|This page documents an English Wikipedia deletion guideline.|
|New here? Welcome! There is a simplified version of this page at Wikipedia:Introduction to deletion process.|
The deletion process encompasses the processes involved in implementing and recording the community's decisions to delete or keep articles, media, and other pages.
Normally, a deletion discussion must be held to form a consensus to delete a page. In general, administrators are responsible for closing these discussions, though non-administrators in good standing may close them under specific conditions. However, editors may propose the deletion of a page if they believe that it would be an uncontroversial candidate for deletion. In some circumstances, a page may be speedily deleted if it meets strict criteria set by consensus.
Note: Office actions and declarations from the Wikimedia Foundation Board or the system administrators, particularly concerning copyright, legal issues, or server load, take priority over community consensus.
|Templates and modules|
The speedy deletion process applies to pages which meet at least one of the criteria for speedy deletion (CSD), which specify the only cases in which administrators have broad consensus support to, at their discretion, bypass deletion discussion and immediately delete Wikipedia pages or media.
Before deleting a page through the speedy deletion process, please verify that it meets at least one of the criteria for speedy deletion, check the page history to assess whether it would instead be possible to revert and salvage a previous version and to determine whether there was a cut-and-paste move involved, and search for other information which may impact the need or reason for deletion:
If speedy deletion is inappropriate for a page:
When deleting a page through the speedy deletion process, please specify the reason for deletion in the deletion summary, so that it will be recorded into the deletion log. Quoting page content in the deletion summary may be helpful, but must not be done for attack content or copyrighted text. In some cases, it would be appropriate to notify the page's creator of the deletion.
If they wish, administrators are free to use the CSD Helper user script to help them process editors' CSD nominations. It makes the process smoother and quicker.
The proposed deletion (PROD) process applies to articles and files that do not meet the stringent criteria for speedy deletion, but for which it is believed that deletion would be uncontroversial. In this process, an editor places a tag on the article or the file, and any editor can remove the tag to save the page. If the tag remains after seven days, the page can be deleted. For instructions on handling articles and files that have been proposed for deletion, see Wikipedia:Proposed deletion#Deletion.
A stronger version of the proposed deletion criteria (BLPPROD) applies to articles about biographies of living people with no sources. Their deletion can only be contested by adding a source.
The deletion discussion processes apply to pages which are formally nominated for deletion through an appropriate deletion discussion venue. Although the steps for closing deletion discussions vary from one deletion discussion venue to another, a few general principles apply at all venues.
Deletion venues (or deletion forums) are the six places to propose a page not eligible for speedy deletion be deleted:
|Discussion type||Scope||Reasons for deletion / Starting a discussion[note 1] / Closing instructions|
|Articles for deletion (AfD)||Articles and other pages in the main namespace (e.g. disambiguation pages), excluding redirects.[note 2]||Reasons for deletion|
Starting a discussion
Speedy process: PROD, CSD
|Categories for discussion (CfD)||Categories and stub templates.||Reasons for deletion|
Starting a discussion
|Files for discussion (FfD)||Files (most of which are images).||Reasons for deletion|
Starting a discussion
|Miscellany for deletion (MfD)||
||Reasons for deletion|
Starting a discussion
|Redirects for discussion (RfD)||Redirects in any namespace.||Reasons for deletion|
Starting a discussion
|Templates for discussion (TfD)||Pages in the Template: and Module: namespaces, excluding stub templates, userboxes, and redirects.[note 3]||Reasons for deletion|
Starting a discussion
|Requested moves (RM)||While primarily for renaming (moving) pages, may result in deletion (e.g. of a redirect or trivial content at the target page name) or merger.
Use for all rename discussions other than for categories and stub templates (both of which are done at Wikipedia:Categories for discussion).
|When to use RM|
Starting a discussion
|Discussion type||Scope||Closing instructions|
|Deletion review (DRV)||For appealing the deletion of a page or outcome of a deletion discussion that appears to be against community consensus, if the request is outside of the scope of requests for undeletion, and after discussing with the deleting administrator or closer respectively.||Purpose|
Starting a discussion
|Move review (MR)||For appealing the closure of a requested move, including one that resulted in a deletion or merger, if it appears to be against consensus or proper closing procedure, and after discussing with the closer.||Purpose|
Starting a discussion
Consensus is formed through the careful consideration, dissection and eventual synthesis of different perspectives presented during the discussion, and is not calculated solely by number of votes.
