maintenance window happens at the same time each week, etc., just so users/administrators can know when these windows happen, and not be alarmed by them if they do. Steel1943 (talk) 05:11, 18 February 2013 (UTC)

The default place for this kind of query is Village Pump (Tech). See Wikipedia:VPT#Watchlist_lag_but_no_notice. There is also an IRC channel for technical stuff.--Commander Keane (talk) 05:22, 18 February 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the link to that discussion; it helped me a lot. However, I'm still thinking that there might need to be a section added to this article to possibly direct to that Village Pump page, in case an issue like this happens in the future, or some information of that nature to help other editors in case an issue like this happens. Steel1943 (talk) 05:26, 18 February 2013 (UTC)
By all means add a link to the Village pump on this help page. Other things can break too though, so maybe a link in a more general place would be better.--Commander Keane (talk) 05:52, 18 February 2013 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done. Steel1943 (talk) 06:05, 18 February 2013 (UTC)

"Hide bots" actually means "Hide pages last edited by bots"?[edit]

(Hopefully I'm not way off track here.)

When I view my Watchlist, I don't normally use any of the "hide" options, but with that bot doing all the interwiki stuff recently, the "Hide bots" option seemed useful. I assumed that this option would just hide edits by bots, so that as far as my Watchlist was concerned, the most recent edit would be the most recent non-bot edit (and the page would show up on my Watchlist if that edit were in the specified timeframe being viewed).

But apparently, "hide bots" means "hide all pages where the most recent edit was a bot, even if a human edited the page twenty minutes earlier." I realized this when I found that the article Oscar Pistorius was not showing up on my Watchlist when I used the "hide bots" option. Is this how the function is supposed to work, or is this a bug? It's easy for me to imagine why someone would prefer not to see bot edits on their Watchlist. I can't imagine why someone would prefer not to see human edits on their Watchlist simply because a bot edited the page after the human. Theoldsparkle (talk) 18:18, 27 February 2013 (UTC)

That is the current behaviour, even though it's not very helpful. Those "hide" options are only useful if you select the "Enhanced watchlist" option in your preferences - see the Help:Watching pages#Options section. The idea is that you can choose to see all 20 edits made to article X in the last 24 hours, listed one per line on your watchlist display, and then choose to hide the 5 bot edits. -- John of Reading (talk) 19:31, 27 February 2013 (UTC)
Okay, that I can understand. Thanks. The current set-up, with the way those options are displayed and described to those using the non-enhanced option, seems not just unhelpful, but anti-helpful; I fear I may have missed important edits when I used the "hide bots" option earlier. It was just luck that I happened to notice the problem today. Theoldsparkle (talk) 19:58, 27 February 2013 (UTC)
Just so you know, I have been troubled with the same dilema, so these posts have helped me also, so thank you. This all reminds me of a similar situation with the so-called "Thehelpfulbot". As in this example from long ago I tucked away for future reference,[5] a vandal hacks up an article with blatant vandalism, removing the Reflist in the process which causes a "cite error" tag. So then "TheHelpfulBot" comes along [6] and immediately puts back the reflist template, but does nothing else, effectively hiding the vandalism from everyone's watchlists. Ironic in that the bot would have been far more "helpful" had it done nothing at all! --RacerX11 Talk to meStalk me 23:53, 27 February 2013 (UTC)
I manage this by using "Navigation popups". I use the "simple watchlist" with all the "Hide" options turned off, so I get only one watchlist line per page. For each one, I hover the mouse over the "hist" link to see all the recent edits. "Works for me"™ -- John of Reading (talk) 07:22, 28 February 2013 (UTC)

This doesn't make sense. It should be "ignore bot edits", it doesn't make sense to not show pages that we last edited by a bot, as there may be several real edits that are relevant. --Iantresman (talk) 14:16, 1 December 2013 (UTC)

That's right. Those "hide" options are only useful if you select the "Enhanced watchlist" option in your preferences. -- John of Reading (talk) 14:24, 1 December 2013 (UTC)

Temporary Watchlisting[edit]

To all interested, there is currently an RfC on adding expiry options to watchlisted pages. Deadbeef 20:57, 2 May 2013 (UTC)

Wikidata - tweaking the watchlist display colors[edit]

If you have "Show Wikidata" enabled in your Preferences, you may wish to change the visual styling of those lines. (To better separate the 2 streams of information). This is the css class needed, (paste it into your Special:Mypage/vector.css), and two example styles:

- to give each Wikidata line a light-grey background, use:

.wikibase-edit { background-color:#ebebeb; }

- to change the color of the entity links (eg "Q5301194"), use:

A.wb-entity-link { color:#745151; }

Those are the only classes currently available. See Wikipedia:Customizing watchlists for related info. Hope that helps. –Quiddity (talk) 00:07, 8 May 2013 (UTC)

Watchlist token[edit]

I'm looking to adding a "watch" link to a template of wikiproject links, but noticed that the standard watch tab has a token that is seemingly automatically invoked when a user is logged in. Does anyone know how to get that token so that other "watch" links can be created? VanIsaacWS Vexcontribs 07:19, 23 May 2013 (UTC)

Watchlist on smartphone - changes, not improvements[edit]

I regularly check my watchlist on my (not very) smartphone (Android, Orange San Francisco). But in the last couple of days the appearance has changed totally:

  • It defaults to a list of all my watchlist, I have to choose "modified" option to get a list of changes
  • It lists all changes in sequence, not grouping together multiple changes to one page
  • When I click on a link, I can only see the actual change, with no context
  • (Possibly an improvement) there are tabs to click to see "articles", "talk", "other"

It's dreadful. Is this "progress", or is there a way I can revert to my "ain't broke, don't fix it" watch list display - like the one I get on my laptop? PamD 06:47, 19 June 2013 (UTC)

