Help:Fixing failed pings

Pinging another user through the notifications system is done by linking their user page when editing any talk page or page in the Wikipedia namespace, and successfully signing your post, in the same saved edit.

This can be done by copying and pasting the markup from the user's signature, e.g., [[User:Name|Name]], or by placing various templates for this purpose, such as {{U}} which links just the user's name, or, for prefixing "@Username:" before your post, you might use the template {{Reply to}}, commonly placed with its template shortcuts: {{Ping}} or {{Yo}}.

If you forget to sign your post, fail to sign properly (e.g., you accidentally place five tildes instead of the requisite four [~~~~], resulting in only a timestamp), or fail to successfully link the intended pingee's user page in the same edit, they will not receive a ping. Many users try to fix this in the next or a later edit by adding the signature they forgot, fixing their botched signature, or by fixing the user name link. This does not work – because any change must be parsed as an addition of new lines of text, not a change to existing lines.

Therefore, to fix the problem, you will have to add a new line, this time successfully linking the user's user page and signing your post. There are various suggested methods to do so, depending on if the page is high-traffic or not.

If not high-traffic (i.e., there is little chance of having or causing an edit conflict): edit the page → skip a line using a carriage return → add the person's linked username followed by your signature → save the page, and then immediately undo your edit, manually or by a revert from the page history. You might use the following back-to-back edit summaries when doing this operation: 1) Fixing ping; 2) Completing ping fix.

Alternatively, for high-traffic pages subject to edit conflicts: copy and then paste the existing section header below the thread → add the person's linked username followed by your signature below the duplicated section header → save the page → likewise immediately undo your edit. In this way, an edit conflict is unlikely to occur, and when the software informs the user of your mention, it will still link to the correct section of the page because the section header you placed and then removed was identical to the one under which you originally posted.

Instead of repairing the failed in-text ping, an easy workaround, for pinging up to five editors, is to simply mention them in an edit summary while you edit the page involved (by linking to their user page, e.g., User:Example). The edit you invoke to leave such an edit summary can be used to make cosmetic fixes to the botched or missing signature or username mention that resulted in the failed ping (as noted, these repairs will not fix the ping) or to make some other minor change. Be aware that notifications generated using this method will not link the user to the specific section of the page involved, and that you will not be notified as to whether the ping was successful or not.

Step-by-step instructionsEdit

Low-traffic pages methodEdit

If you mis-signed in a thread at a 'low-traffic page' – where your further edits are unlikely to be interrupted by, or cause, an edit conflict (such as an article's talk page that is not in the midst of wide discussion by many users):

  1. Click edit (we suggest using a side edit section link, targeting just the thread involved)
  2. Place your cursor at the end of the existing text and click return/enter (or other method to invoke a new line)
  3. Paste the "pingee's" linked username and four tildes (~~~~):
  4. Save the page (suggested edit summary: "fixing ping")
  5. Immediately click edit again for the section, cut what you placed in the last edit, and save (alternatively, you can revert your edit in the page history) (suggested edit summary: "Completing ping fix")

High-traffic pages methodEdit

If you mis-signed in a thread with the section header "How do I fix my ping?" – at a 'high-traffic page', where your further edits are likely to be interrupted by, or cause, an edit conflict (such as at the Teahouse, a section of the Village pump, etc.):

  1. Click edit (we suggest using an edit section link, targeting just the thread involved)
  2. Copy the existing section header, and paste it below the end of the thread, followed by the "pingee's" linked username and four tildes:
    == How do I fix my ping? ==
    [[User:Name|Name]] ~~~~
  3. Save the page (suggested edit summary: "fixing ping")
  4. Immediately click edit for the duplicate section you created, cut it entirely including the section header, and save (alternatively, you can revert your edit in the page history) (suggested edit summary: "Completing ping fix")

Edit summary alternativeEdit

As described above, instead of fixing the in-text ping itself, an alternative method that provides some (but not all) of the same features, is to notify (up to five) users in an edit summary:

  1. Click edit (we suggest using a side edit section link, targeting just the thread involved)
  2. Make an edit in the section (such as fixing your failed mention or botched signature)
  3. Scroll down to the edit summary field and add a link to the user’s page anywhere in it: [[User:Example]] (suggested edit summary: "Fixing ping")
  4. To refer the pinged user(s) to a particular section of the page, link it in the same edit summary (this is especially advisable for high volume pages): [[User:Example]]; see [[PageName#SectionName]] suggested edit summary: "Fixing ping")
  5. Save the page

Advising users of failed repair attemptsEdit

Finally, if you see a post in which markup is present for you to have been pinged, but you did not receive a notification (and you have not turned off the default of receiving notification of "Mentions" at Special:Preferences#mw-prefsection-echo), check the page history to see whether the user attempted to fix a botched ping by any invalid method explained above. If they did, you might point them to this page. The template {{ping fix}} may be used for this purpose.

See alsoEdit