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Latest comment: 4 years ago by Militarindustry in topic history of Watchlist

Initial text adapted from en:Wikipedia:Watchlist help. --Maveric149 02:14, 7 Sep 2003 (UTC)

history of Watchlist[edit]

Anybody knows the history of watchlist on Wikipedia, like when and how it was introduced? I know it's an odd question, but I am writing about organization creativity on Wikipedia. if you know the answer, please email me at cathyma (the at sign) thanks!

--Cma 08:48, 17 August 2006 (UTC)Reply

It has been there since at least Jan 2003. [1]--Patrick 17:43, 17 August 2006 (UTC)Reply

Request to unblocked account Militarindustry (talk) 12:54, 26 June 2019 (UTC)Reply


How can I move my watchlist from one account to another account? --Yacht 02:58, Nov 24, 2003 (UTC)

I don't think it is possible to do using the current software. You might view the list on the first account, open another window and login using the other account, open a new window for each entry and click Watch this page (from the new account). This should be easier with a tabbed browser. Another alternative is to save the links to one of your user pages, and then click Related changes from that page (or create a link [[Special:Recentchangeslinked/page_containing_links]] Dori 03:08, Nov 24, 2003 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Changing username, maybe that's what you need. I think maybe when you merge, the watchlists merge as well. I never merged, not sure. --Menchi 03:32, 24 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Thanks. BTW, how long will the User contributions be kept? can I check out one's contribution 2 years ago? --Yacht 03:14, Nov 24, 2003 (UTC)

Forever I think, just set the maximum limit to 9999999 or something. --Menchi 03:32, 24 Nov 2003 (UTC)
Where to set that? --Yacht 04:10, Nov 24, 2003 (UTC)
In , change limit=20 to limit=999999 . --Menchi 06:14, 24 Nov 2003 (UTC)
You really don't want to do that; some accounts have tens of thousands of edits. --Brion 06:20, 24 Nov 2003 (UTC)
Maybe a "show edits from January 2001 to March 2001" feature could be handy. I don't think currently we could just zoom back to see contri-list 2 years ago without also getting the ones before that. Could we? --Menchi 06:23, 24 Nov 2003 (UTC)
no need for 2 years, but the default setting of 1hours really upsets me, 'cause i have to click the 7days every time when i check out my watchlist. --Yacht 08:49, Nov 24, 2003 (UTC)
sorry, i missed the point, i thought you were talking about the watchlist... --Yacht 08:54, Nov 24, 2003 (UTC)

Can anyone tell me why sometimes my wikipedia watchlist says This is a saved version of your watchlist and doesn't update when refreshed? How can I make it refresh or how long do I have to wait for it to automatically refresh?? --Starx 00:51, 18 May 2004 (UTC)Reply

Answered at en:Wikipedia talk:Watchlist help. Angela 08:03, 18 May 2004 (UTC)Reply

Whenever I make a minor edit to a page on my Wikipedia watchlist, the page is taken off my watchlist. I just realized that this has been occuring for the last two months or so, but did not occur earlier. Is this some unintended result of a recent software change, or is there some preference that I need to change? — Joe Kress 01:30, 3 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I found my problem. I was regarding "Watch this page" as an instruction to others that my edit was important and was worth viewing by others. Thus whenever I checked "This is a minor edit", I unchecked "Watch this page" because I regarded them as mutually exclusive. But "Watch this page" should be regarded as my instuction to Wikipedia to keep the page on my watchlist. Thus whenever I unchecked it I was actually removing it from my watchlist. — Joe Kress 04:16, 7 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Erratic watchlist errors[edit]

My watchlist has been behaving erratically. The same bunch of items after a cutoff time sometimes appear, sometimes disappear. Totally erratic to me, no matter which link I repeatedly click and test, it doesn't seem to have a pattern I can figure out of.

Also, prior to noticing this erratic-watchlist behavior, I had a corrupted-article-save where half of the article got truncated and got saved without my explicit awareness. It should be either a network-timeout or me pressing the browser-stop button during saving. But this doesn't make sense, Wikipedia shouldn't have allowed saving corrupted article submission. There should be a transaction kinda model with rollback I suspect.

