XOWA : Download Entire Wikipedia for Offline Use

Wikipedia is the most popular encyclopedia in the world. Anyone can make contributions to the Wikipedia articles, edit them or create new articles on its platform. Even though Wikipedia has all the possible articles on all subject matters, it requires you to have an internet connection so that you can access its content. When you are traveling in distance regions of the world where a reliable internet connection is a luxury, you won’t be able to frequently access Wikipedia.

This problem can easily be addressed using a simple tool called XOWA. This Java based program can download entire Wikipedia on your hard drive so that you can use it offline anytime you want. Of course, the downloaded offline version of Wikipedia won’t have the latest entries or updates that are available only from online version of Wikipedia.

XOWA allows two ways of importing and using Wikipedia for offline use – online import and offline import. The easier method is to launch XOWA and select Tools Import → Online. You will be shown a list of available Wikipedia downloads available for different wikis available such as different languages or Wikimedia. You can click on the download link in front of these to start the download. Please notice that the downloads are many gigabytes in size and may take more than one hour or longer to complete.

XOWA - Offline Wikipedia

Second method of importing Wikipedia is to use already downloaded dumps (downloaded on some other computer that has internet connection) on your computer offline. For this, you can select Tools Import → Offline and  then follow the instructions for using the dumps. Basically it requires you to create and run a script for properly importing the dump files. The first method is much easier in comparison.

Other than downloading and using Wikipedia offline, XOWA can also be used to create and maintain your own person wikis. These wikis can contain any content that you want to add and are not available online.

You can download XOWA from http://xowa.org/.