wikiHow:Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Here's a list of frequently asked questions about wikiHow. For further questions, feel free to contact our Help Team, an Administrator, post in the forums, IRC chat room or send us an email. Everyone is happy to help you!

Questions about wikiHow

If anyone can edit, how do you stop people from making bad edits?

On any wiki, there's a list of Recent Changes (RC) that shows every change or addition that's been made to the site. Anyone is invited to use the tools we have on the site to review RC and decide which edits stay, and which ones don't. Most of the edits made on any given day are helpful, and any bad edits (vandalism) are usually quickly reverted by an RC patroller. Would you like to help out? Check out how it is done in this article: How to Patrol Recent Changes on wikiHow.

What are unpatrolled edits? What does the little weather icon mean?


Unpatrolled edits are changes made to the site that haven't been reviewed by someone yet. That reviewing process is called patrolling. Any registered user can patrol by following the steps in How to Patrol Recent Changes on wikiHow! The number next to the weather symbol tells you how many unpatrolled edits there are on the site right now. If the symbol is cloudy or rainy, that means we really need your help!

Who runs wikiHow?

We all do. Most of the work on the site is done by us volunteers, and most of the decisions made on wikiHow are made by community consensus. There's a small team of employees, whose job it is to make sure the site runs smoothly and the volunteers are happy, but contributors like you are the lifeblood of this project.

Why are there ads on your site?

wikiHow is a hybrid organization, which means that even though it's a for-profit company, it's run as a community service first and a business second. Instead of asking for donations or charging people to view content, wikiHow uses ads as its primary source of income. However, we don't think that ads should be shoved down your throat. If you don't like advertising, you can register for an account and you'll never see them again.

Is this the same as the Wikimedia wikis?

No. We share some of the same wiki software and goals as the Wikimedia Foundation's wikis, but we're separate projects run by separate organizations. We are a how-to guide.

Is wikiHow the same as eHow?

No. The founder of wikiHow, Jack Herrick used to run eHow, but long ago separated himself from eHow to focus on wikiHow. While eHow and wikiHow are both how-to manuals, wikiHow is the only site that is open for editing, freely available by Creative Commons license, written on open source software, and run largely by volunteers.

How do I change the language on wikiHow?

Although we have no way to change the language "per-se", if you look in the "wikiHow Worldwide" box on the homepage and notice your language there, there is a good sign that your language is available to see your associated how-to. If your associated language is not, check the wikiHow:Language Projects page (under "Current Language Projects"). If you are seriously considering helping in a language that isn't available, please contact the Staff at, to see if you can get the project moving in the right direction.

I'd like to save some of the links. How can I save them?

wikiHow has you covered on that issue too. Follow the directions in How to Save or Bookmark Links to wikiHow Articles to save them so you can retrieve them at some other time.

Will I get paid to volunteer/work at wikiHow?

With the exception of a select few employees/staff of the company, we are all volunteers here and hence, will not be paid. If you'd like a paid spot, you'll have to either look into a job at wikiHow, or work elsewhere instead; you won't get paid to volunteer here or make any contributions of any kind on the site.

Questions about contributing

How can I write an article?

Your first step would be to read the Writer's Guide, and then you would go to Special:CreatePage. Please see How to Write a New Article on wikiHow for more information.

How can I link to my website?

  • In general, linking for the sake of "building backlinks" isn't permitted, and people who make repeated self-promotional link additions often end up having their sites blacklisted. Adding links to reputable sources of information for the purpose of referencing advice shared on the page is great, though. For more information, check out the External Links Policy and How to Reference Sources on wikiHow.
  • Check out How to Publicize Yourself the Right Way on wikiHow. You can always link to your website from your own user page.

How do I add a picture to an article?

Click on an Add Image button in a particular section.


You can then upload an image from your computer or select an image that wikiHow already has permission to use. See How to Put a Photo in a wikiHow Article for more information.

How can I get images for articles, if I can't upload any (or have none that I've created)?

You can ask Wikivisual for photos to be uploaded by a person by posting a message on the page, or, at the top of the article's page you can publish an edit that has the {{pictures}} template on it. Be careful, there are two other templates that can be used in the place of the pictures template that signify the article needing either {{screenshots}} or {{illustrations}}. Just add the corresponding template to the article. With either of these methods, it could take a little while for pictures to be added, but they will eventually be added.

