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Administrators can protect and unprotect pages, including ones that do not exist. Protection of a page or image usually means that a non-sysop cannot modify it.

The majority of pages on all wikis should remain publicly editable, and not be protected. Pages may, however, be temporarily or permanently protected for legal reasons, in cases of extreme vandalism, edit warring, and/or abusive re-creation.


  • Protecting highly vandalised pages, such as the Main Page on large wikis.
  • Maintaining the integrity of the site’s logo and favicon.
  • Maintaining the integrity of key copyright and licence pages.
  • Preventing repeatedly created vandal or spam pages from creation. (See Special:ProtectedTitles.)
  • Protecting the interface and system messages in the MediaWiki namespace (these are protected automatically)

A temporary protection is used for:

  • Enforcing a “cool down” period to stop an “edit war”, upon request.
  • Protecting a page or image that has been a recent target of persistent vandalism or persistent edits by a banned/blocked user.

There is no need to protect personal .css and .js pages such as these:

Only the accounts associated with these pages (and admins)[1] are able to edit them. (For more information on using these pages, see Help:User style.)


Most pages and images are unprotected by default. Only the site logo, favicons, and the entirety of the MediaWiki namespace, are automatically protected.

You can protect editing, moving, or both by checking/unchecking the appropriate boxes, and making the appropriate selection from the pulldown menus.

  • Allow all users
    • unprotected → any user — whether logged-in or anonymous — can edit or move the page.
  • Block new and unregistered users
    • semi-protected → anonymous users, and new accounts less than four days old and/or with less than 10 edits, cannot edit and/or move pages.
  • Block all non-admin users
    • fully-protected → only Administrators may edit and/or move the page.

Cascade protection

Pages can also be cascade protected, which will cause all images, pages, and/or templates transcluded onto the page to be fully protected, even if that page itself is only semi-protected.

Ambox important Important: At Scratchpad, pages are rarely if ever cascade protected due to the unforeseen and unintended consequences that so often flow from cascade protection. Exceptions to this general rule can be found at Scratchpad:Cascade-protected items.

Move protection

Policy shortcuts:

Move-protected pages cannot be moved to a new title except by an Administrator. Move protection is commonly applied to:

Fully protected pages are also move-protected.

As with full protection, protection because of edit warring should not be considered an endorsement of the current name. When move protection is applied during a requested move discussion, the page should be protected at the location it was at when the move request was started.

Permanent protection

Policy shortcuts:

Some areas of Scratchpad are permanently protected by the MediaWiki software.

  • The MediaWiki namespace, which defines parts of the site interface, is fully protected; it is impossible for Administrators to remove this protection.
  • User CSS and JavaScript pages, such as User:Example/monobook.css and User:Example/wikia.js, are automatically fully protected. Only accounts that are associated with these pages or administrators are able to edit them. This protection applies to any user subpage with a .css or .js extension, whether an equivalent MediaWiki skin exists or not. Administrators may modify these pages, for example, to remove a user script that has been used in an inappropriate way.[1]

In addition to hard-coded protection, the following are usually permanently protected:

Rules for Administrators

  1. Do not make the common mistake of protecting pages unnecessarily. For example, do not protect a page simply because it is the Main Page.
  2. Do not edit a temporarily protected page except to add a notice explaining the page is protected.[2]
  3. Do not protect a page you are involved in an edit dispute over. Administrative powers are not editor privileges — sysops should only act as servants to the user community at large.
  4. Avoid favoring one version of the article over another, unless one version is vandalism.
  5. Temporarily protected pages should not be left protected for very long.
  6. User pages and subpages can be protected by simple request from the user.
  7. Talk pages and user talk pages are not protected except in extreme circumstances.
    • Blocked users only ever have their user talk pages blocked to them if, and only if, they abuse the privilege of editing their own user talk page while blocked (e.g., abusively using the {{unblock}} template while blocked).
  8. The protection of a page on any particular version is not meant to express support for that version and requests should therefore not be made that the protected version be reverted to a different one.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Unlike at other sites using the MediaWiki wikiware, admins on wikis at Wikia can not edit anyone else’s personal CSS/JS pages. This is true even if a user is using his/her personal CSS/JS in a way that is inappropriate and/or harmful to a Wikia-hosted wiki. (Even CSS/JS pages that admins can edit within their own userspace are severely curtailed.)
  2. Protected means fully protected (i.e., cannot be edited by anyone other than sysops). Semi-protected pages can be edited by anyone the permissions allow.
Wikipedia This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Wikipedia:Protection policy.
The list of authors can be seen in the page history.
As with Scratchpad, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Licence.