Watching pages feature allows any logged in user to keep a list of "watched" pages and to be notified of recent edits to these pages.
When the user is logged in, every page has a link to the user's watchlist, also accessible by the link Special:Watchlist. This page shows a list of all recently changed watched pages, separated by days, ordered backward according to the time of the edit.
Each line shows details of each edit:
- whether minor (m) or major,
- whether made by a bot (b),
- the time,
- a link to the page,
- the difference between the current version and the last one,
- the history link,
- the editor's user name,
- the increase or decrease of the number of bytes, and
- the edit summary.
Technically, the watchlist is just another way to filter recent changes.
Controlling which pages are watched
- While viewing a page
- Link "Watch", located at the margin of each page, adds the current page to your watchlist.
- While saving a page
- When saving an edited page, the new watch status (do or do not watch) is determined by the "Watch this page" checkbox.
- If one activates the user preference "Add pages I edit to my watchlist", the checkbox on the edit page will automatically be checked, so unless it is unchecked before saving, the page will be watched upon saving. Additional options are
- "Add pages I create to my watchlist" (if the previous is checked this need not be checked, because creation counts also as an edit),
- "Add pages I move to my watchlist" ,
- "Add pages I delete to my watchlist".
- Editing the whole list
- Two additional links are available on top of Special:Watchlist page:
- Special:Watchlist/edit produces a full list of linked watched pages (including the talk pages). Selecting one or several checkboxes and then clicking "Remove titles" button will remove selected pages from the list.
- Special:Watchlist/raw provides a textarea with a list of watched pages (without listing the talk pages), with one title on every line, sorted by namespace number and then in alphabetic order. This allows editing the list directly, copying it to an external editor, or replacing it with one created elsewhere. Duplicates are automatically removed on saving.
Privacy of watchlists
Ordinary users or administrators cannot tell what is in your watchlist, or who is watching any particular page.