How do I get my article featured?

Make sure the page is detailed, comprehensive, and insightful. Try to add information that might make someone say "Wow, I didn't know that!" If you're knowledgeable about the topic, you probably have plenty of "insider" tips; but even if you're not an expert, you can find them elsewhere on the Internet and add them to the article if you reference them properly.

When you think your article is ready, go to the discussion page and write {{fac}} at the very top. Also, when you interact with other people on wikiHow, tell them you're trying to get your page featured and would appreciate their help.

What's an Admin? How do I become one?

Admins are regular users like the rest of us, who have volunteered to take on extra responsibility in the form of being able to delete articles, rename articles, protect pages, and block vandals. They generally have a large number of edits, edit nearly every day, and have earned the trust of the community with their level headedness, their ability to calm argumentative editors, etc. Current admins nominate candidates for adminship based on the candidate's editing history on the site and personal interactions with that person. Candidates with sufficient support from existing admins are then given a "trial adminship" period in which they are coached by several existing admins. See How to Become a wikiHow Admin for more details.

What's "NAB"? How do I become a "NABer?"

"NAB" or New Article Boost is a system on wikiHow, where editors fix or "boost" articles that have just been submitted. This method allows them to correct spelling errors, revise articles into wikiHow format, and/or add freely licensed images to make articles better. This method also encourages users to make good content available to the world, and hide or "demote" content that is not ready for readers yet.

More importantly, New Article Boost encourages new authors to stick around and keep writing articles. To become a New Article Booster, you need to pass a written test via e-mail. See How to Become a New Article Booster on wikiHow for more information.

What is the article review process?

Articles on wikiHow are not fully published until they have passed a quality review process called "New Article Boost". Articles which haven't yet gone through this quality review remain mostly hidden from the public, since they are not indexed in search results. In order for an article to be fully published, it must meet the guidelines in our Writer's Guide and be approved by our volunteer community.

How long does it take for an article to go through the review process?

It varies, but most articles get reviewed within 48 hours. If yours gets approved, the orange blurred message will be removed from the page, and you'll generally be notified on your talk page. If it doesn't, it might need some additional work. Check out How to Get an Article Approved in wikiHow's Quality Review or reach out to a volunteer for more help.

How can I get started?

Look at our list of requested topics. Type in a keyword for something you're interested in and hit "Search". Does a topic come up that you think you can write about? Give it a shot!

If writing isn't your thing, browse our category list for a topic you're knowledgeable about and check out the articles we have. Odds are, there are a few in there that need your help. Maybe you can add a tip, correct a fact, fix a typo, etc.

And, if you don't have any topic in particular you're interested in, you can always keep hitting the random link on the upper right hand corner of any page and editing as you see fit!

What's wiki markup and how do I use it?

Wiki markup is a shortened version of HTML. It does the same thing as HTML, but without the tags. Example: Embolden a word with three quotation marks, such as '''embolden'''. Click here for a quick reference to our editing basics.

Why is this happening?

Why are my started article/pages getting deleted?

As you can imagine, wikiHow receives many new articles each day. To help maintain the quality of articles on wikiHow, we do have a deletion policy. If an article seems to violate the deletion policy, it gets nominated for deletion, which means that the community is invited to discuss whether the page should be deleted. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't! If you don't want your article to get deleted, try following the steps in How to Prevent Your wikiHow Article from Getting Deleted.

If you have more questions about how the deletion policy works or why your article was deleted, feel free to email

Why is my page getting merged?

Since this is a collaborative project, we want people to work together to build one high-quality page on a particular topic, rather than each person making their own page. Plus, it gives our readers a single place where they can find all the advice we have on a single topic.

If your page got tagged for merging, it means someone thinks it's on the same topic as a page we already have on the site. If you think your page is different, however, read our merge policy and explain on the discussion page why your topic is distinct.

Why does it say my IP address is blocked?

When most people log into their Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to get internet access, the ISP assigns a random (or shared) IP address to them for that particular internet session. This means that if you edit anonymously, you may be sharing an IP address with several other people, one of whom may be vandalizing even while you are making good faithed edits.

