Manual:User rights

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User rights are specific access and ability permissions that can be assigned to customizable user groups. Groups can then be assigned to (or removed from) users through the Special:Userrights special page. See Help:Assigning permissionsHelp:Assigning permissions.

Access to this interface is itself governed by the 'userrights' right, so only users in the 'bureaucrat' group can do it (in a default set-up). See Manual:Setting user groups in MediaWikiManual:Setting user groups in MediaWiki for information about managing and the assignment of user groups.

This Special:UserRights interface was introduced in MediaWiki 1.5; see Manual:User rights (older versions)Manual:User rights (older versions) for earlier methods.

Changing group permissionsEdit

A default MediaWiki installation assigns certain rights to default groups (see below). You can change the default rights by editing the $wgGroupPermissionsManual:$wgGroupPermissions array in LocalSettings.phpManual:LocalSettings.php with the syntax.

$wgGroupPermissions['group']['right'] = true /* or false */;

  Note: In a default installation $wgGroupPermissions will be set in includes/DefaultSettings.php, but it is not present in LocalSettings.php. You will then need to add it in that file.

If a member has multiple groups, they get all of the permissions from each of the groups they are in. All users, including anonymous users, are in the '*' group; all registered users are in the 'user' group. In addition to the default groups, you can arbitrarily create new groups using the same array.


This example will disable viewing of all pages not listed in $wgWhitelistReadManual:$wgWhitelistRead, then re-enable for registered users only:

$wgGroupPermissions['*']['read']    = false;
# The following line is not actually necessary, since it's in the defaults. Setting '*' to false doesn't disable rights for groups that have the right separately set to true!
$wgGroupPermissions['user']['read'] = true;

This example will disable editing of all pages, then re-enable for users with confirmed email addresses only:

# Disable for everyone.
$wgGroupPermissions['*']['edit']              = false;
# Disable for users, too: by default 'user' is allowed to edit, even if '*' is not.
$wgGroupPermissions['user']['edit']           = false;
# Make it so users with confirmed email addresses are in the group.
$wgAutopromote['emailconfirmed'] = APCOND_EMAILCONFIRMED;
# Hide group from user list. 
$wgImplicitGroups[] = 'emailconfirmed';
# Finally, set it to true for the desired group.
$wgGroupPermissions['emailconfirmed']['edit'] = true;

Creating a new group and assigning permissions to itEdit

You can create new user groups by defining permissions for the according group name in $wgGroupPermissions['<group-name>'] where <group-name> is the actual name of the group.

Additionally to assigning permissions, you should create these three wiki pages with fitting content:

  • MediaWiki:Group-<group-name> (content: Name of the group)
  • MediaWiki:Group-<group-name>-member (content: Name of a member of the group)
  • MediaWiki:Grouppage-<group-name> (content: Name of the group page)

By default, bureaucrats can add users to, or remove them from, any group. However, if you are using Manual:$wgAddGroupsManual:$wgAddGroups and Manual:$wgRemoveGroupsManual:$wgRemoveGroups, you may need to customize those instead.


This example will create an arbitrary "ninja" group that can block users and delete pages, and whose edits are hidden by default in the recent changes log:

$wgGroupPermissions['ninja']['bot']    = true;
$wgGroupPermissions['ninja']['block']  = true;
$wgGroupPermissions['ninja']['delete'] = true;
Note: the group name cannot contain spaces, so use 'random-group' or 'random_group' instead of 'random group'

In this example, you would probably also want to create these pages:

  • MediaWiki:Group-ninja (content: Ninjas)
  • MediaWiki:Group-ninja-member (content: ninja)
  • MediaWiki:Grouppage-ninja (content: Project:Ninjas)

This will ensure that the group will be referred to as "Ninjas" throughout the interface, and a member will be referred to as a "ninja", and overviews will link the group name to Project:Ninjas.

This example disables write access (page editing and creation) by default, creates a group named "Write", and grants it write access. Users can be manually added to this group via Special:UserRights:

$wgGroupPermissions['*']['edit'] = false;
$wgGroupPermissions['*']['createpage'] = false;
$wgGroupPermissions['user']['edit'] = false;
$wgGroupPermissions['user']['createpage'] = false;
$wgGroupPermissions['Write']['edit'] = true;
$wgGroupPermissions['Write']['createpage'] = true;

In this example, you would probably also want to create these pages:

  • MediaWiki:Group-Write (content: Writers)
  • MediaWiki:Group-Write-member (content: Writer)
  • MediaWiki:Grouppage-Write (content: Project:Write)

Removing predefined groupsEdit

MediaWiki out of the box comes with a number of predefined groups. Most of these groups can be removed by unsetting the according array keys, among them $wgGroupPermissions['<group-name>']. For details see below.


