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Wikipedia:User access levels

From Wikipedia

A contributor's ability to perform certain actions in Wikipedia depends on his/her user access level. This is determined by whether the editor is logged in to an account, whether the account has a sufficient age and number of edits, and what additional rights ("user groups", also called "flags" or "bits") have been assigned manually to the account.

Everyone is able to read Wikipedia. Unless they are blocked, they may freely edit most pages without the need to be logged in. Being logged in gives users a number of advantages including the ability to create new pages. Accounts more than a certain number of days old with more than a certain number of edits automatically become autoconfirmed. Further access levels need to be assigned manually by a user with the appropriate authority. An editor with more experience and good standing can attempt to become an administrator (sysop), which provides a large number of advanced permissions. A number of other flags for specialized tasks are also available.


All visitors to the site, including unregistered users, are part of the '*' group, and all logged-in users are also part of the 'user' group. Users are automatically promoted into the Autoconfirmed/Established users pseudo-group when their account is more than four days old and has ten edits. Other flags are only given upon request; some, such as 'rollbacker' or 'bot', are granted unilaterally if the user demonstrates a need for them (see Wikipedia:Requests for permissions‎ and Wikipedia:Bots/Requests for approval). Others, such as 'sysop' and 'bureaucrat', are given only after community discussion and consensus at Wikipedia:Requests for adminship. Users are only made members of groups such as 'oversight' and 'checkuser' with the approval of the Arbitration Committee and after confirming their identity with the Wikimedia Foundation.

User groups

Unregistered users

Contributors who have not created an account or logged in are identified by their IP address rather than a user name, and may read all Wikipedia pages (except restricted special pages), and edit pages that are not protected or semi-protected. They may create talk pages in any talk namespace but may need to ask for help to create pages in some parts of the wiki. They cannot upload files or images. They must answer a CAPTCHA if they wish to make an edit which involves the addition of one or more external links, and click a confirm link to purge pages. All users may also query the site API in 500-record batches.

New users

Users who edit through an account they have registered may immediately create pages in any namespace (except the MediaWiki namespace, and limited to eight per minute) and may also e-mail other users if they activate an email address in their user preferences. All logged-in users may mark edits as minor. They may purge pages without a confirmation step, but are still required to answer a CAPTCHA when adding external links. They may save books to their userspace but not the Books namespace. They may also customize their Wikimedia interface and its options as they wish, via Special:Preferences or by adding personal CSS or JavaScript rules to their vector.css or vector.js files.

Autoconfirmed users

Several actions on the English Wikipedia are restricted to user accounts that pass certain thresholds of age (time passed since account creation) and edit count. Users who meet these requirements are considered part of the pseudo-group 'autoconfirmed'. Autoconfirmed status is checked every time a user performs a restricted action: it is then granted automatically by the software. Although the precise requirements for autoconfirmed status vary according to circumstances, most English Wikipedia user accounts that are more than four days old and have made at least 10 edits are considered autoconfirmed. However, users with IPBE editing through the Tor network are subjected to stricter autoconfirmed thresholds: 90 days and 100 edits.[citation needed]

Autoconfirmed status (or membership of the 'confirmed' group; see below) is required to move pages, edit semi-protected pages, and upload files or upload a new version of an existing file. Autoconfirmed users are no longer required to enter a CAPTCHA for most events. Autoconfirmed users may mark pages created by others as patrolled in Special:NewPages and save books to the Books namespace. In addition, the Edit filter has a number of warning settings that only affect editors who are not autoconfirmed.

As of 2013, there are approximately 1.2 million autoconfirmed users on English Wikipedia, although the vast majority are not currently active.

Administrators, bureaucrats and stewards


Administrator rights are granted by the community at Requests for Adminship (RfA). The RfA process involves considerable discussion and examination of their activities as an editor. Users who are members of the 'sysop' user group have access to a number of tools to allow them to carry out certain functions on the wiki. The tools cover processes such as page deletion, page protection, blocking and unblocking, access to modify fully protected pages and the Mediawiki interface. Administrators also have the ability to grant and remove account creator, rollback, ipblock-exempt rights, confirmed user, auto-reviewer, template editor and edit filter manager rights to other users, and to their own alternate accounts. Administrators are otherwise no different from any other editor.

Administrators are also known historically as "sysops" (system operators). The two terms are used interchangeably.

See Special:ListUsers/sysop for a list of users in this group.


Bureaucrat rights are granted by the community at Requests for Bureaucratship (RfB) to exceptionally trusted users who are allowed to perform certain actions on other users' accounts.

Bureaucrats have extended access to Special:UserRights, enabling them to add users to the 'bureaucrat' group (but not remove them),[1] and both add users to and remove users from the 'sysop'[2] and 'bot' user groups. Bureaucrats can use Special:RenameUser to rename users (including themselves).

