Wikipedia is one of the most complete and up-to-date encyclopedias ever created. It’s also completely free and completely community created. It’s honestly one of the most inspiring projects in history, but you have to be online to use it.
While it might sound a little crazy, you can download ALL of Wikipedia for offline use and we’ll show you how.
Why would you download Wikipedia?
Why would anyone want to download Wikipedia? After all, the site is just a few clicks away, and one of the benefits of Wikipedia is that it updates quickly. An offline copy will become outdated pretty quickly.
It’s not as silly as it sounds. Even the best internet connection isn’t 100% reliable. There are also many people who live in parts of the world that do not have access to the Internet or do not.
For example, a teacher in a school might want to download Wikipedia and distribute it to their students. You can also download Wikipedia from time to time for archival purposes or for viewing in airplane mode or when traveling away from mobile internet.
There are different ways to free Wikipedia from its servers, and we will look at them one by one.
How to download Wikipedia to your computer
This is the easiest way to get an offline copy of Wikipedia Wikipedia itself maintains compressed dumps of its entire database monthly. At the time of writing, the download is around 16GB compressed. In uncompressed form, this is closer to 60 GB. This is still very small compared to a decent USB stick or regular computer hard drive.
Using the standard Wikipedia dump files has two parts to keep your own copy handy. First, you need a reader for the special format in which the Wiki is stored. Two of the best examples are XOWA and WikiTaxi
Xowa is arguably the most popular option and is also fairly easy to use. Just download and run the program. Then use the menu option to import the desired Wiki, which includes the English Wikipedia Xowa also offers an Android app that’s even easier to use.
Similar to Xowa or WikiTaxi, Kiwix is ??an application that offers a way to read these Wikipedia downloads and display them as a web browser would. The big difference is that Kiwix has already done a lot of work for you.
Kiwix has converted offline files into their own custom format and kept them up to date. You can download these files manually from the site or use various applications to download them directly. There is a desktop version of Kiwix, but it’s still beta.
Fortunately, the apps for tablets and smartphones work pretty well. There are also browser extensions. You might want to put content files on an SD card if your phone or tablet has limited internal storage.
The full Wikipedia downloadable ZIM file on Kiwix weighs in at a whopping 78 GB, but there is a version that removes all images, reducing over 5 million articles to â€œjustâ€ 36 GB.
Kiwix is ??not only Wikipedia You can download offline versions of various Wikimedia projects. Here’s a quick overview of how to use Kiwix in Google Chrome:
- Install the Kiwix Chrome extension.
- Read this explanation of what the Zim file names mean. Li>
- Download the desired Wikipedia Zim archive.
- Open the Kiwix extension and go to the settings tab.
- Hover over the file you downloaded.
- Read Wikipedia offline.
This is the easiest way to get an offline copy of Wikipedia, although even if you give someone the Zim file on a portable media, they will still need an internet connection to install the browser extension. For truly portable and standalone situations, Xowa is still the best choice.
The Wikipedia app. has a built-in feature that lets you save and sync articles of interest. This is certainly not the same as downloading a full backup, but it’s still quite useful.
As long as you have an Internet connection, all you have to do is bookmark the articles that interest you. They will be saved in local storage, and you can read them at a convenient time for you. So, for example, you can bookmark all the articles you need when using school Wi-Fi and then save on mobile data when you view them later.
Wikipedia on Disk
For example, Wikipedia 0.5. offers a subset of selected Wikipedia articles from the English version of the site, so that the most popular and important articles are available offline. This is still a pretty powerful resource to donate to students and others who need offline access to information.
Offline access is still important
Wikipedia is an important project, and the author often donates to it. However, all the goodwill and all the work put into creating what is arguably the most altruistic project of humanity means nothing if you don’t have an Internet connection to access it.
In fact, about half of the world’s population still does not have access to the Internet right now, which means that it is still very important to ensure the availability of resources that do not require an Internet connection. Among them, Wikipedia is certainly considered one of the most important.