Help talk:Watchlist

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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)

Size limitation[edit]

I've moved this from the help page, because it's not cited and has remained so for 8 years:

If you have a very large watchlist, bringing up the edit interface (Special:Watchlist/edit) can take a very long time. It may take so long that the server may terminate the query before any data has been returned to you,[1] resulting in a completely blank page. How big your watchlist can be before you start having problems depends on the server load, so no exact threshold can be safely given. As of January 27, 2006, some highly unscientific testing has shown that watchlists bigger than ~9800 pages on the English Wikipedia will usually cause problems.[citation needed] This value may be used as a tentative upper limit. If you still have problems at that size, manually reduce the number of watched pages until it works reliably again, and prune your watchlist regularly to avoid running into the limitation again.

I've moved the link to the essay to the 'see also' section. Kind regards, --Tom (LT) (talk) 10:00, 10 September 2014 (UTC)


I currently have 19,168 articles on my watchlist (nearly every article I've created, plus a few hundred others) and I've had no problems so far. Lugnuts Dick Laurent is dead 08:55, 16 December 2014 (UTC)

How many watchers?[edit]

Is there a way to find out how many people are watching an article (i.e. have the article on their watchlists)? Axl ¤ [Talk] 17:23, 18 September 2014 (UTC)

@Axl: Yes. For instance, you can find out the number of watchers for this page by visiting here. You can click on 'Page information' link which can be found on the sidebar under the Tools section. --Glaisher (talk) 17:27, 18 September 2014 (UTC)
Thank you, Glaisher. The page that I am interested in has "fewer than 30 watchers2. It's not as precise as I was hoping, but still useful. Axl ¤ [Talk] 19:04, 18 September 2014 (UTC)

A second watchlist might be useful[edit]

I think it would be very useful to have another, separate watchlist. I participated in many conversations (talk pages) and sometimes I forget to check if someone answered me or posted after me. Therefore I would like to have another watchlist, specially for current discussions. I think it would be nice to have such a watchlist, where to keep only the pages that are very important for you. The regular watchlist is growing every day so it can't be used for such a purposes. For the moment, I am using a trick: in the "Edit summary" field I am placing a (TOFOLLOW) label, so I can quickly find those pages when I consult the history of my contributions. For example this edit. Using bookmarks doesn't help since I am using Wikipedia from many computers, and on some of them I can't use Browser's Sync feature.

Or, to implement user-defined tags, so I can filter the edits in my contributions log by my own tags. Then I can set the contributions log to show me only the edits where I have placed "TOFOLLOW" tag. —  Ark25  (talk) 15:27, 19 December 2014 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:Perennial proposals#Watchlist changes. PrimeHunter (talk) 18:35, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
Oh nice, thanks! —  Ark25  (talk) 09:20, 20 December 2014 (UTC)

Article titles bolded in Watchlist[edit]

Sometimes random article titles appearing in my watchlist are bolded for no apparent reason. It is not because the change is over 500 bytes, and I cannot see any other explanation for it. It does not happen every time, and is only one or two titles at any given time. It is not the newest items on the list either. Has anyone else witnessed this before, or are able to explain it? Thanks, AtHomeIn神戸 (talk) 01:52, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

Backlinks watchlist[edit]

Is there a way to monitor when links are added/deleted in the "What links here" list of a page? -- GreenC 03:38, 11 May 2015 (UTC)

Green button should be in the "legend"[edit]

What is it? -- BullRangifer (talk) 18:59, 28 June 2015 (UTC)

If you have the default English interface then you should see MediaWiki:Wlheader-showupdated above the "Mark all pages as visited button". PrimeHunter (talk) 00:24, 1 July 2015 (UTC)
Seconded: I too have come here to suggest putting the green button in the Legend. It makes no sense to have it outside always taking up space, while hiding all the other symbols that can appear alongside changes. If it‘s just as it was recently updated then that was months ago, based on the age of this topic.--JohnBlackburnewordsdeeds 21:49, 8 September 2015 (UTC)

Why this article title?[edit]

Why isn't this article titled Help:Watchlists? I can't find any discussion. -- BullRangifer (talk) 19:56, 28 June 2015 (UTC)

@BullRangifer: Hmm, yeah, I think Help:Watchlist (singular) would be a better title for this page (we generally don't refer to pages like this as "articles"). It would better accord with the feature in the interface, and is more about that watchlist interface itself than the act of "watching a page", which in any event we often refer to as "watchlisting a page". It appears the original page was Wikipedia:Watchlist help, which now redirects here. It was created in January 2003‎ and was copied and pasted here in 2004 (that may have been before there was such a thing as moving a page). For a major project page like this you'd probably want to make a requested move to pursue this further.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 00:09, 1 July 2015 (UTC)
I agree that singular would be better for this help page. I made the request. -- BullRangifer (talk) 02:20, 1 July 2015 (UTC)
@BullRangifer: You made a technical request, as an uncontroversial move. I'm sorry for not being more specific, but what I said above about "For a major project page like this..." was intended to indicate this should probably have a requested move discussion; that this is not a good candidate for a bold move, or one to be sought as a technical request. See WP:RM#CM, which is what many people mean when they refer to making requested move, despite the existence of the technical section.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 03:26, 1 July 2015 (UTC)
Fuhghettaboutit, I see the move has already been made. It was a technical matter, since a redirect blocked the move. Let's see how this works. -- BullRangifer (talk) 05:19, 1 July 2015 (UTC)

Bots hiding previous edits[edit]

