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User rights and user groups form the backbone of MediaWiki's user permissions system.
User rights give you permission to do certain tasks—for example, the
edit right allows you to edit unprotected pages, and the
delete right allows you to delete pages.
User rights are bundled into user groups, which correspond to the various roles on the wiki—for example, Users, Administrators, and Bots.
All users on a wiki belong to the "Users" group by default. Privileged users (normally bureaucrats) may assign users to one or more additional user groups.
User rights and groups on your wiki
By default, MediaWiki wikis come with the following user groups:
- (all) – applies to every visitor to your site, including those who do not log in
- Users – applies to all logged-in users
- Autoconfirmed users – applies to all logged-in users who meet certain thresholds
- Bots – can be assigned to bots, in order to allow users to hide bot edits from recent changes or watchlists
- Administrators – can be assigned to trusted users, giving them permission to perform key administrative tasks such as deletion, user blocking, page protection, and editing the interface
- Bureaucrats – can be assigned to trusted users, giving them permission to assign/revoke user groups
- Suppressors - a group that has permission to suppress (hide) and delete unwanted page revisions and log entries
The first three groups are "implicit" groups, which are assigned to users automatically as required. Only the last five groups can be manually assigned or revoked.
The Special:ListGroupRights special page lists the user groups that exist on a wiki, and lists the rights that are assigned to those groups.
Checking your user groups
To check which user groups your account belongs to, do one of the following:
- Visit your Preferences page (Special:Preferences) and look next to "Member of groups:".
- Go to Special:ListUsers, enter your username in the box, and click "Show".
- Go to Special:UserRights, enter your username in the box, click "Load user groups", and view the groups you belong to.
The latter two techniques can also be used to view the user groups of other users.
Modifying the way user rights and groups are set up
To create new user groups or change the rights that are assigned to a group, it is necessary to change the wiki's configuration, which can only be done by server administrators. Contact your site's server administrator for more information, or visit Manual:User rights.
Assigning and revoking user groups
Adding and removing user groups is done using the Special:UserRights special page.
For regular users, Special:UserRights is read-only.
If you would like to join a new group or leave one you are already in, contact a bureaucrat on your wiki. A list of bureaucrats can be found at Special:ListUsers/bureaucrat.
You will be able to assign or revoke user groups when at least one of the following applies:
- You belong to a user group with the
userrightsright. This right is assigned to bureaucrats on most wikis.
- You belong to a user group that is specifically allowed to add and/or remove a specific set of user groups.
- You are viewing Special:UserRights for your own account, and you belong to a user group that has permission to assign user groups to your own account only.
See the page Manual:Setting user groups in MediaWiki for further details.
User group expiry
A user may be assigned to a user group for a limited duration. This can be done by selecting a duration from the "Expires:" drop-down menu. Alternatively, you can select "Other time:" and enter your own time period in the box. Relative periods like "10 weeks", as well as absolute dates or times like "2020-12-31", are accepted.
When the expiry time arrives, the user is no longer considered to be a member of that group. No log entry is written at that time, similar to what happens when a user's block or a page's protection expires.
If you have permission to add a certain user group, but not to remove it, you may only move that group's expiry time further into the future (that is, lengthen the user's membership of that group). This is to prevent the circumvention of restrictions on removing groups by changing the expiry to (say) 1 second. When this restriction exists, the "#" symbol appears next to the name of the user group.
You may alter the groups this user is in:
- A checked box means the user is in that group.
- An unchecked box means the user is not in that group.
- A * indicates that you cannot remove the group once you have added it, or vice versa.
- A # indicates that you can only put back the expiration time of this group membership; you cannot bring it forward.