How to request removal of content from the UK Government Web Archive

Removing content

Content can only be removed from the web archive in exceptional circumstances, in line with the criteria set out in our Takedown policy.

As a general rule, UK government content published on a website will be considered to be in the public domain. As a website owner, it is your responsibility to make sure that all content put on the web is fit to be in the public domain and to be made perpetually available in the web archive before it is published.

For full details of when and how we may remove content from archived websites, please read our Takedown policy.

1. Make a removal request

In order to make a takedown request, you will need to provide us with a full list of URLs (web addresses) of content which needs to be taken down and the time period if applicable

If a resource has been available on the web for some time you will need to check whether it has been available at different locations over time, for example if it was moved from a standalone website to GOV.UK.

While we can remove entire webpages or entire documents from our archive, we can’t redact or change specific pieces of text on an archived webpage or document. Websites are stored in archive file formats (ARC or WARC) which are snapshots and are not editable in the same way as you would edit a regular webpage.

For example, if a webpage or document in the archive is showing someone’s personal details by mistake, you will have to ask that the whole page/document is removed, rather than just the paragraph containing the personal details.

We can remove individual elements of an archived page (such as embedded images and files) as long as they have a specific, unique URL attached to them.

You should also tell us which criteria in the Takedown policy applies.

When requesting a takedown, please use our main site contact form.

2. Resources are taken down pending review

We will remove public access to the resources, pending review by the Takedown panel. The Takedown panel meets every other month.

3. Takedown panel meetings

The Takedown panel will meet and discuss the case. They will decide whether the request will be upheld (resources will remain taken down) or refused (the resources will be made public again). Sometimes they request more information to help them make a decision.

4. Outcome of panel meeting

We will let you know the outcome of the panel meeting. If you are unhappy with the outcome you can appeal to our Chief Executive and Keeper.