Wiki:Deletion procedure

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This page describes the procedure for deleting wiki pages, files, templates and categories. There is a special process when deleting data items. A deletion will hide the contents and usually also the associated history and talk page to all users except for administrators.

As always, this article is rather a suggestion or convention then a fixed rule, but it makes the process easier and more convenient for administrators, too. This will help speeding up the process.

Why would you want to delete a page?

(ordered from strongest to weakest reason)

  • The page contains spam only and has never contained non-spam content. Please continue with the linked article!
  • You created the page by accident.
  • You were the only editor of the page and consider the content outdated (for instance, you wrote about a software that is not available any more and this has never had a major implication to OpenStreetMap).
  • In case of files and media: This media is already stored in Wikimedia Commons and the licence allows the use in this wiki as well.
  • In case of files: The file is a duplicate of another one, so there are two identical files. (There are sometimes reasons for duplicates, always check them individually!)
  • This page is an exact copy of a different wiki page.
  • You merged the content of two pages.

When not to delete a page

(again from strongest to weakest)

  • The article is an approved proposal. They are always kept for documentation!
  • You do not know what it is about. Discuss it on the talk page!
  • The article has some issues. Edit the article instead!
  • The content is outdated. Update it if it would be relevant!
  • The page is a redirect to an article. Redirects do not hurt as long as they are not misleading or wrong!

How to delete a page?

If you are very sure that a deletion is the right way and you have some experience with this wiki, chose option 2 otherwise use 1.

Option 1: Propose a deletion to other editors

Place {{delete proposal}} on top of the page. Save the edit and continue to the talk page. Add a new section about your suggested deletion. Alternatively, you can provide a short statement on the page by using {{delete proposal|<your reasoning>}}. Other users who have this page on their watchlist may be notified about this change and comment on the talk page. If there is no reaction within a week you may also ask other more experienced users for their opinion by using their talk pages.

If there is no objection during the discussion, you may remove the template and resume with option 2.

Option 2: Request a deletion from an administrator

Ordinary users do not have the right to delete a page, they must instead request a deletion from an administrator. Before you continue, please check that all of the following facts are true, otherwise prefer option 1:

  • You are sure that you want to delete this page and it is very unlikely that any reasonable wiki editor would object.
  • This page is not listed under "When not to delete a page" above.
  • So far, you have not encountered any objections that were not clarified.

Before you request a deletion, please remove all wiki links pointing to this page. You find a list of them when clicking on "What links here?" in the grey sidebar. In case of files, you should also check if they are linked by any Data Item using this Sophox query. To formally request the deletion, replace the whole content of the page with the following template, and give a reason both in the template and in your edit summary. This will add a red deletion box, and an admin will eventually remove the page.


You can find your request in the list of all pages labelled for deletion. Please remember that the administrators do not immediately delete pages (except for spam), but wait some time depending on the amount of pages requested for deletion, the reason for deletion, the former contents and their opinion in this case. They judge these cases on an individual basis and may also oppose your request.

Further reading

Category:Labelled for deletion
contains rather technical notes regarding the deletion on top of the page.
small how-to use of this template
Category:Deletion Proposed and its translations
contains all pages with a proposed deletion (option 1)
WikiProject Cleanup
general page regarding the wiki maintenance from the user's perspective

See also