Is the article-corruption causing the watchlist anomoly? Any clue? thanks! --Godric 16:57, Oct 13, 2004 (UTC)

I have erratic watchlist problem, but somewhat different. See - Omegatron 15:04, 11 Apr 2005 (UTC)
How about this?
You have 161.5 pages on your watchlist (not including talk pages); you can display and edit the complete list.
following the "display and edit..." link tells me
Your watchlist contains 323 pages.
which is twice as many and then has a list of 323 links. Yes, I know that 323/2=161.5.
AndrewKepert 09:18, 2 August 2005 (UTC)Reply

3 day cutoff[edit]

"The default cutoff for the watchlist is currently three days for users with less than 1000 pages in their watchlists and 12 hours for Wikipediholics with more than 1000."

Can this be changed somewhere? I want to keep the 3-day cutoff. - Omegatron 15:01, 11 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Watching Categories[edit]

Is there any way to watch a category - that is, to receive a notification whenever a new page is added?

Not really, but see Help:Category#Detection_of_additions_to_a_category and the next section.--Patrick 20:20, 17 July 2005 (UTC)Reply


Is it possible to get an RSS feed for my watchlist? That would be very helpful. Thanks, ted

There is currently no such thing in wikipedia. Similar ideas are being discussed here. RSS feeds of the watchlists might be very helpful indeed, e.g. for following up on violators and such, but at the same time, either computationally expensive or hard to implement. Anthony,-

This question has also been discussed on the bugzilla, here Anthony,-
(See Syndication feeds) hereen:♠ 19:00, 5 November 2005 (UTC)Reply
Please look at this Watchlist visualization experiment. Contributors and beta-testers welcome (sorry it's in french for the moment)--OlivierAuber 18:13, 9 December 2006 (UTC)Reply

مجدداتشکرمیکنم.نظربرحقیقت یابی باشدلطفابه زبان فارسی مطالب درج شودتادرک بهترازمفاهیم درجستجوهالحاظ گردد. Fre58ezzat (talk) 14:09, 22 August 2015 (UTC)Reply


I have a suggestion to improve the watchlist; i would love to see an extra button next to diff & hist to be able to unwatch certain pages directly from the watchlist. It would be a handy tool to unwatch pages you've lost interest in without having to actually go there. But i have to admit, the RSS tool mentioned above is a MUCH better suggestion :-) --The Minister of War 4 october 2005

I believe it's also much harder to program. :P --Cawas209.201.53.238 15:55, 4 November 2005 (UTC)Reply

Bugzilla 424: Should be able to remove articles from regular watchlist view. hereen:♠ 19:00, 5 November 2005 (UTC)Reply

Working toward RSS feeds for watchlists (and everything else)[edit]

I'd like see this become a top priority for mediawiki development. Perhaps it already is and I'm simply working my way up the chain ;). As best I can tell, conversation is best gathered here on meta at Syndication_feeds. Please add your comments and wishes there, and lets make it happen. Here 22:45, 14 October 2005 (UTC) (revised hereen:♠ 19:00, 5 November 2005 (UTC))Reply

Adding All Pages to your watchlist.[edit]

I'de like to know how one might add all pages to a users watchlist (not at the wikipedia of course). Some sites running mediawiki might have few enough pages that they could all be loaded into a watchlist. This would let users recieve email notifications if any pages were changed. I just hate to ask a new user to visit each page and add it to their watchlist. --D0li0 06:51, 2 November 2005 (UTC)Reply

Wow, I would think a visit to the "Recent Changes" page, everyday, would make more sense. E-mail is not the only tool an employee is required to use, after all.

Shared and public watchlists[edit]

Revived Share watchlists conversation in hopes of allowing optionally public watchlists. The network could then be analysed and importing/exporting would be possible through something similar to OPML files. here 18:16, 17 November 2005 (UTC)Reply

Is anyone watching page X? And adding a page to someone else's list...[edit]

I am the Technical Reference librarian for a software company. While I read and review the Recent Changes page of our Wiki every day, I also assign Team Leaders to watch articles that relate to their speciality.

I wish there was some way to list "unwatched" pages, or to find out if a page was being watched or not, or to manually add the page to someone ELSE'S watchlist.

