If you have logged in you can use the watch and my watchlist features to keep track of changes to pages in which you are interested. You cannot "own" a page, but these features give you the ability to keep an eye on a page without having complete control over it.
You cannot watch pages in the Special: or Media: namespaces.
When you are logged in, there is a "watch" or "unwatch" tab at the head of every page other than special pages. Clicking on "watch" adds the page and its related talk page to the list of pages you are watching. Clicking on "unwatch" removes the page and its talk page from the list. Note that you always watch both a page and its talk page together. You cannot watch one and not the other.
When you edit a page, a "Watch this page" checkbox appears above the buttons. If this is checked, the page will be added to your watchlist when you save your edit. If it is not checked, the page will be removed from your watchlist. The default status of this checkbox depends on your preferences, whether you are editing or creating the page and whether or not you are already watching the page.
- If you are creating a new page, the box will be checked if "Add pages I create to my watchlist" is selected in your preferences.
- If you are editing an existing page, the box will be checked if:
- "Add pages I edit to my watchlist" is selected in your preferences, or
- You are already watching the page
- In all other circumstances, the box will not be checked.
When you move a page, a "Watch this page" checkbox appears above the buttons. This works in the same way as the checkbox on the edit page.
When moving or editing a page, the "Watch this page" checkbox should be used rather than the "watch" or "unwatch" tabs.
While you are logged in, a link to "my watchlist" appears on every page (near the top right of the page in the default skin). Clicking this link displays a recent changes page showing changes to the pages you are watching. The information on this page about each change is identical to that on the recent changes page. It is a list separated by days, ordered backwards according to the time of the edit.
Each line of a Watchlist (or Recent Changes page) shows details of each edit: whether minor (m), whether made by a bot (b), if a new page was created (N), the time, a link to the page, a link to the difference ("diff") made by the edit in question, a link to the page history ("hist"), the editor's user name or IP address, the increase (green) or decrease (red) in the number of bytes, e.g. (+76), (-490) and, if over 500, in bold: (+794), (-2,412), an arrow with a URL link to the specific section that was edited, and the edit summary.
This page also includes a link to a page which allows you to see a list of pages you are watching and remove from the list any you no longer wish to watch.
When you display the recent changes page, provided you are logged in, changes to the pages you are watching will be highlighted in bold. Note that changes to pages on your watchlist will not be highlighted on "related changes" pages.
Pages are sometimes deleted from the wiki. If you are watching a page which is then deleted, the deletion will appear on your watchlist. Also, if you follow the link from your watchlist to see the list of pages you are watching, all pages on your watchlist will be displayed including any that have been deleted. As the pages are listed as links, it is easy to see if you are watching any deleted pages. However, this list does not show talk pages so there is no easy way of telling whether or not a talk page has been deleted.
You can continue to watch a deleted page. If someone re-creates it, you will see that noted on your watchlist.
If you move a page and tick the "Watch this page" checkbox, you will watch both the old and new page names. If somebody else moves a page you are watching, your the list of pages you are watching will be updated so you will be watching both the old and new page names. The move will appear on your watchlist.
Watching a page will only tell you about changes to the text of that page. It will not tell you about changes to templates used by the page. The page may therefore display differently even though no changes are showing.
Watching a category page means you are watching only the editable part of the page. Adding a page to or removing a page from the category will not be reported.
Other users cannot tell what is in your watchlist, nor can they see who is watching a particular page. The webmaster and anyone else who has access to the server holding the wiki database can figure out which pages you are watching.
Maintaining your watchlist
When you view your watchlist, links at the top of the page give you a number of options for maintaining your watchlist:
- Display watched changes - displays your watchlist
- View and edit watchlist - allows you to delete individual pages from your watchlist
- Edit raw watchlist - shows the pages in your watchlist in a textbox, one title per line, allowing you to add pages to and remove pages from the list. You can use this feature to add pages that don't currently exist to your watchlist. You can also use this feature to back up your watchlist by copying the text to a file
- Clear watchlist - removes all titles from your watchlist. You will be asked to confirm that you want to go ahead before the titles are removed. This action cannot be undone, so you should consider taking a backup of your watchlist prior to clearing it