This example will eliminate the bureaucrat group entirely. It is necessary to ensure that all six of these variables are unset for any group that one wishes to remove from being listed at Special:ListGroupRights; however, merely unsetting $wgGroupPermissions will suffice to remove it from Special:UserRights. This code should be placed after any require_once lines that add extensions such as Extension:RenameuserExtension:Renameuser containing code that gives bureaucrats group permissions by default.

unset( $wgGroupPermissions['bureaucrat'] );
unset( $wgRevokePermissions['bureaucrat'] );
unset( $wgAddGroups['bureaucrat'] );
unset( $wgRemoveGroups['bureaucrat'] );
unset( $wgGroupsAddToSelf['bureaucrat'] );
unset( $wgGroupsRemoveFromSelf['bureaucrat'] );

Note on the group called "user"Edit

With the above mechanism, you can remove the groups sysop, bureaucrat and bot, which - if used - can be assigned through the usual user permission system. However, it is currently impossible to remove the user group. This group is not assigned through the usual permission system. Instead, every logged in user automatically is member of that group. This is hardcoded in MediaWiki and currently cannot be changed easily.

List of permissionsEdit

The following user rights are available in the latest version of MediaWiki. If you are using an older version, look at "Special:Version" on your wiki and see if your version is covered in the "versions" column.

Right Description User groups that have this right by default Versions
read Read pages (when set to false, override for specific pages with $wgWhitelistReadManual:$wgWhitelistRead)
  Warning: Setting the user right "read" (allow viewing pages) to false will only protect wiki (article, talk, ...) pages, but uploaded files (images, files, docs... in the $wgUploadPath subdirectories) will always remain readable via direct access by default.
Use the information from Manual:Image Authorisation and img_auth.php pages when you have the need to restrict image views and file download access to only logged-in users.
*, user 1.5+
edit Edit pages *, user 1.5+
createpage Create pages (which are not discussion pages) (requires the edit right) *, user 1.6+
createtalk Create discussion pages (requires the edit right) *, user 1.6+
move Move pages (requires the edit right) user 1.5+
movefile Move files (requires the move right and $wgAllowImageMovingManual:$wgAllowImageMoving to be true) user 1.14+
move-subpages Move pages with their subpages (requires the move right) user 1.13+
move-rootuserpages Move root user pages (requires the move right) user 1.14+
move-categorypages Move category pages (requires the move right) user 1.25+
createaccount Create new user accounts (register / registration) * 1.5+
autocreateaccount Automatically log in with an external user account (a more limited version of createaccount) 1.27+
upload Upload files (requires the edit right) user 1.5+
reupload Overwrite existing files (requires the upload right) user 1.6+
reupload-own Overwrite existing files uploaded by oneself (requires the upload right) 1.11+
reupload-shared Override files on the shared media repository locally (if one is set up) with local files (requires the upload right) user 1.6+
upload_by_url Upload files from a URL (requires the upload right) 1.8+
editprotected Edit pages protected as "Allow only administrators" (without cascading protection) sysop 1.13+
editsemiprotected Edit pages protected as "Allow only autoconfirmed users" (without cascading protection) autoconfirmed 1.22+
applychangetags Apply tags along with one's changes user 1.25+
delete Delete pages 1.5–1.11: allows the deletion or undeletion of pages.
1.12+: allows the deletion of pages. For undeletions, there is now the 'undelete' right, see below
sysop 1.5+
bigdelete Delete pages with large histories sysop 1.12+
deletedhistory View deleted history entries, without their associated text sysop 1.6+
deletedtext View deleted text and changes between deleted revisions sysop
undelete Undelete a page sysop 1.12+
browsearchive Search deleted pages through Special:Undelete sysop 1.13+
mergehistory Merge the history of pages sysop 1.12+
protect Change protection levels and edit cascade-protected pages sysop 1.5+
block Block other users from editing Block options include preventing editing and registering new accounts, and autoblocking other users on the same IP address sysop 1.5+
blockemail Block a user from sending email allows preventing use of the Special:Emailuser interface when blocking sysop 1.11+
hideuser Block a username, hiding it from the public (not available by default)

Only users with 1000 edits or less can be suppressed by default. Use $wgHideUserContribLimit to disable.

