How to manage a watchlist in MediaWiki

Each registered user on a MediaWiki site can have a watchlist of pages. They can add pages of their choice to the watchlist and remove ones that are currently there. The watchlist displays the changes made to the pages that are added to the list.

In this article we'll go over how to create and manage a watchlist and the options associated with it. For screenshots and a more detailed description check out the tutorial on how to manage a watchlist in MediaWiki.

For information on the basic tasks related to managing pages, such as creating and editing pages, deleting, moving, etc., read the tutorial on how to manage pages in MediaWiki.

Add and Remove Pages

There are several different ways you can add pages to the watchlist and remove pages from the watchlist:

  • At the top of each page there's a button for adding/removing the page to/from the watchlist. It's an icon that looks like a star. If the page is not on the list, the star is not filled with color. If it's on the list, it's filled with color.

  • On the form for editing the content of pages and for creating pages there's an option for adding the page to the watchlist. It's a checkbox labeled Watch this page.

  • On the forms for performing actions with pages (e.g. deleting, moving, protecting) there's an option to add the respective page to the watchlist. It's a checkbox that you can mark/unmark.

  • When you view your watchlist you can also edit it. Click on the Watchlist button at the top and on the page that opens click on the link Edit raw watchlist that's below the title. This will show the names of the pages. To remove a page delete its title; to add a page type on a new line the title of the page. Then click on the Update watchlist button.

  • In the Watchlist section there are options specifically intended for removing pages from the list. Go to Watchlist button at the top>View and edit watchlist button on the following page (below the title of the page). This will display a list of the pages with a checkbox for each page. Mark the checkboxes of the pages you want to remove from the list and click on the button Remove titles.

  • You can also add pages to the watchlist using a special page that lists the unwatched pages. Go to Tools menu on the left>Special pages button>Unwatched pages link in the section Maintenance reports. On the page that opens next to each page title there's a button with which you can add it to the watchlist.

View and Manage a Watchlist

To view and manage your watchlist, after you log in click on the Watchlist button at the top. This will automatically display a list of the changes made to the pages on the watchlist. Under the title of the page there are several buttons with which you can navigate through the options of the watchlist:

  • After you open the watchlist the button View relevant changes is clicked by default. This is the page that displays a list of the changes made to the pages associated with the watchlist. Above the list there are some options with which you can choose what edits and for what time period should be shown. Each item in the list is shown with the title of the relevant page, the username of the user that made the change and some other useful information.

  • The button View and edit watchlist will display the page titles of the pages that are on the list. For each page there's a checkbox. By marking the checkboxes of pages and clicking on the button Remove titles you can remove pages from the list.

  • The button Edit raw watchlist also shows a list of the pages associated with the watchlist. Using this list however you can not only remove pages, but also add pages. To add any existing page, type its title on a new line. To remove a page from the list, delete its title. Then click on the Update watchlist button.

  • With the button Clear the watchlist you can remove all pages from the list. After you click on it on the page that opens you have to confirm the action.

User Account Settings Related to the Watchlist

Each registered user can configure in the account preferences some options related to their watchlist. Most of the options determine how the watchlist is displayed initially when they view it.

To configure these options, after you log in click on the Preferences button at the top and then on the page that opens click on the Watchlist tab. This will display some options related to the watchlist: a couple of text fields and a bunch of checkboxes. The configuration that you set up will apply each time you open the watchlist. For example, you can determine which edits to be shown by default. No matter how you configure the options, once you open the watchlist you can use the options at the top of the list to reconfigure how it should be displayed on this particular occasion. Each time you reopen the list it will be shown with the default configuration as set up from the account preferences.

Watchlist Notification

It's possible to be informed via email messages for changes to pages that are on your watchlist. If the option is enabled, each time when there's a change to such a page you'll receive an email.

The option can first be configured during the installation of MediaWiki. After that you can change it by editing a line in the LocalSettings.php file of your MediaWiki. To enable watchlist notification find the following line in the file:

$wgEnotifWatchlist = false;

and change false with true. Then watchlist nofitication will be enabled for each registered user. From their account settings users can disable it for their account. To do this, go to Preferences button at the top>User profile tab>Email me when a page or a file on my watchlist is changed option.

We have some tutorials related to pages that you may find useful (or their corresponding shorter article versions):

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