wikiHow:Block Times

If "assuming good faith" and friendly communication failed to prevent someone from continually disrupting wikiHow, an administrator (admin) will need to block the user. Read the guidelines on how to Block Disruptive Users on wikiHow and then consider using one of the suggested time frames for a block.

EditSuggested Block Times / Expiry Selection

  • First block - Typically 2 hours to 1 week, although it is okay to block for 1 month in some cases, depending on severity of the offense. Generally, the shorter the better. Most vandals never return once they are stopped.
  • Second block - 1 day to 2 weeks, although up to 1 month is appropriate for those who commit serious offenses despite repeated warnings and coaching.
  • Third block or more - 1 day to 1 month. Again, the admin must use discretion to determine what length of block might be necessary to remove current and future disruption to wikiHow. If you are unsure, ask other admins for advice on a duration for the specific block you are considering. If more experienced admins give you advice on duration, please heed it.

EditSituations Where Longer Blocks May Be Necessary

  • Spambots - (e.g., automated programs leaving links on wikiHow) typically get 3 months on their first block. Persistent spammers using malicious sockpuppets and using accounts only for vandalism may be issued an infinite block.
  • Office actions - Occasionally, for legal or other reasons, users may need to be blocked for extended periods of time.
  • Under 13 - block for the time needed for the user to reach age 13. For example, if a user states he/she is 9 years old, apply a block for 4 years.
  • Other - If you feel someone needs to be blocked for longer than 6 months, please contact Jack, but understand that this has, historically, rarely been necessary.

EditSituations Where Blocks Are Unnecessary

  • Username violations should be reported to the Admin Notice Board. We can simply change their username, rather than blocking them.
  • Underage Anons are not to be blocked because the IP address is likely shared by a parent (or relative) or originate from a public place, e.g., a library.

EditReason Blocks Shouldn't Be Too Long

  • The goal of blocking people is to prevent continued disruption to wikiHow. It is not to punish, shame, or get revenge on a person. Thus, block periods should be the shortest possible needed to minimize disruption to wikiHow.
  • In many cases, several editors may share the same IP address as the one blocked user. Blocking the disruptive user might simultaneously block multiple people on the IP address, be it company, internet cafe, school, library, AOL IP, or other. And those others might have contributed productively to wikiHow. For these reasons, it makes sense to keep block times as short as possible.
  • Again, assume good faith and allow users to amend their ways, then come back to edit constructively. Also, users who have made constructive edits in the past should not be blocked an extended period of time (if at all possible).


  • Suggested block times are only a rough guide. Use your best discretion and ask others when in doubt.
  • When looking at a user's block history, please discount the current block to recompense blocks that were applied erroneously in the past, if any.

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Categories: Being an Admin