Saturday, 22 Jun 2024
Technology

How to Download and Read Wikipedia Offline

If there’s one website that truly showcases how technology can be used to freely disperse knowledge for the betterment of everyone, it’s Wikipedia. As one of the top 10 websites in the world, it’s an online encyclopedia that offers over 38 million articles in more than 250 languages. Whether you’re doing research for a school project, looking up information about your favorite Hollywood actor, or simply curious about any topic, you can almost always find it on Wikipedia.

But what if you could access Wikipedia even without an internet connection? Well, it turns out that downloading and reading Wikipedia offline is indeed possible. In this article, we’ll explore a couple of desktop applications and mobile apps that allow you to do just that. So, let’s dive in and find out how you can access your favorite online encyclopedia anytime, anywhere.

Desktop Applications to Download & Read Wikipedia Offline

There are several desktop applications available that you can use to download and read Wikipedia articles offline. In this section, we’ll take a look at two popular applications: WikiTaxi and Kiwix.

WikiTaxi (Windows Only)

WikiTaxi is a simple and easy-to-use portable application that allows you to download and read Wikipedia offline. It supports multiple language variations of Wikipedia, including sister projects like Wiktionary and Wikiquote.

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To get started with WikiTaxi, you need to download official Wikipedia backup dumps from the Wikimedia downloads page or the WikiTaxi website itself. Once you have the dumps, follow these steps:

  1. Download and extract the WikiTaxi application.
  2. Run the WikiTaxi_Importer application to import the downloaded Wikipedia dumps and create a WikiTaxi database.
    wikitaxi importer in action
  3. Run the main WikiTaxi application and open the WikiTaxi database file.
  4. Use the search bar to find and read any Wikipedia article offline.

Kiwix

Kiwix is another great open-source application that allows you to download and read Wikipedia offline. It’s cross-platform, available for Mac OS X, Linux, Android, and iOS compared to WikiTaxi, which is only available for Windows. Kiwix also offers a library of offline downloadable content, including Project Gutenberg’s free eBooks and TED talks.

To use Kiwix, follow these steps:

  1. Download and run Kiwix.
  2. Download the remote catalog of available books.
  3. Search for the content you want and download the ZIM file.
    kiwix download finished
  4. Load the ZIM file in Kiwix and start accessing Wikipedia articles offline.
    kiwix in action

Kiwix offers additional features like full-text search, bookmarking articles, saving articles as PDF/HTML files, and even hosting your own content Wiki on a server.

Mobile Apps to Download and Read Wikipedia Offline

If you prefer accessing Wikipedia offline on your mobile device, there are also mobile apps available for both iOS and Android. Let’s take a look at two popular options: Wiki Offline 2 for iOS and Kiwix for Android.

Wiki Offline 2 (iOS)

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Wiki Offline 2 provides an easy way to access Wikipedia offline on your iOS device. Download the database once, and you can access it later offline anywhere you want. Additional language support and database updates require a subscription. The app offers multiple viewing options, reading history, content organization with bookmarks and folders. The best part is that 1% of the net profits from the app’s sales are donated to the Wikimedia Foundation.

Kiwix (Android)

Kiwix, which we mentioned earlier, also has a great Android app. The Android app works similarly to the desktop application. Download the ZIM files containing the articles you want to read offline and load them into the Kiwix Android app. Kiwix is also available for iOS.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I access Wikipedia offline without using any applications?
A: Yes, you can. Wikipedia offers a built-in tool called the Book Creator, which allows you to collect specific Wikipedia pages and generate a PDF file for offline reading.

Q: Are these applications and apps free to use?
A: Yes, both WikiTaxi and Kiwix are free desktop applications. However, Kiwix offers additional paid content. Wiki Offline 2 for iOS is a paid app, while Kiwix for Android is free.

Q: Are these applications and apps officially endorsed by Wikipedia?
A: While these applications and apps provide offline access to Wikipedia content, they are not officially endorsed or developed by Wikipedia. They are created by independent developers and enthusiasts.

Conclusion

The ability to access Wikipedia offline is truly amazing. It allows you to access valuable knowledge anytime and anywhere, even in remote areas with limited internet access. Whether you’re using desktop applications like WikiTaxi and Kiwix or mobile apps like Wiki Offline 2 and Kiwix, you can enjoy the wealth of information available on Wikipedia offline.

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So why wait? Start downloading and reading Wikipedia offline now and enjoy the benefits of having access to a vast encyclopedia on your device, no matter where you are.

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