Help:Archiving a talk page

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It is customary to periodically archive old discussions on a talk page when that page becomes too large. Bulky talk pages may be hard to navigate, contain obsolete discussion, or become a burden for users with slow Internet connections or computers. Regular articles are not archived because previous versions may be seen in the history tab; the practice of archiving is particular to talk pages.

Archive method

Use a subpage to archiving a talk page. Archive pages should be named as follows: take the name of the talk page, and add /Archive #, where # is the year-span of the archive. Note that the word 'Archive' has a capital 'A', there is a space before the year, and there are no leading zeros. For example:

  • An archive containing discussion from 2009 of Talk:FlightGear would be named Talk:Earth/Archive 2009
  • An archive from 2008-2010 discussion of User talk:Example user would be named User talk:Example user/Archive 2008-2010

Remember to use the correct namespace – the part before the colon (:) – when archiving your own user talk page. It should start with User talk:, not Talk:.

  1. Get into edit mode on the talk page that contains the material you want to archive
  2. Choose a name for the page to which you want to archive that material. Something like /Archive 2011. The slash makes your archive page a subpage of the talk page.
  3. Near the top of the talk page, after any tags or headers but before the first discussion entry, create a link to the prospective archive page. Example: [[/Archive 2011]]
  4. On the talk page, identify the material that you want to archive, then select and cut it.
  5. Save the talk page (now minus the material to be archived), using an edit summary like "Archiving old material"
  6. When the new, smaller talk page comes up on your screen, find and click the link you added at the top (it will be red): /Archive 2011
  7. A blank page will come up, with the name you have chosen for your archive. Paste the cut material into this blank page
  8. Add {{talk archive}} before and after the pasted material. (You can copy and paste it from this line if you like. Be sure to get all the curly brackets, and don't worry about the underline.)
  9. Save the new page, with an edit summary like "New archive". You now have created the archive. You can stop here, but it's desirable to take one more step:
  10. Go back to the main talk page and replace the red link you created earlier on with the following code, to produce a nice archive box:
    {{archives|[[/Archive 2009|2009]]}}
    Or for several archives, use code similar to that below
    {{archives|[[/Archive 2008|2008]]|[[/Archive 2009-2010|2009-2010]]|[[/Archive 2011|2011]]}}