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Users: $wgDefaultUserOptions
Default user preferences.
Introduced in version: 1.4.0
Removed in version: still in use
Allowed values: See below
Default value: See below
Other settings: Alphabetical | By function

See also: Manual:Hooks/GetPreferencesManual:Hooks/GetPreferences

The below changes to LocalSettings.php will override the default user preferences for anonymous visitors and users who have not customized their preferences. Existing user accounts who had the (previous) default option and didn't set it explicitly (which means that it's not stored in the database) will then use the new default.

Note: in the old preferences system, the change affects only anonymous visitors (if relevant) and new accounts.

Available preferences[edit]

The following user preferences are available for customization:

Name Default Description
User Profile
fancysig 0 If User uses a custom (raw) signature (0 or 1). If user has not set a custom signature, their signature is controlled by the contents of the wiki page mediawiki:Signature or mediawiki:Signature-anon. If user has specified a custom sig, the actual text of the signature is in the nickname option.
nickname (empty string)
rememberpassword 0 Whether to remember the user's password between sessions.
enotifwatchlistpages 1 Email notification to editor if there are changes to a page the editor has on their watchlist. Only used if $wgEnotifWatchlistManual:$wgEnotifWatchlist is set.
enotifusertalkpages 1 Email notification to editor if there are changes to the editor's talk page. Only used if $wgEnotifUserTalkManual:$wgEnotifUserTalk is set.
enotifminoredits 0 Email notification to editor if there is a minor change to a watched page or user talk page, and the relevant option for sending emails on changes to watched page or user talk page is on. Only used if $wgEnotifWatchlistManual:$wgEnotifWatchlist or $wgEnotifUserTalkManual:$wgEnotifUserTalk are set.
enotifrevealaddr 0 Only used if $wgEnotifRevealEditorAddressManual:$wgEnotifRevealEditorAddress and either $wgEnotifWatchlistManual:$wgEnotifWatchlist or $wgEnotifUserTalkManual:$wgEnotifUserTalk are set.
gender unknown Used for gender-correct addressing by the software. This information will be public. Options are: male, female, or unknown.
realname Default “real name”. Real name is optional. If you choose to provide it, this will be used for giving you attribution for your work. Use $wgHiddenPrefsManual:$wgHiddenPrefs to disable the real name field in version 1.16+. Use $wgAllowRealNameManual:$wgAllowRealName for 1.16-.
disablemail 0 Whether other users can send eMail to this user, if $wgEnableUserEmailManual:$wgEnableUserEmail is enabled.
quickbar Quickbar location (only applies if using Cologne Blue or Classic skins). Options are: 0 - None, 1 - Fixed left, 2 - Fixed right, 3 - Floating left, 4 - Floating right, 5 (since 1.19) - Left/right depending on your language.
skin false Which skin to use. May be false to indicate that the site default (as defined in $wgDefaultSkinManual:$wgDefaultSkin) should be used. Previously, numbers were used to be used to designate skins. The only numerical values that are currently operative (as of MediaWiki 1.29) are 0, which means the default skin, and 2, which means Cologne Blue.
math 1 How to render in-line maths (contents of <math></math> tags). Only applies if $wgUseTeXManual:$wgUseTeX is set. Options are: 0 - Always render PNG, 1 - Leave it as TeX (for text browsers)