See Special:ListUsers/bureaucrat for a list of users in this group.


Stewardship is an elected role, and stewards are appointed globally across all public Wikimedia wikis.

Users who are members of the 'steward' user group may grant and revoke any permission to or from any user on any wiki operated by the Wikimedia Foundation. This group is set on MetaWiki, and may use meta:Special:Userrights to set permissions on any Wikimedia wiki; they may add or remove any user from any group. Stewards generally act only when there is no user on a particular wiki that can make the necessary change. This includes granting of the 'administrator' or 'bureaucrat' access levels on wikis which do not have any local bureaucrats, and removing such flags if the user resigns or the account is acting maliciously. Stewards are also responsible for granting and revoking access levels such as 'oversight' and 'checkuser', as no other group is capable of making such changes.

Stewards can also act as checkusers, oversighters, bureaucrats or administrators on wikis which do not have active local members of those groups. For example, if a wiki has a passing need for an edit to be oversighted, a steward can add themselves to the 'oversight' user group on that wiki, perform the necessary function, and then remove themselves from the 'oversight' group using their steward rights.

Most steward actions are logged at meta:Special:Log/rights or meta:Special:Log/gblrights. See Special:GlobalUsers/steward or meta:Special:ListUsers/steward for a list of users in this group.

Other flags giving access to specialized functions


Members of this group can review other users' edits to articles placed under pending changes protection. When pending changes was first implemented, the right was automatically assigned to administrators.

See Special:ListUsers/reviewer for a list of users in this group.


Users who are given the rollback flag ('rollbacker' user group) may revert revisions using the rollback feature. This right is automatically assigned to administrators.

See Special:ListUsers/rollbacker for a list of users in this group.


Members of this group have 'autopatrol', which allows them to have their pages automatically patrolled on the New Pages list. This right is automatically assigned to administrators. Prior to June 2010, this right was known as "autoreviewer".

See Special:ListUsers/autoreviewer for a list of users in this group.

Confirmed users

In some situations, it is necessary for accounts to be exempted from the customary confirmation period. The 'confirmed' group contains the same rights as the 'autoconfirmed' pseudo-group, but can be granted by administrators as necessary. There is no point in giving this right to a user whose account is already autoconfirmed, because it provides exactly the same abilities. To request this permission see Wikipedia:Requests for permissions/Confirmed.

See Special:ListUsers/confirmed for a list of users in this group.

File mover

The file mover user right is intended to allow users experienced in working with files to rename them, subject to policy, with the ease that autoconfirmed users already enjoy when renaming Wikipedia articles. This right is automatically assigned to administrators.

See Special:ListUsers/filemover for a list of users in this group.


Users who are given the accountcreator flag ('accountcreator' user group) are not affected by the 6 account creation limit per day per IP, and can create accounts for other users without restriction. Users in this group can also override the anti-spoof checks on account creation. This right is automatically assigned to administrators. Additionally, the accountcreator flag allows users to edit or create editnotices.

See Special:ListUsers/accountcreator for a list of users in this group.

Template editor

Members of this group are allowed to edit pages protected with template protection as well as create and edit editnotices. Template protection is only applied to pages in the template and module namespaces. It is intended to allow experienced template and module coders to make changes without having to request that an administrator make the edits for them.

See Special:ListUsers/templateeditor for a list of users in this group.


Users who are given the ipblock-exempt flag ('ipblock-exempt' user group) are not affected by autoblocks and blocks of IP addresses and ranges that aren't made with the "anonymous users only" setting. This right is automatically assigned to administrators and bots, however the flag must be added separately to enable editing from IP addresses affected by Tor blocks.

See Special:ListUsers/ipblock-exempt for a list of users in this group.

Edit Filter managers

Members of this group can create, modify and delete edit filters. This flag is given and removed by administrators. It is not assigned to administrators by default.

See Special:ListUsers/abusefilter for a list of users in this group.


Users who are given the oversight flag ('oversight' user group) have access to Special:HideRevision, through which they can permanently hide revisions of pages from all users, and Special:Oversight, where they can view a log of such actions and the content of the hidden revisions. This right is only granted to exceedingly few users who are at least 18 years old and have identified themselves to the Wikimedia Foundation. Oversights are also required to be administrators.

See Special:ListUsers/oversight for a list of users in this group.


Users who are given the checkuser flag ('checkuser' user group) have access to Special:CheckUser. They are able to view a list of all IP addresses used by a user account to edit the English Wikipedia, a list of all edits made by an IP, or all user accounts that have used an IP address. They may also view a log of such requests. This right is only granted to exceedingly few users who are at least 18 years old and have identified themselves to the Wikimedia Foundation. Checkusers are also required to be administrators.

