How to Patrol Recent Changes on wikiHow (Traditional)

Traditional RC patrolling is different from Special RC patrol in that you are patrolling each edit, one by one. The Special RC patrol tool allows you to review several edits made by different contributors on a single page. This article will show you how to patrol recent changes, the "old-fashioned" way.


  1. Image titled Patrol Recent Changes on wikiHow (Traditional) Step 1
    Click on Recent Changes under "Explore" in the green menu bar.
    • Optional: If you use Mozilla Firefox, you can download the Editor's Toolbar. To access RC, click on the sun, clouds or number to the right of them.
  2. Image titled Patrol Recent Changes on wikiHow (Traditional) Step 2
    Set up your Recent Changes list for your patrolling preferences. You'll probably want to select "Hide patrolled edits" and you may want to adjust the number of days and edits you want to see in the list. After picking these, the page will reload.
    • If desired, you can also limit the namespace that is shown, or select "Reverse order" to patrol from oldest unpatrolled edits to the newest. If you pick any of these options, click "Go" to reload the page before beginning.
  3. Image titled Patrol Recent Changes on wikiHow (Traditional) Step 3
    Look for exclamation points - ! - indicating unpatrolled edits. Click on "diff" to see a particular edit and start your patrolling. You can start at the top of the list or pick any edit you want to see further down the list.
    • For newly created articles and pages, marked by an N, the "diff" part of the link won't be clickable (since there are no changes to see). Just click right on the title of the article or page to view and patrol it.
  4. Image titled Patrol Recent Changes on wikiHow (Traditional) Step 4
    Review the diff or page. On diff edits, the new revision of the page will be on the right-hand side, and the previous version will be on the left-hand side. Changes will be highlighted, so that you can see whether they made the page better.
    • Click on Mark as patrolled if the change that you see obviously improves the page (corrects spelling or grammar, adds a category, adds new information).
    • Click on the full edit link to make corrections or changes to the article/edit, before marking it patrolled. For example, if someone adds a few sentences, but there are some spelling errors in them, use edit to make corrections. Since this will load a new editing page, you probably want to right-click and select "Open in a new tab/window" to make these changes, so you don't lose your spot in patrolling.
    • Click on Skip if you're uncertain in any way. If the information added is unfamiliar to you, or if someone adds a link and you're not sure it's consistent with our external links policy, or if you're simply not sure if that edit is good or bad, please skip that edit for now.
    • Click on Rollback if the edit is obviously bad. If you notice that the old revision looks like it suffered from some bad edits already, try to do a manual revert using view history or skip the edit. After you rollback, you will still need to click "Mark as Patrolled" as well, to get the edit out of the Recent Changes queue and move to the next change.
      • Some edits may not show a rollback link, because there have been other changes to the page since they were made. In this case, it helps to explore the article history (in a new tab) to make sure the current version of the page doesn't need any editing before you mark the change patrolled. You can always edit the page in order to remove any bad information that was added, or do a manual revert using view history
    • For new articles and pages, the "Mark as patrolled" and "Skip" options are at the bottom of the page. On these edits, a rollback isn't possible (because there's no previous version to rollback to), but you can open the article separately to apply templates to it as needed, particularly if a new article might need copyediting ({{copyedit}}, formatting ({{format}}), or merits a nomination for deletion. After adding any templates needed, you can mark the article patrolled (or, of course, skip it if you're not sure).
  5. Image titled Patrol Recent Changes on wikiHow (Traditional) Step 5
    Reach out to the editor (optional but preferable). Before taking action, click on "quick note" and leave a note for the person who made the edit. You can click on any of the buttons at the top, or write a personalized message. Keep it as friendly as possible, even if the edit they made was unhelpful. Assume good faith.
  6. Image titled Patrol Recent Changes on wikiHow (Traditional) Step 6
    Keep going! After you skip or mark an edit patrolled, you'll automatically get a new recent change to patrol. Repeat the review process and keep going on through the queue.

Handy Chart

Situation Recommended Action Why

Good tip added,
but several spelling errors.
Fix the spelling errors. Improved quality.
Few tips removed. OK if article is improved.

If not, then rollback.

Removed redundancy, controversy or nonsense. Improved quality.

Good information added, but without format.

Retain good info and fix format.

Use Advanced Editor, if needed.
Most editors don't understand format.

Bold Edit
dramatically improved quality of article.
Patrol as OK.

Thank the editor.
Efforts appreciated.
External link added, but no additional content. Rollback.
Links not accompanied by content are automatically removed. / policy.

Entire sections
of article
are blanked out.

Leave message for contributor asking why they blanked the section.
Blanking can be accidental or vandalism. Assume good faith.

Editor #1 vandalized page. Then editor #2 vandalized same page.
Do not rollback!

Go to page history to
manually revert to last good edit.

Rollback only returns editor #1's vandalism.
Editor vandalized multiple pages.
Add {{test}}, then {{warning}} to their talk page. Rollback any vandalism from their contribution page.

If they persist, contact the
Admin Notice Board.
Prevented excessive damage.


  • Update Scanner monitors updates. Recommended settings:
    • Scan every six hours.
    • Ignore changes less than 50 characters.


  • Remember, some edits are only partially bad. A good tip with terrible grammar, for example, is still a good tip. Try to rollback edits only when the information isn't salvageable in any way. Otherwise, it is better to use Quick Edit to delete the bad and incorporate the good.
  • Do not revert/edit articles with an In Use aka {{inuse}} tag.
  • Develop your own method.
    • Begin slowly, patrol safely, then pick up speed.
    • Make easy fixes and add templates or spend more time on each article.
  • If you are in IRC, type in .rcstats to find out how many edits are left to patrol.

  • Recent Changes is inaccessible to anonymous users. If you're anonymous, please create an account if you would like to become a patroller.


Article Info

Categories: Patrolling | Help