imagesize 2 Size to limit images on description pages to. Values correspond to the entries in $wgImageLimitsManual:$wgImageLimits. By default, 2 is 800*600.
thumbsize 5 Thumbnail size - Values Correspond to the entries in $wgThumbLimitsManual:$wgThumbLimits. By default, 2 is 180px.
Date and Time
date default Date format. Options:
  • 'default': No preference
  • 'mdy': 16:12, January 15, 2011
  • 'dmy': 16:12, 15 January 2011
  • 'ymd': 16:12, 2011 January 15
  • 'ISO 8601': 2011-01-15T16:12:34
  • 'persian': 15 Farvardin 1390 SH (Iranian Calender, Persia)
timecorrection A fixed timezone offset or ZoneInfo zone, e.g.:
  • -9 (UTC minus 9 hours; will not adjust for Daylight Saving)
  • 'ZoneInfo|-240|America/New_York' (tz database zone for NY; will adjust for Daylight Saving)
rows 25 Edit box size (rows). Deprecated since 1.29, no longer used in core.
cols 80 Edit box size (columns). Deprecated since 1.29, no longer used in core.
editsection Enable section editing via [edit] links. Behaviour changed in 1.23: add .mw-editsection { display:none!important; } to site-wide or user CSS, see phabricator:T54811.
editsectiononrightclick 0 Enable section editing by right clicking on section titles (JavaScript)
editondblclick 0 Edit pages on double click (JavaScript)
showtoolbar 1 Show edit toolbar (requires javascript)
previewonfirst 0 Show preview on first edit
previewontop 1 Show preview before edit box
minordefault 0 Mark all edits minor by default
externaleditor Use external editor by default
externaldiff Use external diff by default
uselivepreview 0 Only used if $wgLivePreviewManual:$wgLivePreview is true.
forceeditsummary 0 Prompt user when entering a blank edit summary
editfont default Edit area font style. Options are: default (browser default), monospace, sans-serif, serif.
useeditwarning 1
Recent changes
rcdays 7 Days to show in recent changes (cannot exceed $wgRCMaxAgeManual:$wgRCMaxAge)
rclimit 50 Maximum number of entries to display in recent changes (truncates rcdays)
hideminor 0 Hide minor edits in recent changes
shownumberswatching 1 Show the number of users, who are watching this page (on recent changes, watch list and article pages). Only used if $wgRCShowWatchingUsersManual:$wgRCShowWatchingUsers is set.
usenewrc 1 Enhanced recent changes - javascript collapsible tree
hidepatrolled 0 Hide patrolled changes in Recent changes
newpageshidepatrolled 0 Hide patrolled pages from New pages
hidecategorization 1 Hides changes to category membership
watchlistdays 3.0 Number of days to show in watchlist (cannot exceed $wgRCMaxAgeManual:$wgRCMaxAge)
extendwatchlist 1 Expand watchlist to show all applicable changes
wllimit 250 Number of edits to show in expanded watchlist (if 'extendwatchlist' == 1)
watchlisthideown 0 Hide the user's own edits from the watchlist
watchlisthidebots 0 Hide bot edits from the watchlist
watchlisthideminor 0 Hide minor edits from the watchlist
watchcreations 1 Add pages the user creates and files they upload to their watchlist
watchlisthideanons 0 Hide anonymous users' changes from the watchlist
watchlisthideliu 0 Hide logged-in users' changes from the watchlist
watchlisttoken Token of watchlist
watchlisthidepatrolled 0 Hide patrolled changes from the watchlist
watchlistreloadautomatically 0
watchlisthidecategorization 1 Hides changes to category membership
watchdefault 1
Watch this page.jpg
Watchlist preferences.jpg