See Special:ListUsers/checkuser for a list of users in this group.

Importers and Transwiki

Transwiki and Importers are flags which give permissions on Special:Import. This interface allows users to move pages between Wikimedia wikis (for instance, to copy an article written in English on another-language wiki, while preserving full edit history). Although MediaWiki software provides the ability to import articles directly from XML (which may come from any wiki site), on en.wikipedia and most other Wikimedia projects this requires a special user right 'importupload' (formerly known as 'importraw'), which is restricted to Stewards and occasionally one or two other highly trusted users.

See also the import log, Transwiki log, Help:Import and WP:RFPI.

Course coordinator, instructor, online and campus volunteer

Members of these user groups (in addition to administrators) can manage course pages in the "Education Program:" namespace. Course coordinator rights (as well as the instructor, online volunteer and campus volunteer rights) are assigned by administrators. Course coordinators may assign "course online volunteer", "course campus volunteer", and "course instructor" rights to other users. Online and campus volunteers, respectively, can designate themselves as supporters for individual courses (whom students can turn to for help, online or in person). They do this by going to the course page and using the software interface to associate their account with the course.


Members of the Oauthadmin user group will be able to manage OAuth consumers.

Mass message sender

Members of this group send messages to multiple users at once.

Other flagged accounts


Accounts used by approved bots to make pre-approved edits can be flagged as such. Bot accounts are automated or semi-automated, the nature of their edits is well defined, and they will be quickly blocked if their actions vary from their given tasks, so they need less scrutiny than human edits.

For this reason, contributions from accounts with the bot flag ('bot' user group) are not displayed in recent changes or watchlists to users who have opted to hide bot edits. Minor edits made by bot accounts to user talk pages do not trigger the "you have new messages" banner. Bot accounts can query the API in batches of 5,000 rather than 500.

See Special:ListUsers/bot for a list of users in this group.


The 'founder' group was created on the English Wikipedia by developer Tim Starling, without community input, as a unique group for Jimmy Wales. The group gives Wales full access to user rights. As 'local founder actions' are usually of great interest to the local community, and are only relevant to the English Wikipedia, the local 'founder' right also has the benefit of allowing Wales' actions to be visible in the English Wikipedia rights log; actions performed with the global founder bit are not visible in that record, but only on the log at Metawiki.


The 'researcher' group was created in April 2010 to allow individuals explicitly approved by the Wikimedia Foundation to perform a title search for deleted pages and view deleted history entries but not to view the actual revisions of deleted pages.[3] Policies governing the access level are under development by the Wikimedia Foundation Research Committee (RCom) and being discussed here at Wikipedia talk:FAQ/Research.

See Special:ListUsers/researcher for a list of users in this group and meta:Research:Special API permissions/Log for further details.


The 'ombudsman' group investigates complaints about violations of the privacy policy (in particular concerning the use of CheckUser tools) on any Wikimedia project for the board of trustees in an official manner. To file a complaint, please contact the Ombudsman Commission privately. More information and contact details can be obtained on Meta-Wiki.

Indefinitely blocked users

In general, rights of editors blocked indefinitely should be left as is. Rights specifically related to the reason for blocking may be removed at the discretion of the blocking or unblocking administrators.[4]


  • As a function of the Requests for adminship and Requests for Bureaucratship processes, all bureaucrats on the English Wikipedia are also administrators, and so have all the permissions of the 'sysop' user group in addition to those rights from the 'bureaucrat' group. However this is not a requirement of the MediaWiki software; it is technically possible for a user to be a bureaucrat without also being an admin.
  • Deprecated permissions are either no longer assigned to any group, or the group to which they are assigned is no longer populated.

Template:User access levels

User access level changes

Template:User access level changes


  1. ^ MediaWiki default settings are that the 'bureaucrats' group has the userrights flag (giving access to Special:UserRights) and can add or remove any flags. However this can be modified by mw:Manual:$wgAddGroups and mw:Manual:$wgRemoveGroups to restrict adding/removing flags to specified ones. Wikimedia's settings file uses these, and by default bureaucrats can only remove bot flags and add sysop, bureaucrat and bot flags. English Wikipedia, or 'enwiki', settings additionally permit adding accountcreator and removal of ipblock-exempt and accountcreator; which administrators can do anyway, and removal of sysop.
  2. ^ Since August 2011, per Template:Bugzilla
  3. ^ The group has access to the browsearchive and deletedhistory rights, as well apihighlimits (Wikimedia NOC)
  4. ^ See the RfC at Wikipedia talk:User access levels/Archive 2#Rights of indef blocked users.

See also