How to restore Wikipedia's old design

Jan 25, 2023

Last week, Wikipedia rolled out a change an updated version of its desktop interface. It has a modern look, and is actually one of the biggest changes made to the website in over a decade.

New wikipedia design

The new design is called Vector 2022, the old one was Vector 2010 and is now called Legacy Vector. I use Wikipedia from time to time as a reference source for work, to learn about various things like history, sports, etc., just like many people do. If you like the new design, that's cool. But I'm sure there are users who dislike it. I'm not a fan of the redesign, I think it looks ridiculous on a large monitor with a lot of wasted space on the sides.

You can click the maximize button that appears in the bottom right corner of the pages to expand the view, but it still doesn't offer the same experience as before.  The official explanation given by MediaWiki (which Wikipedia uses) for the change is that shorter lines make for easy reading, as users don't have to move their eyes a lot.

New wikipedia design expanded

If you don't mind the new Wikipedia design, but want a persistent sidebar (h/t reddit) to appear when you scroll up or down a page, you can add the following rule to uBlock Origin's filters. static !important;)

Legacy Wikipedia Design

Thankfully, there are a few ways to restore the old Wikipedia design. One option is to sign up for a free account on Wikipedia, and enable the Legacy Vector theme from the Settings.

How to restore Wikipedia's old design

  1. Go to Wikipedia and log in to your account.
  2. Click on Preferences > Appearance, or just go to this URL.
  3.  The Skin section has the Vector 2022 option set as the default experience, click on Vector 2010 to set it as the preferred design.
  4. Scroll down the web page, and click the save button to apply the changes.

How to restore Wikipedia's old design

Not everyone may want to sign up for an account just to change a single setting, right? In that case, you can add the following parameter at the end of Wikipedia URLs. ?useskin=vector

For example, is the default link of the page. Add the suffix, and it becomes

New Wikipedia Design 2

This allows you to use the site's old style, but the problem is you will have to add the parameter to every link that you open. And on pages that are divided by sections, and tables, you will need to add it after the URL, but before the # part. That's a tedious way to browse the site, but you cannot save your preferences, since the settings are not available for users without an account. So this is the only option that you have without relying on external sources.

Legacy Wikipedia Design 2

If you know your way around UserCSS, you can play with the styles here to tailor the appearance to your liking.

Tip: You can use email masking services like Firefox Relay, DuckDuckGo Email Protection, SimpleLogin or an email alias service of your choice to hide your real email ID, and use the one provided by the service to create a Wikipedia account for personal usage.

Browser extensions to restore the old Wikipedia interface

Wikipedia is suggesting users to use browser extensions to customize their user experience. A few add-ons have popped up which offer an easy way to restore Wikipedia's legacy look. These are of course made by third-parties, indie developers.

Old Wiki is the only one I found on the Chrome Web Store, it works fine on Wikipedia, and Wikimedia sites. All you have to do is install the plugin and let it do the job. Here is its GitHub page.

Firefox users have a few options to choose from. Wikipedia Vector Skin is one such add-on.  An alternative is to use the Classic mode for Wikipedia add-on, the advantage here is that unlike Wikipedia Vector Skin, the former supports a few more Wiki-websites.

All these extensions basically just add the ?useskin=vector parameter that I mentioned above to the URL, but since they do it automatically, they are quite convenient to have.

How to restore Wikipedia's old design
Article Name
How to restore Wikipedia's old design
Not a fan of the new Wikipedia design? We show you how to restore the legacy interface.
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  1. ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Doesn’t Windows 8 know that www. or http:// are passe ?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on August 4, 2012 at 7:57 pm

      Well it is a bit difficulty to distinguish between domains and files for instance.

    2. Leonidas Burton said on September 4, 2023 at 4:51 am

      I know a service made by google that is similar to Google bookmarks.

  2. VioletMoon said on August 16, 2023 at 5:26 pm

    @Ashwin–Thankful you delighted my comment; who knows how many “gamers” would have disagreed!

  3. Karl said on August 17, 2023 at 10:36 pm


    The comments section under this very article (3 comments) is identical to the comments section found under the following article:

    Not sure what the issue is, but have seen this issue under some other articles recently but did not report it back then.

