New requirements for user signatures/Help

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This page is for people who have a custom signature set in their account preferences.

A change to Wikipedia's software has made your current custom signature incompatible with the software.

There are multiple possible errors. If you received a message about an error in your account, then that message should tell you what type of error you had.

Simple solution that works for everyone[edit]

No matter what error your account has, resetting your signature to the default will solve the problem.

Reset your signature to the default:
  1. Go to the "signature" section of your user preferences. Remember: You need to do this step on the wiki where you got the error. The link above will take you to your preferences on MediaWiki.org, but most errors are on people's Wikipedia accounts!
  2. Uncheck the box (☑︎→☐) that says "Treat the above as wiki markup."
  3. Remove anything in the New signature: text box.
  4. Click the blue "Save" button at the bottom of the page. (The red "Restore all default settings (in all sections)" button will reset all of your preference settings, not just the signature.)

After you have done this, the error will be fixed. If you still want to have a custom signature instead of the default, you can now change your signature and the software will prevent you from accidentally making another invalid signature. More information is available at w:en:Wikipedia:Signatures#Customizing how everyone sees your signature.

Plain fancy signature[edit]

This is the most common error. It is easy to fix.

The problem: Your preferences are set to interpret your custom signature as wikitext. However, your current custom signature does not contain any wikitext.

The solutions: There are two ways to fix this problem. You can reset your signature to the default, or you can modify your signature.

Modify your custom signature:
  1. Find the signature section in the first tab of Special:Preferences.
  2. Uncheck the box (☑︎→☐) that says "Treat the above as wiki markup."
  3. Click the blue "Save" button at the bottom of the page.

No user links[edit]

The problem: Your signature does not link to your account's userpage, user talk page, or your contributions.

The solutions: There are two ways to fix this problem. You can reset your signature to the default, or you can modify your signature.

Modify your custom signature:
  1. Find the signature section in the first tab of Special:Preferences. (Remember that you need to find this section of your preferences at the wiki(s) where you have the signature problem. This link will take you to your preferences on MediaWiki.org. Most errors are in people's Wikipedia accounts.)
  2. Look in the New signature: text box for your custom signature code. This does not contain the name of any account.
  3. Add a link to your current account. You may add multiple links, or just one. Choose any of these links:
    • A link to your userpage. This is usually formatted like this: [[User:Username|Username]] –or– [[User:Username|Nickname]]
    • A link to your talk page. This is usually formatted like this: ([[User talk:Username|talk]])
    • A link to your contributions: [[Special:Contributions/Username]] –or– [[Special:Contributions/Username|contributions]]
  4. Click the blue "Save" button at the bottom of the page. (The red "Restore all default settings (in all sections)" button will reset all of your preference settings, not just the signature.)

After you have done this, the error will be fixed. If the error is not fixed, then clicking the blue "Save" button at the bottom of the page will produce an error.

Wrong user links[edit]

The problem: Your signature links to a different user account. This often happens when you set a custom signature and then change your username.

The solutions: There are two ways to fix this problem. You can reset your signature to the default, or you can modify your signature.

Modify your custom signature:
  1. Find the signature section in the first tab of Special:Preferences. (Remember that you need to find this section of your preferences at the wiki(s) where you have the signature problem. This link will take you to your preferences on MediaWiki.org. Most errors are in people's Wikipedia accounts.)
  2. Look in the New signature: text box for your custom signature code. This contains the name of an account, but it's not your account. It's probably the name of another account that you used.
  3. Change the wrong account name to your current account name.
    • If you have more than one account, and you are trying to link to the other account, then change one of the links to your current account name. For example, change[[User:Username|Username]] ([[User talk:Username|talk]]) to
      • [[User:Username2|Username2]] ([[User talk:Username|talk]]) (one link to the current account's userpage, and one link to your other account's talk page), or to
      • [[User:Username|Username]] ([[User talk:Username|talk]] • [[Special:Contributions/Username2|contributions]]) (two links to your other account and one link to Special:Contributions for your current account).
  4. Click the blue "Save" button at the bottom of the page. (The red "Restore all default settings (in all sections)" button will reset all of your preference settings, not just the signature.)

After you have done this, the error will be fixed. If the error is not fixed, then clicking the blue "Save" button at the bottom of the page will produce an error.

Only interwiki user links[edit]

The problem: Your signature does not link to your local account. Some editors set these signatures years ago, before Echo Notifications were available across all the wikis.

HTML linter errors[edit]

The problem: Your signature contains HTML errors that result in Special:LintErrors whenever you sign a page.

You have a custom signature set in your account preferences. A change to Wikipedia's software has made your current custom signature incompatible with the software.

The problem: Your signature contains a syntax error, such as formatting tags that are unclosed or out of order.

The solutions: You can reset your signature to the default, or you can modify your signature.

Solution 1: Reset your signature to the default:
  1. Find the signature section in the first tab of Special:Preferences.
  2. Uncheck the box (☑︎→☐) that says "Treat the above as wiki markup."
  3. Remove anything in the New signature: text box.
  4. Click the blue "Save" button at the bottom of the page. (The red "Restore all default settings (in all sections)" button will reset all of your preference settings, not just the signature.)
Solution 2: Modify your custom signature:
  1. Find the signature section in the first tab of Special:Preferences.
  2. [example of fix made for one editor, if you want to be extra helpful; customize this for each message that you deliver] Move one </span> tag in your signature, as I did [in this edit] (paste diff link), or make other edits to make the signature appear how you want it to appear.

More information is available at w:en:Wikipedia:Signatures#Customizing how everyone sees your signature. If you have followed these instructions and still want help, please leave a message at w:en:Wikipedia talk:Signatures or respond here. Thanks.