  • I am unaware of any way to list unwatched pages. Though the Enotif patch does allow users to see how many people are watching a given page bug 727, fixed.
  • It sounds like you would benefit from Share watchlists as well for reasons I had not considered. More and more I think a javascript hack that copies a users watchlist to a subpage (ex en:User:Here/watchlist) would be extremely useful, anyone want to write it?
  • Adding pages to others watchlists, again dunno. If software ever implements shared watchlists, the fully open option could allow a users watchlist to be publically viewed and editted. here 18:48, 20 December 2005 (UTC)Reply

Listing all unwatched pages[edit]

I though I heard someone mention [[Special:unwatched pages]] which I though would be a list of all pages with nobody watching them. This seemed like it could be a useful thing as it would allow people to pick a few pages from it to check for vandalism etc. --Salix alba 21:57, 26 January 2006 (UTC)Reply

Hey, sorry if this is coming too late... the way I understand it is that only admins have access to this. Why? No idea; I'm going to ask. Lenoxus 09:30, 26 March 2007 (UTC)Reply

Ya Alifadityaharsandi (talk) 20:15, 22 March 2016 (UTC)Reply

Question on this page[edit]

From MediaWiki 1.5 (if enabled; this has not been done on the linked test wiki) each page has a link to an info page showing, among other things, the number of users watching the page.

I find the above note, which is in the article, incomprihensible. I had to read it three or four times to see what it is about, and I am still not sure. So, is that feature enabled, or is it not? What is the "linked test wiki"? Does that text have any value, and should it necessarily be in a box, rather than a standalone paragraph? en:Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 04:48, 28 January 2006 (UTC)Reply

That text was outdated, it referred to a link in an older version of H:new.--Patrick 09:40, 28 January 2006 (UTC)Reply

The current version of this page[edit]

I took a diff from the older version of this page and the current one (minus the recent edit I just did). Is it only me, or the old version looks much more comprihensible? en:Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 05:04, 28 January 2006 (UTC)Reply

Feature history[edit]

I'm trying to find out when (even nearest month/year) watchlists were added as a feature. And did it become available across all different language Wiki's at the same time?

Watchlist formatting change[edit]

The recent format of the watchlist is much less readable. Previously, with diff and hist ahead of the page name, I could quickly and easily see what pages had changes since my last check of my watchlist. Is there a way for me to get this back? --Kickstart70 16:33, 6 March 2006 (UTC)Reply

I agree. The current format makes it confusing which ones are top edits. I guess it's got its positives, but it would be better if, for example, top edits are labeled as such. -- 05:39, 18 April 2006 (UTC)Reply

email notification[edit]

I'm new here.

Many wiki flavors allow email notification of changes on a per-page basis. I'm guessing that mediawiki does not allow this, presumably because of the load it would generate.

However, it would be helpful if the watchlist page explicitly stated that email notifications are not available, and why.

If I'm wrong, and email notifications are possible, then it would help if it were much easier to discover that.


Watchlist archive tool.[edit]

Is there a way to archive a watchlist on en-wikipedia? I ask because I almost purged my watchlist by clicking on "remove all items" as opposed to "display and edit the complete list" (both links are adjacent to each other.) If it ever did happen, it would help to know how I could restore it. Folajimi 22:35, 22 April 2006 (UTC)Reply

you could always just copy your watchlist to a user sub page -- and even make it deliberately public as at en:user:here/watchlist and Share watchlists. If you ever lost it, you would still have it. I also would like to automate this process, but for different reasons. best of luck! here 15:00, 25 April 2006 (UTC)Reply
The link to clear the watchlist is very dangerous to have on the watchlist page. I hope one click does not wipe your watchlist. That link should take you to a page where you are warned before you actually erase your list (I haven't tried it). Having to do an extra click is a lot better than having people accidentally lose a list they don't want to lose. NoSeptember 14:18, 7 May 2006 (UTC)Reply
Yes, you are asked for confirmation.--Patrick 23:20, 7 May 2006 (UTC)Reply

related changes[edit]

Why would anyone choose to use a watchlist instead of related changes? 02:38, 4 May 2006 (UTC)Reply

I think the main advantage is that pages one edits and their talk pages can be automatically added to the set of watched pages.--Patrick 11:49, 4 May 2006 (UTC)Reply
When email notification is activated, it's a handy feature to monitor specific pages in a large project without having to actively poll a website. (and email is nicer than RSS feeds as they are more portable if you work on multiple machines). Verdatum 19:10, 19 October 2006 (UTC)Reply

Hit Statistics[edit]