  4. Anonymous said on August 25, 2023 at 11:44 am

    Omg a badge!!!
    Some tangible reward lmao.

    It sucks that redditors are going to love the fuck out of it too.

  5. Scroogled said on August 25, 2023 at 10:57 pm

    With the cloud, there is no such thing as unlimited storage or privacy. Stop relying on these tech scums. Purchase your own hardware and develop your own solutions.

    1. lollmaoeven said on August 27, 2023 at 6:24 am

      This is a certified reddit cringe moment. Hilarious how the article’s author tries to dress it up like it’s anything more than a png for doing the reddit corporation’s moderation work for free (or for bribes from companies and political groups)

  6. El Duderino said on August 25, 2023 at 11:14 pm

    Almost al unlmited services have a real limit.

    And this comment is written on the dropbox article from August 25, 2023.

  7. John G. said on August 26, 2023 at 1:29 am

    First comment > @ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    For the God’s sake, fix the comments soon please! :[

  8. Kalmly said on August 26, 2023 at 4:42 pm

    Yes. Please. Fix the comments.

  9. Kim Schmidt said on September 3, 2023 at 3:42 pm

    With Google Chrome, it’s only been 1,500 for some time now.

    Anyone who wants to force me in such a way into buying something that I can get elsewhere for free will certainly never see a single dime from my side. I don’t even know how stupid their marketing department is to impose these limits on users instead of offering a valuable product to the paying faction. But they don’t. Even if you pay, you get something that is also available for free elsewhere.

    The algorithm has also become less and less savvy in terms of e.g. English/German translations. It used to be that the bot could sort of sense what you were trying to say and put it into different colloquialisms, which was even fun because it was like, “I know what you’re trying to say here, how about…” Now it’s in parts too stupid to translate the simplest sentences correctly, and the suggestions it makes are at times as moronic as those made by Google Translations.

    If this is a deep-learning AI that learns from users’ translations and the phrases they choose most often – which, by the way, is a valuable, moneys worthwhile contribution of every free user to this project: They invest their time and texts, thereby providing the necessary data for the AI to do the thing as nicely as they brag about it in the first place – alas, the more unprofessional users discovered the translator, the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, the greater the aggregate of linguistically illiterate users has become, and the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, as it now learns the drivel of every Tom, Dick and Harry out there, which is why I now get their Mickey Mouse language as suggestions: the inane language of people who can barely spell the alphabet, it seems.

    And as a thank you for our time and effort in helping them and their AI learn, they’ve lowered the limit from what was once 5,000 to now 1,500…? A big “fuck off” from here for that! Not a brass farthing from me for this attitude and behaviour, not in a hundred years.

  10. Anonymous said on September 28, 2023 at 8:19 am

    When will you put an end to the mess in the comments?

  11. RIP said on September 28, 2023 at 9:36 am

    Ghacks comments have been broken for too long. What article did you see this comment on? Reply below. If we get to 20 different articles we should all stop using the site in protest.

    I posted this on [] so please reply if you see it on a different article.

    1. RIP said on September 28, 2023 at 11:01 am

      Comment redirected me to [] which seems to be the ‘real’ article it is attached to

  12. RIP said on September 28, 2023 at 10:48 am

    Comment redirected me to [] which seems to be the ‘real’ article it is attached to

  13. Mystique said on September 28, 2023 at 12:13 pm

    Article Title: Reddit enforces user activity tracking on site to push advertising revenue
    Article URL:

    No surprises here. This is just the beginning really. I cannot see a valid reason as to why anyone would continue to use the platform anymore when there are enough alternatives fill that void.

  14. justputthispostanywhere said on September 29, 2023 at 3:59 am

    I’m not sure if there is a point in commenting given that comments seem to appear under random posts now, but I’ll try… this comment is for

    My temporary “solution”, if you can call it that, is to use a VPN (Mullvad in my case) to sign up for and access Reddit via a European connection. I’m doing that with pretty much everything now, at least until the rest of the world catches up with GDPR. I don’t think GDPR is a magical privacy solution but it’s at least a first step.

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