unblockself Unblock oneself Without it, an administrator that has the capability to block cannot unblock themselves if blocked by another administrator sysop 1.17+
userrights Edit all user rights - allows the assignment or removal of all* groups to any user.
* With $wgAddGroupsManual:$wgAddGroups and $wgRemoveGroupsManual:$wgRemoveGroups you can set the possibility to add/remove certain groups instead of all
bureaucrat 1.5+
userrights-interwiki Edit user rights of users on other wikis 1.12+
rollback Quickly rollback the edits of the last user who edited a particular page sysop 1.5+
markbotedits Mark rolled-back edits as bot edits (see Manual:Administrators#Rollback) sysop 1.12+
pagelang Change page language ($wgPageLanguageUseDBManual:$wgPageLanguageUseDB must be true) 1.24+
patrol Mark others' edits as patrolled ($wgUseRCPatrolManual:$wgUseRCPatrol must be true) sysop 1.5+
patrolmarks View recent changes patrol marks 1.16+
changetags Add and remove arbitrary tags on individual revisions and log entries - currently unused by extensions user 1.25+
editcontentmodel Edit the content model of a page 1.23.7+
editinterface Edit the user interface - contains interface messages sysop 1.5+
editusercssjs Edit other users' CSS and JavaScript files - Split into editusercss and edituserjs in 1.16 and deprecated, but retained for backward compatibility 1.12+
editusercss Edit other users' CSS files sysop 1.16+
edituserjs Edit other users' JavaScript files sysop 1.16+
editmyusercss Edit your own user CSS files * 1.22+
editmyuserjs Edit your own user JavaScript files * 1.22+
editmywatchlist Edit your own watchlist. Note some actions will still add pages even without this right. * 1.22+
viewmywatchlist View your own watchlist * 1.22+
editmyprivateinfo Edit your own private data (e.g. email address, real name) * 1.22+
viewmyprivateinfo View your own private data (e.g. email address, real name) * 1.22+
editmyoptions Edit your own preferences * 1.22+
suppressrevision View, hide and unhide specific revisions of pages from any user - Prior to 1.13 this right was named hiderevision (not available by default) 1.6+
viewsuppressed View revisions hidden from any user i.e. a more narrow alternative to "suppressrevision" (not available by default) 1.24+
deletelogentry Delete and undelete specific log entries allows deleting/undeleting information (action text, summary, user who made the action) of specific log entries (not available by default) 1.20+
deleterevision Delete and undelete specific revisions of pages allows deleting/undeleting information (revision text, edit summary, user who made the edit) of specific revisions Split into deleterevision and deletelogentry in 1.20 (not available by default) 1.6+
siteadmin Lock and unlock the database (which blocks all interactions with the web site except viewing). Disabled by default 1.5+
import Import pages from other wikis ("transwiki") sysop 1.5+
importupload Import pages from a file upload - This right was called 'importraw' in and before version 1.5 sysop 1.5+
trackback Obsolete. Allows removal of trackbacks (if $wgUseTrackbacksManual:$wgUseTrackbacks is true) 1.7 - 1.18
unwatchedpages View a list of unwatched pages - lists pages that no user has watchlisted sysop 1.6+
managechangetags Create and (de)activate tags - currently unused by extenions sysop 1.25+
bot Be treated as an automated process (can optionally be viewed) bot 1.5+
purge Purge the site cache for a page without confirmation (URL parameter "&action=purge") user 1.10+
minoredit Mark edits as minor user 1.6+
nominornewtalk Not have minor edits to discussion pages trigger the new messages prompt (requires minor edit right) bot 1.9+
noratelimit Not be affected by rate limits not affected by rate limits (prior to the introduction of this right, the configuration variable $wgRateLimitsExcludedGroupsManual:$wgRateLimitsExcludedGroups was used for this purpose) sysop, bureaucrat 1.13+
ipblock-exempt Bypass IP blocks, auto-blocks and range blocks sysop 1.9+
proxyunbannable MediaWiki:Right-proxyunbannable sysop 1.7+
autopatrol Have one's own edits automatically marked as patrolled ($wgUseRCPatrolManual:$wgUseRCPatrol must be true) bot, sysop 1.9+
apihighlimits Use higher limits in API queries bot, sysop 1.12+
writeapi Use of the write API *, user, bot 1.13+
suppressredirect Not create redirects from source pages when moving pages bot, sysop 1.12+
autoconfirmed Not be affected by IP-based rate limits used for the 'autoconfirmed' group, see the other table below for more information autoconfirmed, bot, sysop 1.6+
emailconfirmed Obsolete. Was used for the 'emailconfirmed' group, see the other table below for more information 1.7 - 1.13

  Note: Although these permissions all control separate things, sometimes to perform certain actions you need multiple permissions. For example allowing people to edit but not read pages doesn't make sense, since in order to edit a page you must first be able to read it (Assuming no pages are whitelisted). Allowing uploads but not editing does not make sense, since in order to upload an image you must implicitly create an image description page, etc.