There is nothing to explain what the hit statistics section has to do with the topic of watching pages. Moreover, if it's deactivated in Wikimedia projects, it's a more appropriate topic for MediaWiki...yet when I search those keywords there, nothing comes up. It's a shame as I'm rather curious about this feature. Verdatum 19:04, 19 October 2006 (UTC)Reply

Adding contributions to watchlist[edit]

Given that there is an option to clear out your entire watchlist, which usually includes pages you've contributed to if that option to watch pages that you just edited is on, is there a way to add every page you've contributed to back to your watchlist? --Geopgeop 10:46, 17 November 2006 (UTC) (User:Geopgeop on English Wikipedia)Reply

Expand watchlist[edit]

This page doesn't deal with the 'expand watchlist' function in user preferences. Is there any reason I shouldn't add a note explaining what it does? Is there another page that explains this? Thanks. --Cherry blossom tree 00:24, 27 January 2007 (UTC)Reply

I expanded the section Help:Watching_pages#Watchlist.--Patrick 02:09, 27 January 2007 (UTC)Reply
I only just discovered this feature <blush/> – something for which I had, in fact, long been wishing. Duh. It seems to me that providing a link to watchlist preferences from Special:Watchlist or Special:Watchlist/edit, or at least a mention in the text, would help make this capability more obvious. (I had assumed that any watchlist options would be set on Special:Watchlist/edit, so never bothered to check preferences; and of course 'expand watchlist' isn't completely descriptive of what occurs.) I'm guessing such a text change would still need to be submitted as a Mediawiki bugzilla enhancement request, but perhaps a text change like this could simply be made by somebody with godlike admin power. Spinality 03:38, 15 June 2007 (UTC)Reply


Can we give a legend for what all the stuff in the watchlist means? For instance, I know it puts "N" for new pages, and "m" for minor edits. The help page already describes the numbers for addition and removal of text. What is the "b" for? What about describing what the "diff" and "hist" links do exactly? Maybe this info is already in the page, but it would be easier to find if it were collected into one "legend" section. --P3d0 12:26, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

Watching talkpages seperately[edit]

While I understand the utility of having the two be forever "together," I admit I find it frustrating sometimes that I can't watch main and talkpages seperately. After all, I may be watching pages for two totally unrelated reasons, and I hate it when I can't remember whether an article is on my watchlist for its discussion or for the main changes. So I'm wondering: has any proposal been made to allow for such a feature, which, as far as I can tell, is currently unavailable? --Lenoxus 15:52, 18 March 2007 (UTC)Reply

You could create a page with links and apply Related Changes, see Help:Watching_pages#Related_changes_feature.--Patrick 23:25, 18 March 2007 (UTC)Reply
Oh, right! Didn't think of that… thanks! — Lenoxus 14:10, 20 March 2007 (UTC)Reply

New question[edit]

Is it possible to view watchlist changes prior to the moment a page was added to one's watchlist, or can it only be done in the separate histories? --Lenoxus 17:19, 23 March 2007 (UTC)Reply

When a page was added to one's watchlist is not even recorded in the database, so whether an edit is older does not matter.--Patrick 18:30, 23 March 2007 (UTC)Reply
OK, but you see how it might be useful to be able to see prior changes anyway? And I'd also like a pony. -- Lenoxus 19:09, 23 March 2007 (UTC)Reply
Perhaps you overlooked "With the preference 'Expand watchlist to show all applicable changes' the watchlist does not only show the last but all recent edits."?--Patrick 21:02, 23 March 2007 (UTC)Reply
Indeed I did. Thank you, sir! Lenoxus 00:48, 24 March 2007 (UTC)Reply

Ultra new annoying question[edit]

Is it possible to hide my edits on a related changes list, as with a watchlist? And in a tangentally related matter, I'm wondering why Unwatched pages is only available to sysops. Lenoxus 17:52, 25 March 2007 (UTC)Reply

Vandals may like to know.--Patrick 11:15, 26 March 2007 (UTC)Reply
Yeah, I've brought up that second bit elsewhere — ignore it now. Anyway, do you know anything about the first one? Lenoxus 22:18, 26 March 2007 (UTC)Reply
It does not seem possible: I tried hideOwn=1 (from the watchlist URL), but it does not work.--Patrick 23:19, 26 March 2007 (UTC)Reply
Thanks much. Lenoxus 17:30, 4 April 2007 (UTC)Reply


I have an account on Wikipdia and I need to know this:

What is with the numbers next to the recent change of an article? Like right now I'm seeing a "(+37)" next to a recent change in my user subpage. What is it? ~angelofdeath275

Number of bytes or characters added or deleted. It gives you an idea of how massive a change has been made. --Pmsyyz 01:18, 1 May 2007 (UTC)Reply

see how many people watch a page[edit]

Can someone please help me understand how many people watch a particular page in en.wikipedia? Thanks. 20:31, 22 June 2007 (UTC)Reply

Watching entire categories[edit]

Is there an easier way to watch all pages in the category than clicking "watch" for each page? Please Help.

