Reverting means undoing the effects of one or more edits, which normally results in the page being restored to a version that existed sometime previously. More broadly, reverting may also refer to any action that in whole or in part reverses the actions of other editors.
This page contains information about making reverts. It should be borne in mind, however, that reverting good-faith actions of other editors is considered disruptive when done to excess. Revert only when necessary.
In some cases the easiest way to undo past edits may simply be to edit the current page, deleting wrongly added text or restoring wrongly deleted text (this can be copied and pasted from a past version of the page). However it may be more convenient to restore a particular old version of the page from prior to the changes you wish to revert. To do this:
- Click the "history" tab at the top of the page to display the page history.
- Click the time and date of the earlier version to which you wish to revert. You will see a phrase similar to: "This is an old revision of this page, as edited by User.name (Talk) at 15:47, January 24, 2009. It may differ significantly from the current revision."
- Click the "edit this page" tab as you normally would to edit a page. (Above the edit box, you will see a warning similar to: "You are editing an old revision of this page. If you save it, any changes made since then will be removed.")
- Complete the edit summary field (the abbreviation "rv" can be used to stand for "revert")
- Save the page.
- If constructive edits had been made after those that you wished to revert, return to the page history to find those edits, and redo them by hand if reasonably possible.
The MediaWiki software sometimes enables editors to easily revert (or "undo") a single edit from the history of a page, without simultaneously undoing all constructive changes that have been made since. To do this, view the page history or the diff for the edit, then click on (undo) next to the edit in question. The software will attempt to create an edit page with a version of the article in which the undesirable edit has been removed, but all later edits are retained. There is a default edit summary, but this can be modified before saving.
It is also possible to undo several consecutive edits, even if they conflict among themselves: view the diff to be removed (by selecting the two extremal revisions in the history and clicking "compare selected revisions"), and click the "undo" link.
This feature removes the need to manually redo useful changes that were made after the edit which is being reverted. However, it will fail if undoing the edit would conflict with later edits. For example, if edit 1000 adds a paragraph and edit 1005 modifies that paragraph, it will be impossible to automatically undo edit 1000. In this case, you must determine how to resolve the problem manually.
The text in this page is adapted from Help:Reverting.