|This page in a nutshell: If you have the ability, please boldly assist Wikipedia by fixing the issues flagged by maintenance templates!|
All problems on Wikipedia are resolved through the efforts of volunteers like you. If you understand the problem that the template highlights, such as by reading the explanatory links it contains or have found guidance through this page – and have reasonably fixed the issues – you may simply remove the maintenance template; it will not be removed automatically.
Many Wikipedia pages display maintenance templates that identify problems. You may have arrived at this help page after clicking a link on a maintenance template saying "Learn how and when to remove this template message".
Maintenance templates are added and removed by volunteers. This help page explains the process for examining and removing such templates.
Maintenance templates (or "tags") are not in general removed automatically. Even if you fix the issue(s) described in a maintenance template, the tag will remain in the article until you or someone else manually removes it. The mechanics of removal are usually as simple as clicking "Edit" at the top of the page or in the section involved (if you're not already in edit mode), removing the code that produces the display of the template, leaving an edit summary and saving the page.
It is not okay to remove maintenance templates until the issue flagged by the template is remedied first—that is, only once the maintenance tag is no longer valid, unless it truly did not belong in the first place.
Wikipedia works because of the efforts of volunteers just like you, making bold edits to help build this encyclopedia. Fixing problems and then removing maintenance templates when you're done is important in that effort.
Addressing the flagged problem
We don't know which maintenance tag brought you to this page, and thus what specific problem needs attention. However, every maintenance template contains links to help pages, policies, guidelines or other relevant pages that provide information on the problem the template was placed to flag. You will also find guidance on some of the more common templates below.
Many common templates address problems with article citations and references, or their lack—because reliable sourcing is the lifeblood of Wikipedia articles and at the core of all of Wikipedia's content policies and guidelines, such as notability, verifiability, neutral point of view, and no original research. But a host of other issues may be flagged, including tone and style of writing, structure and formatting, lack of links to or from other articles, compliance with Wikipedia's manual of style and the lack of a lead section.
You need to be sure that the issue has been resolved before removing the template. That does require some effort on your part—to understand both the problem, and how to solve it.
If the issue flagged by the maintenance template is that the article contains no references, a citation needed template used might be
, then you would visit the template itself by searching for Template:Unreferenced. The accompanying documentation for all maintenance templates, if it exists, can be located in this way.
Still need help?
If you've read through this page and are still confused about what needs to be done to fix an issue on a page and remove a maintenance template, try asking at the Teahouse, a page designed for new users to ask questions. Alternatively, you could try the more general Help desk, or seek live assistance at the IRC channel: #wikipedia-en-help.