No, I don't think this is possible. You could open all the links in tabs and then click watch in quick succession on each one if that would make it easier. Picaroon (Talk) 04:28, 5 July 2007 (UTC)Reply

Confirmation asked before clearing watchlist[edit]

I failed to find description of new functionality of watchlists. In particular, I was worried about the " Clear watchlist" function: I was not sure that if I accidentally click this button, I will not do something catastrophic. Hopefully, I found the way to check it: I created a new user, logged in, and tried to "clear" the dispensable watchlist. I was glad to see that the function was protected against fools (out of nastiness, I will not tell you how :-).

Concluding: user manuals must be kept up-to-date. If there is the description I want somewhere, I apologize for being stupid and/or lazy enough to find it. Mikkalai 00:16, 19 July 2007 (UTC)Reply

I suppose you mean it asks for confirmation. "I will not tell you" after doing an experiment is not helpful.--Patrick talk 07:30, 19 July 2007 (UTC)Reply
I mean to tell you that documentation sucks. "I will not tell you" is irrelevant: I have already told you the most important piece which worried me badly: you are safe to click this potentially destructive button. Kudos to developers who know basics of sound UI. But do you really think it is my job to describe what happens when I click various buttons in the menu? I understand this is wiki and all, but do you really want a mediaWiki manual written by a person totally ignorant in this domain? Mikkalai 01:08, 20 July 2007 (UTC)Reply
If you suggest an improvement you should provide relevant info you already have (if not on the page itself than on the talk page); the content of help pages is for a large part based on trying things out. Anyway, I added it.--Patrick (talk) 08:34, 20 July 2007 (UTC)Reply

Need a feature on watchlist page[edit]

I think there is a need to add an option to click/select and unwatch an article thru the watchlist page. 16:10, 14 December 2007 (UTC)Reply

Actions do not appear on watchlist[edit]

Deletions, page moves and page protections, we are told, do not show up on watchlists. Is this a bug or a feature? If a feature, what's the rationale? If a bug, is anything being done to repair it?-- 11:26, 15 March 2008 (UTC)Reply

"Unwatch" button on "My Watchlist"?[edit]

As already asked about 3 years ago: Is it possible to put an "Unwatch" button directly on "My Watchlist", as on the full editable list, so that it can be removed with a single tick? That would help to shorten the list in a quicker and more convenient way. --Matthead 00:14, 21 April 2010 (UTC)Reply

It's quite silent around here. --Matthead 14:03, 30 November 2010 (UTC)Reply
Why not try at Meta:Babel, that would be a bit faster :) Rehman 14:33, 30 November 2010 (UTC)Reply

Global watchlist[edit]

I just tried the global watchlist tool, but it doesn't seem to be working. I'm guessing this has to do with the issues with toolserver? Or maybe it hasn't been working for a long time, I don't know. Either way, is there another option? Irn (talk) 20:37, 19 November 2013 (UTC)Reply

Try tools:~luxo/gwatch/login.php too? To answer your question: Not yet (that I know of), but this is a long-requested feature. See w:WP:IIGW and bugzilla:3525. PiRSquared17 (talk) 20:40, 19 November 2013 (UTC)Reply
Yeah, that gives the same problem. But thanks for the response! (I think I'll give this a try and see how it goes.) -- Irn (talk) 20:56, 19 November 2013 (UTC)Reply
Oh yeah, forgot to mention that. I hope this gets implemented eventually in an extension. PiRSquared17 (talk) 21:16, 19 November 2013 (UTC)Reply

Notification frequency[edit]

I have my preferences set to "daily summary" yet I still receive dozens of e-mail notifications every day. Is there a problem with this function? KADC "Be unreasonable." (talk) 12:20, 21 February 2014 (UTC)Reply