Outcomes should reflect the rough consensus reached in the deletion discussion and community consensus on a wider scale. (While consensus can change, consensus among a limited group of editors, at one place and time, cannot override community consensus on a wider scale.)
Deletion discussions concerning biographies of living persons who are relatively unknown, non-public figures, where the subject has requested deletion and there is no rough consensus to keep, may be closed as 'delete' per the deletion policy and BLP policy (request for deletion). Closers should review these policies to confirm the criteria are met, and then use their discretion.
A deletion discussion may end with one of a number of distinct outcomes, with certain outcomes being more common at certain deletion discussion venues.
When considering closing a discussion, be aware that:
|Outcome||Commonly used for||Details|
|Keep||All||A rough consensus to retain (i.e. not delete) a page, though not necessarily in its current form. To implement a 'keep' outcome: close the deletion discussion as 'keep'; edit the page to remove the deletion notice; and record the outcome on the page's talk page using one of several venue-specific templates (see 'Step-by-step instructions' for details).|
|Delete||All||A rough consensus to remove (i.e. not retain) a page, including its entire revision history. To implement a 'delete' outcome: close the deletion discussion as 'delete'; delete the page, and link to the deletion discussion in the deletion summary; and, if the page should not be recreated, remove incoming links in other pages (except in discussions, archives and tracking pages).|
|No consensus||All||A lack of a rough consensus for any one particular action. To implement a 'no consensus' outcome: close the deletion discussion as 'no consensus'; edit the page to remove the deletion notice; and record the outcome on the page's talk page using one of several venue-specific templates (see 'Step-by-step instructions' for details).|
|Move (non-category pages), or
|All||Issues to be addressed by changing the page title (and perhaps then expanding or improving its content). This can happen at AFD especially, if the article could be suitable for Wikipedia, but is created under an inappropriate title, and was nominated for deletion, but consensus agrees it is fixable if the title is changed. Categories require a different method than other pages:
|Merge||Articles, categories, templates||This combines two separate pages into a single page. Merge votes should be specific and clear. If you wish to merge templates or categories, use the deletion discussions. If you wish to merge articles, do not use a deletion discussion, but instead discuss it on the talk page.|
|Disambiguate (or "Dabify")||Articles, redirects||If the discussion concludes that the title can refer to many topics, it can be changed to a disambiguation page to list all of them.|
|Redirect||Articles, templates, miscellaneous pages||This would be used if the page has no unique and usable content, but information about the topic is found in another article.|
|Userfy||Articles, templates, miscellaneous pages||This would move the page into the creator's userspace so that they may make improvements. If Wikipedia essays are nominated, they will sometimes be moved to userspace if they are found to violate policies or guidelines.|
|Incubate (or "Draftify")||Articles||This changes the article into a draft to be improved so that it meets inclusion requirements.|
|Delete but allow undeleting with an appropriate licence||Files||If a file is only deleted due to copyright issues, it could be re-uploaded if these issues are resolved|
|Listify||Categories||This means to delete the category and create a list article instead.|
|Retarget||Redirects||This means that the redirect should lead to a different page.|
|Refine (or "Keep and refine")||Redirects||The redirect should lead to a specific section of the page it currently targets (e.g. Africa → Africa#History)|
In certain situations, a deletion discussion may require correcting, moving elsewhere, or a null outcome ("procedural close"), due to issues with the deletion nomination rather than the merits of the page itself:
|No deletion notice on nominated page||The best course of action is to add the tag and note that you've done so. The time of tagging would then be treated as the nomination time.|
|Currently linked from Main Page||If the nominated page is currently linked from the Main Page, remove any tag from the page itself. Then, if there are legitimate concerns, please use Wikipedia:Main Page/Errors to have the link removed before nominating the article. If there are clearly none, or the nomination is disruptive, the nomination page should be closed early (see 'speedy close').|
|Nomination is an immediate objection to a prior deletion outcome, more appropriate for deletion review||List it at deletion review on the nominator's behalf, and link it appropriately (including linking it from the closed discussion), notify the nominator, and close the deletion discussion.|
|Venue inappropriate (e.g., a file hosted on Commons, category or redirect at AFD, or discussions that the chosen venue is unable to address)||List the topic at the correct venue, notify the nominator, and close the discussion providing a link to the new discussion. Never close a discussion as a wrong venue without opening a discussion at an appropriate one.|
|Page does not exist or has already been deleted prior to the nomination||Close the discussion, and place a notice on the nominator's talk page. It is entirely possible that they may have mistyped the page name, or that the page was already deleted before they could start the deletion discussion. If the former was the case, politely tell the nominator to properly start a new discussion with the correct title, and the time they start the new discussion will be treated as the nomination time.|
A deletion discussion that is poorly formatted should not be closed for this reason alone, in order to avoid biting new users. Instead, fix it.
