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The deletion process encompasses the "processes involved in implementing and recording the community's decisions to "delete or keep pages and media.

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, may take priority over community consensus.


Speedy deletion[edit]

The speedy deletion process applies to pages which meet at least one of the "criteria for speedy deletion, 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, 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 a page is not appropriate for speedy deletion, the page must be edited to remove the speedy deletion tag—this will, in turn, remove the page from "Category:Candidates for speedy deletion. Consider notifying the editor who suggested deletion.

When deleting a page through the speedy deletion process, 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.

Proposed deletion[edit]

The "proposed deletion 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.

Deletion discussions[edit]

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[edit]


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
"Closing instructions
"Categories for discussion (CfD) "Categories and "stub templates. "Reasons for deletion
"Starting a discussion
"Speedy process
"Closing instructions
"Files for discussion (FfD) "Files (the majority of which are "images). "Reasons for deletion
"Starting a discussion
"Speedy process
"Closing instructions
"Miscellany for deletion (MfD) All non-redirect pages in the "Book:, "Draft:, "Help:, "Portal:, "MediaWiki:, "Wikipedia: (including "WikiProjects), "User:, TimedText:, "Education Program:, "Topic:, "Gadget:, Gadget definition:, "Talk:, and the various " X talk: "namespaces.[note 3]

"Userboxes (regardless of namespace).

Files in the "File: namespace that have a local description page but no local file.

"Reasons for deletion
"Starting a discussion
"Speed process
"Closing instructions
"Redirects for discussion (RfD) "Redirects in any "namespace. "Reasons for deletion
"Starting a discussion
"Speedy process
"Closing instructions
"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
"Speedy process
"Closing instructions.
"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 "WP:Categories for discussion).

"When to use RM
"Starting a discussion
"Speedy process
"Closing insructions
  1. ^ The process of starting a discussion is greatly aided by the use of "Twinkle, a software package available to any "autoconfirmed user.
  2. ^ There is also "proposed deletion, an alternative system to suggest uncontroversial delayed speedy deletion of pages in the article namespace after a notice has been present for seven days.
  3. ^ a b Established policies, guidelines, and process pages, along with templates related to them, should not be nominated at deletion venues, because it is outside of their prerogative to modify or revoke policy. Instead, start a discussion on the talk page of the concerned page or at the "village pump.
Deletion challenges 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
"Closing instructions
"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
"Closing instructions


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.)

Concerns about conduct or views[edit]

Deletion requested by subject[edit]

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.

Common outcomes[edit]

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:

Common outcomes
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
Rename (categories)
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:
  • Non-category pages - renaming is achieved using the "page move function without deletion.
  • Categories - deletion is required to change the name.
"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.

Deletion discussions needing action before their end date[edit]

Nomination errors and issues[edit]


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 and provide 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.

Early closure[edit]


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.

Withdrawn nomination

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.

  • Early closure is inappropriate where it appears that the withdrawal is simply an attempt to short-circuit an ongoing discussion.
  • If the nominator appears to have genuinely changed their mind due to other views expressed, the discussion should not be considered withdrawn. Instead, consider whether to use any of the early closures below.
"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:
  • Nominations which are clearly an attempt to end an editing dispute through deletion (possibly in an attempt to "game the system), when "dispute resolution would be a more appropriate course.
  • Nominations which are made solely to provide a forum for disruption (this includes "editor harassment).
  • The nominated page is a policy or guideline. The deletion process is not a forum for policy concerns.
  • "Frivolous or vexatious nominations (recently featured articles, for example). This includes re-nominating the same page with the same arguments immediately after they were strongly rejected in a recently closed deletion discussion.
  • Nominations which are so erroneous that they indicate that the nominator has not even read the article in question.
  • The nominator is "banned, so their edits are not to be retained. In that case, the nominated page is speedily kept while the nomination can be tagged with {{"db-g5}} and speedily deleted as a banned contribution. However, if subsequent editors have added substantive comments in good faith, the nomination should not be speedily closed (though the nominator's opinion will be discounted in the closure decision).
Speedy delete
(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.

No quorum[edit]


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. Generally, this will result in soft deletion (see below), but administrators should evaluate the nominating statement as they would a PROD rationale. See "WP:PROD for more details.

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:

Closing discussions that run their full time[edit]


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.

Relisting discussions[edit]


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), and/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.[2] 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 such as "User:Evad37/XFDcloser automate the process.

Non-administrators closing discussions[edit]


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:

If an administrator has deleted a page (including by speedy deletion) but neglected to close the discussion, anyone may close the discussion provided that the administrator's name and deletion summary are included in the closing rationale.

Closures may only be reopened by the closer themselves, 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.

Step-by-step instructions (all discussion types)[edit]

Discussion type Information page Instructions for closing
Articles for deletion (AfD) "Wikipedia:Articles for deletion

"Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Administrator instructions.

Categories for discussion (CfD) "Wikipedia:Categories for discussion

"Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Administrator instructions.

Files for discussion (FfD) "Wikipedia:Files for discussion

"Wikipedia:Files for discussion/Administrator instructions.

Miscellany for deletion (MfD) "Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion

"Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Administrator instructions.

Redirects for discussion (RfD) "Wikipedia:Redirects for discussion

"Wikipedia:Redirects for discussion/Administrator instructions.

Templates for discussion (TfD) "Wikipedia:Templates for discussion

"Wikipedia:Templates for discussion/Administrator instructions.

Deletion review (DRV) "Wikipedia:Deletion review

"Wikipedia:Deletion review/Administrator instructions.

Special situations[edit]


If consensus indicates a transwiki should take place, but you do not want to complete the transwiki process immediately:

  1. Add a new entry to "Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Old/Transwiki.
  2. Add the appropriate tag to the article:

Pages with many revisions[edit]

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.

Search all deletion discussions[edit]


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.


  1. ^ Usually articles unreferenced for years.
  2. ^ However, discussions with minimal participation where no one opposes deletion should be closed per "WP:NOQUORUM.

See also[edit]

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