Add pages the user edits to their watchlist, checking the "Watch this page" by default on all edited pages.

This option can be disabled by editors in preferences >> Watchlist tab >> Advanced options section and unchecking "Add pages I edit to my watchlist"

watchmoves 0 Add pages the user moves to their watchlist
watchdeletion 0 Add pages the user deletes to their watchlist
searchlimit Hits per page
vector-simplesearch Whether or not the Vector skin should use the simple search box (Options are 1 for true and 0 for false). (removed in 1.23)
ajaxsearch Enables AJAX Search (Options are 1 for true and 0 for false)
searcheverything Search in all namespaces. (removed in 1.24) [1]
searchnamespaces Add 'searchnamespaces' to $wgHiddenPrefsManual:$wgHiddenPrefs to prevent users from customizing “namespaces to be searched by default” in their preferences (they will still be able to set which namespaces should be searched on Special:Search). Use $wgNamespacesToBeSearchedDefaultManual:$wgNamespacesToBeSearchedDefault to set which namespaces are enabled for searching by default.
stubthreshold 0 Threshold for stub display
underline 2 Whether to underline links. Options are: 0 - never, 1 - always, 2 - browser default
justify Justify paragraphs
language User specific interface language, especially useful in conjunction with $wgHiddenPrefsManual:$wgHiddenPrefs.
Note Note: This is not to set the wiki's default language. Use $wgLanguageCodeManual:$wgLanguageCode instead.
numberheadings 0 Option "Auto-numbering Headings", 1 turns on the numbering of all headings within articles
showtoc Boolean. 1 is show the TOC, 0 is hide it.
nocache Disable page caching
showhiddencats 0 Show hidden categories
showjumplinks Enable "jump to" accessibility links
diffonly 0 Don't show page content below diffs
norollbackdiff 0 No diff after rollback
watchrollback 0
ccmeonemails 0
prefershttps 1
Extension:WikiEditor (packaged with MediaWiki 1.18+)
usenavigabletoc Enable navigable table of contents
wikieditor-publish Enable step-by-step publishing
wikieditor-preview Enable side-by-side preview
usebetatoolbar Enable enhanced editing toolbar
usebetatoolbar-cgd Enable dialogs for inserting links, tables and more
lqt-watch-threads Watch threads that I create or reply to (true by default)
lqtnotifytalk Email me on replies to a thread I am watching (false by default)
echo-subscriptions-web-flow-discussion ⧼echo-subscriptions-web-flow-discussion⧽ (true by default)
echo-subscriptions-email-flow-discussion ⧼echo-subscriptions-email-flow-discussion⧽ (false by default)


  • New settings are added to MediaWiki periodically. Some of these settings have been added since $wgDefaultUserOptions was introduced in v1.4.0. Currently there is no documentation about when settings were added.
  • It is possible for extensions and language files to add extra toggles to the 'misc' tab. Languages that use this feature should have the setting described here. Extensions should add the information to their extension page.
  • This list is not up to date with the latest MediaWiki Version. List options with --list (see Manual:userOptions.phpManual:userOptions.php).

Gadget options[edit]

gadget-$gname e.g. gadget-HotCat for MediaWiki:Gadget-HotCat.js

Default values[edit]

Each language sets its own default values for the user preferences in its language file. For example languages that read right-to-left will probably set the Quickbarquickbar to appear on the right, instead of on the left. The values added to $wgDefaultUserOptions are overrides, i.e. if the value exists here then it will take precedence, but settings may be omitted from the array in which case the language's default value will be used.

In versions of MediaWiki prior to 1.8.0 the default value of this setting was simply an empty array, with the current language providing the default values.

From version 1.8.0 onwards, only the language-specific settings were overridden in the language file, so most settings are now explicitly set in DefaultSettings.php.

From version 1.19 (r91432), the overrides by the language files were removed because they didn't work, and the features that used them, like quickbar, have been done differently and better.


To disable section editing links by default (for new and anonymous users), set the following in LocalSettings.php:

$wgDefaultUserOptions['editsection'] = 0;

Note: From version 1.23 onwards, the section editing links need to be disabled via site-wide or user CSS, see phabricator:T54811 for details on the change.

MediaWiki:Common.css: .mw-editsection { display:none!important; }

Add pages the user edits to their watchlist by default:

$wgDefaultUserOptions['watchdefault'] = 1;

If the preference is of type multiselect, things are a bit more complicated. The key for each default user option is the concatenation of the preference key with the option key. For example if the preference key is 'favoritecolors' and the option key is 'red', the default user option key would be 'favoritecolorsred'. In this hypothetical scenario, if you wanted to have red and yellow selected by default, you would use:

$wgDefaultUserOptions['favoritecolorsred'] = 1;
$wgDefaultUserOptions['favoritecolorsyellow'] = 1;

If the preference is of type checkmatrix, things are even more complicated. The key for each default user option is the concatenation of the preference key with the column key and row key, separated with hyphens. For example if the preference key is 'favoritecars' and the column key is 'red' and the row key is 'corvette', the default user option key would be 'favoritecars-red-corvette'. In this hypothetical scenario, if you wanted to have red Corvette and black Jetta selected by default, you would use:

$wgDefaultUserOptions['favoritecars-red-corvette'] = 1;
$wgDefaultUserOptions['favoritecars-black-jetta'] = 1;

When writing a MediaWiki extension, instead of using the global variable $wgDefaultUserOptions, you can add a section to extensions.json:

	"DefaultUserOptions": {
		"math": "png"

See also[edit]