How to Download a Complete Offline Version of Wikipedia?

Download Complete Offline Version of Wikipedia

If I were to lose access to the entire internet for the rest of my life, one of the website I would miss the most would have to be Wikipedia. Wikipedia has ended countless arguments, informed me of how old and single some of my favorite actresses are, how to move further with Engineering and helped me brush up on thousands of historical topics.

It’s also on the sixth position of the top ranked websites in the world.

Just imagine you are downloading some softwares and on the last minute on 99.9% your connection goes down, what you feel? This happens to me hundreds of times. The same as you are doing some research and writing a paper and your internet connection, especially Wikipedia goes offline, what you feel?

How to fix this issue? Here is a method to completely download all Wikipedia articles on your computer to access offline.

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There are a many ways to download Wikipedia, and I’ll be showing you how to do it with ZIM files via Kiwix (Mac, Windows, Linux), by downloading XML files directly from Wikipedia, and reading XML files with WikiTaxi (Windows).

Method #1: Kiwix

Kiwix is an offline reader that allows you to download the entire Wikipedia library (over 13 GB) as seen in January 2016. Since that’s a lot of content, there are no photos included. If you’re looking for pictures too, you can get a smaller (and older) backup with files dating from 2010 and earlier, though, that’s only 45,000 pages.

Downloading Kiwix for Offline Wikipedia Reading

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Unless you have Windows and downloaded one of the pre-indexed ZIMs, your Kiwix will be empty right now, and you’ll automatically land on the help page in the app.

So, now it’s time to get some Wikipedia content on there.

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Downloading the Appropriate ZIM File

Again, if you have Windows and chose to install one of the portable pre-indexed ZIM files, you’re good to go already. If not, you’ll have to download the Wikipedia library you want. If you scroll down the help page in Kiwix, you can find the download links for the different libraries and languages that Wikipedia has to offer. Alternatively, you can download the ZIM files right from Kiwix’s website.

I chose the English Jan-2012 version without pics, which is a hefty 9.7 GBs. be prepared for a long wait, because 9.7 GBs can take some time to download, and empty some space in your hard drive for the file to be saved.

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Once the library of your choice is downloaded, you need to import it into Kiwix.

Importing and Indexing Your ZIM File

Just go to File -> Open file… and select the ZIM you just downloaded.

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It will then ask you if you want to index the ZIM file. Click on OK, but this will also take some time to process.

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If you have Windows and chose one of the pre-indexed downloads, consider yourself lucky, because it took pretty full day to index file on MackBook So, again… be prepared to wait this process out, but don’t skip it altogether, because you need to index in order to search the ZIM file.

Using Kiwix for Offline Wikipedia-Ing!

After it’s done, you can search just as you would on Wikipedia.

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You can choose to download the files directly from the Wikimedia server, or as a torrent if you prefer. They will be downloaded in a .zip file, though, so make sure you have a program that can extract them once you’re finished.

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