I'm not at all sure, but I'd suggest looking from or asking at mw:Wikimedia Mobile engineering. (I just searched for "mobile" at meta, and got led to there. The only specific page I could fine was mw:Mobile design/Watchlist view but that hasn't been updated in 7 months). HTH. –Quiddity (talk) 07:05, 19 June 2013 (UTC)


Is this the place to suggest something regarding watchlists in general? If it isn't, can you point me towards the place where I can? Nick1372 (talk) 02:57, 20 July 2013 (UTC)

It's not the right place but the best place depends on the suggestion. What is it about? PrimeHunter (talk) 13:51, 21 July 2013 (UTC)
I wanted to suggest the ability to place article feedback pages on a watchlist. Nick1372 (talk) 04:59, 22 July 2013 (UTC)
That belongs at Wikipedia talk:Article Feedback Tool/Version 5, but see Wikipedia talk:Article Feedback Tool/Version 5#Watching feedback? and other sections. The feature was there in the past but was disabled for performance reasons. PrimeHunter (talk) 10:51, 22 July 2013 (UTC)
Thanks! Nick1372 (talk) 20:43, 23 July 2013 (UTC)

The article on the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies[edit]

I now have really to complain about the removal of a Jersualem Post article which I included and which was later removed by a user, who claims to be an adherent of the "Palestinian cause". I, user Norrona, wish peace to each side, Salam, Shalom, and what have you. What the article in the JP said was, however, if you wish, an olive branch of peace from Israel's most authoritative newspaper to the work of an Arab Think Tank, which is headed, as the Wikipedia article says, by a very controversial Arab citizen of Israel and former Knesset member of Parliament, Mr. Azmi Bishara. In the contribution about the Arab Opinion Index, the Jerusalem Post very praisingly mentioned the work of the Arab intellectuals, who authored the Index in the first place. To remove such a quotation from the pages of Wikipedia, amounts almost to saying that Israeli, or for that member, Jewish voices on democracy in the Middle East do not count. I really have to call such a deletion vandalism, sorry. John de Norrona (talk) 18:30, 4 February 2014 (UTC)

"Starred diffs" feature on watchlist?[edit]

Perhaps this has been suggested before, but would others find it helpful if we had the ability to "star" diffs that appeared in our watchlist? Say, you are viewing your watchlist, and you see a diff that you wish to respond to, but first you want to review other diffs first. You could "star" the diff as a reminder to follow up later. Perhaps "starred" diffs even jump up to a separate section, above the most recent ones in your watchlist. Or, maybe they remain in chronological order, but do not fall off the bottom of your watchlist (expire) until the "star" designation is removed. If you know you will be going out of town for a few days, you could flag the most recent diff you reviewed in your watchlist… as a placeholder for where to begin upon your return. Could be similar to the "starred" message system used by Gmail. Just some thoughts. I'd love any feedback or other ideas. --Another Believer (Talk) 21:55, 23 February 2014 (UTC)

2,599 watch pages!!![edit]

I have just discovered that there are apparently 2,599 pages on my watch list. Where do they come from? I cannot remember asking for more than three or four of them. Is this something Wikipedia feels is necessary? Is there any easy way of getting rid of them all? Maybe someone can just delete them for me?--Ipigott (talk) 20:05, 25 April 2014 (UTC)

I guess you have a setting to add pages at Special:Preferences#mw-prefsection-watchlist. Special:Watchlist has a link on "Edit raw watchlist". You can quickly clear the watchlist there. It has no page history or revert option so be sure you want it. PrimeHunter (talk) 20:56, 25 April 2014 (UTC)

An "inverse" watchlist?[edit]

Would someone with the know-how consider adding the option to view and edit a watchlist according to how long pages on it have remained unchanged, please?
A suggestion is to use a script with this, but this is beyond my means. Sardanaphalus (talk) 10:12, 12 May 2014 (UTC)

I can't help you, but I really like the idea! Sander.v.Ginkel (talk) 14:40, 20 May 2014 (UTC)

Number of edits[edit]

Besides the green point/button (unseen edit(s) on the page), it would be great if it's possible that the watchlist indicates how many changes there has been on a page since the last visit. Many times someone edits a page and does a minor edit/typo afterwards, which appears on the watchlist and doesn't look interesting.. Wikipedia 'knows' when you visited the last time the page, so it should be able to calculate how many edits there has been done in the meanwhile. It would be great if this could be indicated in brackets behind the green point. Sander.v.Ginkel (talk) 14:39, 20 May 2014 (UTC)

Not working[edit]

It gives me this error:

Not Found - The requested URL /wiki/Special:Watchlist was not found on this server. Additionally, a 404 Not Found error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.

What's the deal? It was working fine an hour ago. Dustin (talk) 20:34, 29 May 2014 (UTC)

Now other stuff isn't working either. Dustin (talk) 20:36, 29 May 2014 (UTC)

Be patient, the experts are on to this at Wikipedia:Village pump (technical). -- John of Reading (talk) 20:49, 29 May 2014 (UTC)
Okay, I asked because about half of the pages were giving me these errors. Dustin (talk) 20:55, 29 May 2014 (UTC)

Multi-project watchlists[edit]

Section is outdated. Tool server is no more. Maybe someone knows if the Multi-project watchlist tool has been ported and a new URL. -- GreenC 23:28, 7 July 2014 (UTC)


What's the significance of the ◌ and • symbols at the start of each line, beside each "(diff | hist)"? The source code mentions "mw-changeslist-list-line-not-watched" and "mw-changeslist-list-line-watched" Bogger (talk) 09:58, 12 August 2014 (UTC)