In general, deletion discussions should remain open for at least seven days (168 hours) to allow interested editors adequate time to participate. However, under certain circumstances, discussions may be closed prior to the seven-day timeframe.
Closers should apply good judgment before speedily closing a discussion, since often it is best to allow the discussion to continue for the entirety of the seven-day period.
While the nominator may withdraw their nomination at any time, if subsequent editors have suggested an outcome besides keep or added substantive comments unrelated to deletion, the discussion should not be closed simply because the nominator wishes to withdraw it.
|Speedy keep||A "speedy keep" close is warranted when the nominator withdraws the nomination or fails to advance an argument for deletion or redirection—perhaps only proposing an alternative action such as moving or merging—and no one other than the nominator recommends that the page be deleted or redirected. A "speedy keep" outcome is also appropriate when the nomination unquestionably is an attempt to vandalize or to otherwise create disruption. For example:
(see also § Speedy deletion)
|When the nominated page unambiguously falls within any criteria for speedy deletion, particularly criterion G10 (attack page) or criterion G12 (copyright violation), it is not necessary to wait until the end of the discussion period.|
|Snowball clause||The "snowball clause" exists to avoid process for the sake of process, or when the outcome of the deletion discussion is, or has become, almost certain, such that there is not a "snowball's chance in hell" that the outcome will be anything other than what is expected, and there is clearly no need at all to prolong discussion further.
This clause should not be used to close a discussion when a particular outcome is merely "likely" or "highly likely", and there is a genuine and reasoned basis for disagreement. This is because deletion discussions are not a vote; it is important to be reasonably sure that there is little or no chance of accidentally excluding significant input or perspectives, or changing the weight of different views, if closed early. Especially, closers should beware of interpreting "early pile on" as necessarily showing how a discussion will end up. This can sometimes happen when a topic attracts high levels of attention from those engaged (or having a specific view) but slower attention from other less involved editors, perhaps with other points of view. It can sometimes be better to allow a few extra days even if current discussion seems very clearly to hold one opinion, to be sure that it really will be a snowball and as a courtesy to be sure that no significant input will be excluded if closed very soon.
"WP:Soft Deletion" redirects here. For the failed proposal, see WP:Soft deletion (failed proposal).
If a nomination has received few or no comments from any editor with no one opposing deletion, and the article hasn't been declined for proposed deletion in the past, the closing administrator should treat the XfD nomination as an expired PROD and follow the instructions listed at Wikipedia:Proposed deletion#Procedure for administrators. Generally, this will result in soft deletion (see below), but administrators should evaluate the nominating statement as they would a PROD rationale. Closing an unopposed XfD nomination under this procedure does not require the discussion to have been relisted any particular number of times.
If the nomination has received very few or no comments but appears controversial to the closing administrator, or has been declined for proposed deletion in the past, the discussion may be closed at the closer's discretion and best judgement. Common options include, but are not limited to:
Soft deletion is a special kind of deletion which may be used after an article's deletion discussion. If a deletion discussion receives minimal participation, the article may be deleted. However, in this case, the article can be restored for any reason on request. If your article was soft-deleted, you can request it be restored at Requests for undeletion. The closer should make it clear the deletion is a soft delete as part of the close, ideally with a link to this guideline.
There is consensus among the community that problematic or likely problematic articles with an appropriate redirection target may be blanked and redirected by any editor if there are no objections. This similarly applies to deletion nominations as well; if no editor suggests that the corresponding article should be kept, then redirection is an option.
