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Last updated: 27 Jul 2023

Remove a change note

Follow the instructions for Whitehall if removing a change note from Whitehall, otherwise follow the instructions for other apps.

What is a change note?

An Edition in Publishing API can have just one change_note, which is public-facing. The Publishing API creates a list of all the change notes from all versions of the edition and presents them to the Content Store. You can read more about this in the Publishing API docs.

In Whitehall, an Edition can also have multiple editorial remarks (otherwise known as internal notes). These are visible only in Whitehall Admin.

Change note rake tasks

Rake Tasks exist in both Publishing API and Whitehall to quickly remove change notes for a document. The tasks take a content id, content locale and the text of the change note.

There are two interfaces for dry and real runs, to ensure the correct change note is being targetted before removing it.

It performs a fuzzy-search of the change note text, and will return the first best match. So searching for generic words such as “Update” may not return the exact ChangeNote you desire. It is advised to use the dry run first to ensure the correct ChangeNote will be deleted.


You first need to determine whether the request is referring to a change_note (public-facing) or an editorial_remark (only visible in Whitehall Admin).

Remove a Change Note from Whitehall

To delete a change note in Whitehall, visit the following URL, replacing <edition-id> with the ID of the edition:<edition-id>/change_notes

Remove an Editorial Remark from Whitehall

  1. Obtain the content ID of the document on which the change note was created. This document will contain multiple editions. You need to extract the editorial_remark from these editions.
  2. Create a data migration in Whitehall docs here
  3. In the data migration, search for the document by the content ID and extract the editorial_remark that contains the text you are looking to delete.
  4. If such an editorial remark is present, then destroy the editorial_remark and check that it is no longer displayed.

Other apps


Individual publishing apps may have their own equivalent of this task. If possible, remove change notes in the specific publishing application. Use this Publishing API task only if no alternatives exist.

Dry run:

$ bundle exec rake 'data_hygiene:remove_change_note:dry[content_id,locale,change note text]'

This attempts to locate the selected change note for the content, and if found, report to the user the change note object that would have been removed.

Real run:

$ bundle exec rake 'data_hygiene:remove_change_note:real[content_id,locale,change note text]'

This will actually delete the selected change note and re-represent to the content store, also updating the edition history.