The issue is that when someone adds a tag such as this [1]

And a bot comes along a few minutes later and dates it [2]

This removes the previous edit from my watchlist. Really we need the watchlist to show all last non bot edits. Not sure who would fix this? Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 14:05, 16 August 2015 (UTC)

That should be a custom feature or through a script. I prefer seeing the bots including dating notification as it's useful information (tells me tags were added when otherwise an edit summary doesn't say so). -- GreenC 15:26, 16 August 2015 (UTC)
The suggestion is not to turn of the bots, but to have the "Don't include bot edits" checkbox cause the last edit before the bot edit to remain in the Watchlist. Currently a bot edit after a user edit hides the user edit from the Watchlist. -- CFCF 🍌 (email) 17:10, 16 August 2015 (UTC)
It's an old feature request. Help:Watchlist#Options has the reference: "Bug 9790: Watchlist doesn't show earlier normal edits when hiding bot edits or minor edits". PrimeHunter (talk) 19:39, 16 August 2015 (UTC)
Thanks User:PrimeHunter added my support. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 20:12, 17 August 2015 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 27 August 2015[edit]

subash drew bieber 09:40, 27 August 2015 (UTC) subash drew bieber and jb

X mark.svg Not done as you are in the wrong place, since this page is only to discuss improvements to Help:Watchlist.
If you want to suggest a change, please request this on the talk page of the relevant article in the form "Please replace XXX with YYY" or "Please add ZZZ between PPP and QQQ".
Please also cite reliable sources to back up your request, without which no information should be added to, or changed in, any article. - Arjayay (talk) 12:19, 27 August 2015 (UTC)

Customizing watchlist[edit]

Is there a way to create a sub watchlist of the user's choosing? --Efe (talk) 15:11, 1 November 2015 (UTC)

Green marker[edit]

"Pages that have been changed since you last visited them are shown with a green marker."

Duh! Of course, that's why every single item in the watchlist is marked with that green marker, rendering it useless.

This is meaningless and the green marker should not be used at all, or changed to someting that's truly visible and significant, like the green markers on the "Related changes" page. There we have two green markers, one is a square box, and the other a triangle, and they actually do serve a purpose. It would be even better if they were strongly contrasting colors, like red and green.

Also, if it really meant anything, the marker should be included in the legend box (Template:Watchlist legend), and not in a whole sentence at the top of the page, but since it doesn't, just delete the whole sentence and the green markers. -- {{u|BullRangifer}} {Talk} 03:10, 9 November 2015 (UTC)

The marker is blue for pages that have not been changed since you last visited them. You can remove the green markers by disabling "Display green collapsible arrows and green bullets for changed pages in your Watchlist, History and Recent changes" at Special:Preferences#mw-prefsection-gadgets. You can also choose to enable "Display pages on your watchlist that have changed since your last visit in bold". shows the name and placement of MediaWiki mesages on the watchlist (?uselang=qqx or &uselang=qqx also works on other url's). The current message is made with MediaWiki:Wlheader-showupdated which is meant for this purpose. There is no suited message in the legend box, and the same legend box is shown in different pages with different marking systems. Template:Watchlist legend is not shown on watchlists, recent changes or related pages. It's shown at Help:Watchlist#How to read a watchlist and only mimics the real legend box. PrimeHunter (talk) 04:20, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for the explanation. So some of those teeny tiny boxes are actually blue? You could have fooled me. I have a hard time seeing the difference, and I'm not color blind. The difference between light green and light blue, when it's so small, isn't a big enough difference. Different shapes with contrasting colors would work much better.
Where can I see the bold? I can't find it in my preferences under the "watchlist" tab. -- {{u|BullRangifer}} {Talk} 06:01, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
Bolding is also a gadget at Special:Preferences#mw-prefsection-gadgets. Gadgets are made at the English Wikipedia. The other tabs at preferences are determined by the MediaWiki installation and we cannot insert options or features there. We could theoretically insert a text on the watchlist tab, mentioning there are also gadgets which affect the watchlist. But doesn't show a suitable interface message for adding text unrelated to the existing watchlist options. PrimeHunter (talk) 18:26, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
Marking of watchlist pages that have been changed since you last visited was introduced in MediaWiki in 2012. It was and still is done with bolding and no options in MediaWiki itself. The bolding got a lot of complaints at Wikipedia:Village pump (technical)/Archive 99#Watchlist - bold letter article titles!, so the English Wikipedia made gadget options to change or remove the markings, and chose a default setting without bolding. PrimeHunter (talk) 18:54, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for all the good info! I hadn't noticed the Gadgets. I tried the bolding, but it makes it harder to read, and so few are not bold that it's not worth it. It needs to be the exception that is more noticeable, so green boxes for the changed, and red triangles for the unchanged, would work much better. The red triangles would stand out, and the red boxes wouldn't affect the readability. BTW, I work with a huge watchlist. Right now it says this: "You have 6,628 pages on your watchlist (excluding talk pages)." It's been over 10,000 at times. I need to take a couple hours to pare it down again. -- BullRangifer (talk) 04:54, 10 November 2015 (UTC)
The green marker gadget uses MediaWiki:Gadget-WatchlistGreenIndicators.css if your skin is Vector. You could disable the gadget and try making your own version with other markers in your CSS. If you don't know CSS then you just have to replace the file names, for example starting at commons:Category:Wikipedia bullets and clicking on an image until you get a url at PrimeHunter (talk) 13:28, 10 November 2015 (UTC)