Discussions are usually closed after seven days (168 hours). If there is a lack of comments, or the action to take is unclear, the discussion may be relisted for an additional seven days. Usually, both closing and relisting are administrator actions, but experienced users in good standing may relist pages.
|Discussion type||Information page||Instructions for closing|
|Articles for deletion (AfD)||Wikipedia:Articles for deletion|
|Categories for discussion (CfD)||Wikipedia:Categories for discussion|
|Files for discussion (FfD)||Wikipedia:Files for discussion|
|Miscellany for deletion (MfD)||Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion|
|Redirects for discussion (RfD)||Wikipedia:Redirects for discussion|
|Templates for discussion (TfD)||Wikipedia:Templates for discussion|
|Deletion review (DRV)||Wikipedia:Deletion review|
"Wikipedia:Relisting" redirects here. For relisting requested moves, see Wikipedia:Requested moves § Relisting a requested move.
See also: Wikipedia:Dashboard/Relisted AfD debates
The intent of the deletion process is to attempt to determine consensus on whether an article should be deleted.
However, if at the end of the initial seven-day period, the discussion has only a few participants (including the nominator), or it seems to be lacking arguments based on policy, it may be appropriate for the closer to relist it, to solicit further discussion to determine consensus. Discussions where there is minimal participation should be evaluated by the closing administrator as an expired PROD before deciding whether it is appropriate to relist. A relisted discussion may be closed once consensus is determined without necessarily waiting a further seven days.
That said, relisting should not be a substitute for a "no consensus" closure. If the closer feels there has been substantive debate, disparate opinions supported by policy have been expressed, and consensus has not been achieved, a no-consensus close may be preferable.
Relisting debates repeatedly in the hope of getting sufficient participation is not recommended, and while having a deletion notice on a page is not harmful, its presence over several weeks can become disheartening for its editors. Therefore, in general, debates should not be relisted more than twice. Users relisting a debate for a third (or further) time, or relisting a debate with a substantial number of commenters, should write a short explanation either within the ((relist)) template, or in addition to it, on why they did not consider the debate sufficient. However, if adding comments within ((relist)), please keep in mind that this is a Wikipedia administration template, and should not be used to give priority to one's own desired outcome.
When relisting a discussion, it should be removed from the log for its original date (this does not apply at Categories for discussion) and moved to the current date's log where the discussion will continue. Scripts and gadgets such as XFDcloser automate the process.
On rare occasions (approximately 0.011% of AfDs), typically due to errors in formatting or listing nominations, preposterous situations may arise in which discussions are left open for an extremely long time (sometimes multiple decades). In the few such cases that occur, the appropriate action is typically to add the discussion to the logpage for the day of its creation, format it properly, and make a "procedural close", with a note indicating the nature of the situation; in the event that a preposterous nomination makes valid arguments that remain true, the page can afterwards be renominated with a note referencing the previous discussion.
Further information: Wikipedia:Non-admin closure
In general, administrators are responsible for closing deletion discussions, but non-administrators who are registered (i.e. not IPs) may close discussions, with the following provisions:
((subst:Afd top))'''Keep''' per [[WP:SNOW]]. ((subst:nac)) ~~~~
If an administrator has deleted a page (including by speedy deletion) but neglected to close the discussion, anyone with a registered account may close the discussion provided that the administrator's name and deletion summary are included in the closing rationale.
Deletion-related closes may only be reopened by the closer themselves; by an uninvolved administrator in their individual capacity, giving their reasoning; or by consensus at deletion review. If this happens, take it only as a sign that the decision was not as obvious as you thought. Editors reopening discussions are advised to notify the original closer.
|Parts of this Wikipedia page (those related to this section) need to be updated. The reason given is: Transwiki process appears to be at least partially deprecated.. Please help update this Wikipedia page to reflect recent events or newly available information. Relevant discussion may be found on the talk page. (March 2022)|
If consensus indicates a transwiki should take place, but you do not want to complete the transwiki process immediately:
To search for any mention of an existing fullpagename of interest in "all discussion types" listed above, go to the page of interest, and preview this line in any of its wikitext: (( #lst: WP: Deletion process | search links )) These three search links will then appear in this box (but in warning coloration):
From that preview, activate a search. From search results, modify the query, return to the preview, or not. Preview is safe. Return and search all three.
The deletion of pages with long histories may impact server performance. As a precaution, therefore, deletions of pages with more than 5,000 revisions require the special "bigdelete" user right, which administrators do not have. Such deletions can be requested of stewards at meta:Steward requests/Miscellaneous.
Pages may also be deleted if they have been listed at Wikipedia:Copyright problems for over 7 days.