Manual:Block and unblock

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Sysops can block and unblock IP addresses (and registered user accounts if username blocking is enabled) from editing, uploading files, moving pages, and, if they have been granted such rights, protecting/unprotecting and deleting/undeleting pages. It is important to remember that blocks are preventative, rather than punitive.

Blocking

Blocks are applied via the form at the special page Special:Block. There are several steps to applying a block:

  1. Specify the IP address or user to be blocked. Enter the IP address to be blocked, or the name of the registered user account to be blocked, in the "IP address or username:" field of the form. Note that nonexistent usernames can also be blocked, so be certain you have the correct username. You can also block a range of IP addresses; see Help:Range blocks for instructions.
  2. Specify a duration for the block. You can select a predefined duration from the drop down box labelled "Expiration:", or you can enter a custom value, using the GNU standard format, in the "Other time" field. If the duration given is "indefinite", then the block will not expire, although the IP address or user account may still be unblocked by a sysop.
  3. Specify a reason for the block (optional). This reason will be displayed to the blocked user if they attempt to edit a page.

Click "Block this user" to apply the block. All blocks are recorded in the block log, and all currently active blocks are listed at the list of active blocks.

Note that in addition to manually entering the IP address or user account to be blocked into Special:Block, you may also follow the "Block this user" link from the toolbox in the sidebar when viewing the "User" or "User talk" page of the IP address or user account. You can also click on the "block" link next following an IP address or user account name in the recent changes list or the page history.

Blocking options

MediaWiki version: 1.8

Several extra blocking options were added in version 1.8 of MediaWiki, which are enabled by checking a check box on the blocking form.

Block anonymous users only (also called softblocking)
This option changes the effect of a block when blocking an IP address. When it is enabled, the block will only affect anonymous users editing from that IP address; registered users editing from that IP address will not be affected. The option has no effect on a block of a registered user, but does on an autoblock caused by it.
Block account creation
This option changes the effect of a block when blocking a user or an IP address. When it is enabled, the registration of new user accounts from that IP address will be disabled while the block is in effect.
Automatically block the last IP address used by this user, and any subsequent addresses they try to edit from (also called hardblocking)
This option changes the effect of a block when blocking a registered user account. When it is enabled, the IP address most recently used by the account, and any IP addresses that the account subsequently attempts to edit from will be automatically blocked.


Unblocking

An IP address or registered user account can be unblocked via the list of active blocks. Find the IP address or registered user account you wish to unblock in the list (you can enter the address or name in the "Find a blocked user" field to help you find the entry), and click the "unblock" link displayed to the right of the block's expiry time.

This will lead you to a confirmation page. Enter the reason for unblocking (optional) in the "Reason:" field, and click "Remove this block" to remove the block. All unblockings are recorded in the block log.

Note that if a range is blocked, then the unblock must cover the whole range to be effective. Attempting to unblock an individual IP address in the range will not be effective.

Effects of being blocked

Blocked users may still read pages, but they may not create, edit or move pages, or upload files. Users with certain other user rights will not be able to use those rights when they are blocked. For example, users with the rights to delete and undelete or protect and unprotect pages will not be able to do so when they are blocked. However, users with the rights to block and unblock users will still be able to do so when they are blocked, including any blocks on their own account, given that they have the unblock-self right.

Users who are blocked and attempt to edit a page (or move a page, or upload a file) will see the "Your account or IP address has been blocked" message informing them that they have been blocked.

If the autoblock option has been enabled with respect to a block, and the blocked user attempts to edit (or move a page, or upload a file), the IP address being used by that user will also be blocked.

Configuration settings related to blocking

The configuration options below can be set in LocalSettings.php and can be used to enable or disable certain aspects of the blocking interface.

  • $wgSysopUserBans - controls the ability for sysops to block usernames. This is true by default. If a sysop tries to block a registered user account and this setting is not enabled, then an error message will be displayed, informing the sysop that the "IP Address does not exist".
  • $wgSysopRangeBans - controls the ability for sysops to block ranges of IP address. This is true by default.
  • $wgAutoblockExpiry - controls how many seconds need to pass until a block on an "autoblocked" IP address will expire. The default is 86400 seconds (one day)
  • $wgBlockAllowsUTEdit - controls whether or not a blocked user is able to edit their own user talk page. This is currently (1.26+) true by default. The ability to disable the ability of a blocked user to edit their own user talk page, when this variable is true, is an option available in Special:Block.
  • $wgSysopEmailBans and the blockemail user right control the ability for sysops to prevent users from using the Special:EmailUser interface. $wgSysopEmailBans is true by default.
  • $wgBlockDisablesLogin - controls if blocked users will be allowed to login. This is false by default.
  • $wgCookieSetOnAutoblock - (1.29+) determines whether to set a cookie when a user is autoblocked. Doing so means that a blocked user, even after logging out and moving to a new IP address, will still be blocked. This is false by default.
  • The hideuser user right controls the ability for sysops to prevent a blocked user from appearing in the block log, the active block list, and the user list.

MediaWiki: pages

URL parameters

MediaWiki version: 1.18

Special:Block accepts some URL parameters to prepopulate the HTML form:

  • wpTarget - username/IP address
  • wpExpiry - expiry time
  • wpAutoBlock - autoblock setting (=1 or =0)
  • wpHardBlock - hard block setting (=1 or =0)
  • wpCreateAccount - prevent account creation (=1 or =0)
  • wpReason - reason, from selection of MediaWiki:Ipbreason-dropdown
  • wpReason-other - prepopulating "other reason" text field

Example use: w:Template:Emergency-bot-shutoff. See also: bug 31851

Hooks

See also