Since folks at wikiHow have no way to know which of those multiple people is doing the vandalizing, we may simply block the IP address they are vandalizing from. You can avoid having your edits lumped in with a bunch of other anonymous users by registering a username (it's free, and we won't spam you or sell your information to anyone) and always signing in with that username whenever you edit on the site. This will allow you to edit, even if the IP that has been assigned to you has previously been used by a vandal.

Why isn't anyone talking to me on the chat page?

What you're probably referring to is your talk page, which many people mistake for a chat page. It's intended to be used as a means of communicating with other editors primarily about wikiHow, but we discourage people using it just for chatting back and forth. That's because every edit you make, even to someone's talk page, gets reviewed by an editor in Recent Changes. Chatting can easily make that job much harder for our editors! (And besides, who wants a third person reading all your conversations?)

As for why you may not be getting a quick response to questions or greetings on your talk page... While we have thousands of registered users, there are probably only 100 or so of them actively editing at any given point. Also, the username you are leaving a message for may not have edited here in some time, and may not be seeing your message at all. Your best bet to get in touch with someone is to post in the forums, Log In to the wikiHow IRC Room, or send an e-mail to community support.

Why can't I edit certain pages?

Although this situation is rare, some articles are protected, usually because of high traffic or recent vandalism. Registered editors can edit semi-protected pages. Contact an Admin if you need help to edit fully-protected pages.

Why are the date and time inaccurate?

You may be in a different time zone. To change settings, click on My Preferences in the column to the right of any page. Then click on "Date and time" to make adjustments.

Why is it that every time I try to print an article, it only prints the text? How can I get the article to print with the pictures included?

This isn't a bug and this isn't a glitch. In 2014, there were many people who wanted to have pictures eliminated from printing because they took up paper and ink. Although it works for some articles, if you desperately need to grab an article with it's attached pictures, please feel free to ask Anna the wikiHow Staff member to help you with them. If you include the article either URL or through a weaved-link you need the pictures for in a message, she'll send you a PDF of this article.

If you have the non-free Adobe Acrobat program, you create the page through the "Create PDF" feature in the program that will take the page with pictures and transfer it to a page that will allow you to print them with the pictures. However, don't use the Adobe PDF printer that was installed to your computer to print these documents, as, much like a regular printer, will just end your article in the same format (without the pictures attached.)

Both of these were talked about in Print a wikiHow Article.


How do I report a bug?

Post a message in the Bug Reports section of the forums. Please be sure to read this informative page on reporting a bug and make sure to also post the customized link you receive from the AboutMyBrowser webpage to prove some information about the browser you are using when you incur the bug.

How do I report an error or a bad edit on an article?

wikiHow is a wiki, which means anyone can edit any page. If an article has an error, misleading statement, or vandalism, feel free to simply edit the page; you don't even have to register. You can also e-mail us.

I keep seeing abbreviations. What do they mean?

Just click here for help in understanding all of our abbreviations.

Who do I talk to about possible vandalism?

Leave a message on the Administrator Notice Board or on an Admin's talk page.

How can I let the team know that I have feedback for them?

Depending on the type of feedback you have, there are several ways to give the team feedback. Although some feedback may take longer to integrate than others, every piece of feedback is taken into account when transforming this website. Please see Give Feedback to the wikiHow Team for advice on how you can give the team your ideas.

How do I report something that needs immediate attention?

Feel free to leave a note on the Administrator Notice Board. It is monitored by many admins, so critical issues are often handled quickly. Be patient, though.—The admins are volunteers and have real life responsibilities, so they are not on the site 24/7.

How do I delete my account?

Deleting your account is not possible on MediaWiki software. If you do not wish to use your account, simply log out and never log back in. And, if you wish to remove your name and username from wikiHow, email Make sure to provide details when you ask for assistance. How to Close Your wikiHow Account offers additional details.

How do I change my username?

Our username guidelines outline a the various cases in which you can change your username. If one of those reasons matches yours, you can fill out a form to request a new name. More information on this can be found in How to Change Your Name on wikiHow.

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Categories: Help | About wikiHow | WikiHow User's Manual