List of groupsEdit

The following groups are available in the latest version of MediaWiki. If you are using an older version then some of these may not be implemented.

Group Description Default rights Versions
* all users (including anonymous). createaccount, read, edit, createpage, createtalk, writeapi, editmyusercss, editmyuserjs, viewmywatchlist, editmywatchlist, viewmyprivateinfo, editmyprivateinfo, editmyoptions 1.5+
user registered accounts. move, move-subpages, move-rootuserpages, move-categorypages, movefile, read, edit, createpage, createtalk, writeapi, upload, reupload, reupload-shared, minoredit, purge, sendemail, applychangetags, changetags
autoconfirmed registered accounts at least as old as $wgAutoConfirmAgeManual:$wgAutoConfirmAge and having at least as many edits as $wgAutoConfirmCountManual:$wgAutoConfirmCount. autoconfirmed, editsemiprotected 1.6+
emailconfirmed Obsolete, but $wgEmailAuthenticationManual:$wgEmailAuthentication still exists. Registered accounts with confirmed email addresses. 1.7 - 1.13
bot accounts with the bot right (intended for automated scripts). bot, autoconfirmed, editsemiprotected, nominornewtalk, autopatrol, suppressredirect, apihighlimits, writeapi 1.5+
sysop users who by default can delete and restore pages, block and unblock users, et cetera. block, createaccount, delete, bigdelete, deletedhistory, deletedtext, undelete, editinterface, editusercss, edituserjs, import, importupload, move, move-subpages, move-rootuserpages, move-categorypages, patrol, autopatrol, protect, editprotected, proxyunbannable, rollback, upload, reupload, reupload-shared, unwatchedpages, autoconfirmed, editsemiprotected, ipblock-exempt, blockemail, markbotedits, apihighlimits, browsearchive, noratelimit, movefile, unblockself, suppressredirect, upload_by_url, mergehistory, managechangetags 1.5+
bureaucrat users who by default can change other users' rights. userrights, noratelimit 1.5+
developer A group for the 'siteadmin' right. The group is deprecated by default, as well as the right. 1.5

From MW 1.12, you can create your own groups into which users are automatically promoted (as with autoconfirmed and emailconfirmed) using $wgAutopromoteManual:$wgAutopromote. You can even create any custom group by just assigning rights to them.

Default rightsEdit

The default rights are defined in DefaultSettings.phpManual:DefaultSettings.php.

Adding new rightsEdit

Information for coders only follows.

If you're adding a new right in core, for instance to control a new special page, you are required to add it to the list of available rights in User.phpManual:User.php, $mCoreRights (example). If you're doing so in an extension, you instead need to use $wgAvailableRightsManual:$wgAvailableRights.

You probably also want to also assign it to some user group by editing $wgGroupPermissionsManual:$wgGroupPermissions described above.

If you want this right to be accessible to external applications by OAuth or by bot passwords, then you will need to add it to a grant by editing $wgGrantPermissionsManual:$wgGrantPermissions

// create ninja-powers right
$wgAvailableRights[] = 'ninja-powers';

//add ninja-powers to the ninja-group

//add ninja-powers to the 'basic' grant so we can use our ninja powers over an API request

You also need to add right-[name] and action-[name] interface messages to /languages/i18n/en.json (with documentation in qqq.json). The right-* messages can be seen on Special:ListGroupRights and the action-* messages are used in a sentence like "You do not have permission to ...".

See alsoEdit

  Log actionsManual:Log actions Events: BlockingManual:Block and unblockImportingManual:Importing revisionsMerging historiesManual:Merging historiesPage deletionManual:Page deletionPage movingManual:Page movingPage restorationManual:Page restorationPatrollingManual:PatrollingProtectionManual:ProtectionRenaming a userExtension:RenameuserRevisionDeleteManual:RevisionDeleteThankingExtension:ThanksUploadingManual:UploadingUser creationManual:User creationUser rights managementManual:User rights

Settings: $wgLogTypesManual:$wgLogTypes$wgLogActionsManual:$wgLogActions$wgLogNamesManual:$wgLogNames$wgLogHeadersManual:$wgLogHeaders$wgLogActionsHandlersManual:$wgLogActionsHandlers$wgLogRestrictionsManual:$wgLogRestrictions$wgFilterLogTypesManual:$wgFilterLogTypes$wgActionFilteredLogsManual:$wgActionFilteredLogs

Miscellaneous: Logging to Special:LogManual:Logging to Special:LogAPIAPI:Logeventslogging tableManual:Logging tableNull revisionManual:Null revision