Administrators can protect pages and unprotect pages. Protection of a page or image means that a non-admin cannot modify it.
The majority of pages on the wiki should remain publicly editable, and not protected. Pages may, however, be temporarily or permanently protected for legal reasons (for example, license texts should not be changed) or in cases of extreme vandalism or edit warring.
There are two kinds of protection:
- Full protection disables editing for everyone except other administrators.
- Semi-protection disables editing from accounts less than four days old.
All protections and unprotections are automatically logged in the protection log.
- Protecting highly vandalised pages, such as the Main Page on large wikis.
- Maintaining the integrity of the site's logo and favicon.
- Protecting the interface and system messages in the MediaWiki namespace (these are protected automatically).
- Deleted pages that are continually recreated.
Indefinite semi-protection may be used for:
- The Main Page and all templates on it.
- User pages when requested by the user.
- Articles that are consistently vandalized.
Temporary semi-protection may be used for:
- Talk pages that are being vandalized.
- Articles that are occasionally vandalized.
- Enforcing a "cool down" period to stop an "edit war", upon request.
- A page or image that has been a recent target of persistent vandalism or persistent edits by a banned user.
There is no need to protect personal .css and .js pages like user/monobook.css or user/cologneblue.js. Only the accounts associated with these pages (and admins) are able to edit them. For more information on using these pages, see the help page on Central.
Any administrator may unprotect any page after a reasonable period has lapsed, particularly a few days.
- Do not make the common mistake of protecting pages unnecessarily. For example, do not protect a page simply because it is the Main Page.
- Do not edit a temporarily protected page except to add a notice explaining the page is protected.
- Do not protect a page you are involved in an edit dispute over. Admin powers are not editor privileges - admins should only act as servants to the user community at large.
- Avoid favoring one version of the article over another, unless one version is vandalism.
- Temporarily protected pages should not be left protected for very long.
- Talk pages and user talk pages are not protected except in extreme circumstances.
- 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.