From XOWA: the free, open-source, offline wiki application

XOWA can display images for a page by either downloading them directly from the Wikimedia servers or retrieving them from XOWA image databases


XOWA displays images for a page by using images from one of two sources: Wikimedia servers or XOWA image databases.

The process is as follows (assuming

  • XOWA sees a [[File]] link on a page.
  • If image dbs are available, XOWA checks them to see if the image exists. To download an image db, see Dashboard/Image_databases
  • If image dbs are not available, or if the image is not in the image dbs, XOWA checks the Wikimedia servers
  • If an image is found, XOWA downloads a temporary version of the file to C:\xowa\file\\...
  • As of v2.5.4.1, XOWA also saves Wikimedia files to C:\xowa\wiki\\ This ensures that the file is still available even if the temporary version is deleted. Note that the cache on Options/Files will periodically delete temporary versions
  • The HTML is updated to use the temporary version of the file.


An image on a page can either be left-clicked or right-clicked


If left-clicked, XOWA will open up a [[File]] page for the link

  • If you have the disk space (20 GB), you should download This will allow XOWA to generate an accurate version of the [[File]] page just like the online version. Note that most files reside in
  • As of v2.5.4.1, XOWA still opens up a [[File]] page even if is not available. This allows the user to download a larger resolution of the file, or to download the original


If right-clicked, XOWA offers a "Save File As" to allow the user to save the file to another location.

Note that you can also click "View HTML" and get the file location directly from the HTML (in the appropriate <img>'s src value)

[[File]] page

The [[File]] page offers three functions:

  • Shows a larger view of the image (something closest to 800 pixels wide and 600 pixels high)
  • Download the original file by either clicking on the file, or by clicking "Original resolution"
  • Shows more metadata on the file. Note that must be set up.


The cache periodically goes through the temporary files and deletes them once they reach a certain threshold (currently 100 MB).

  • You can configure the cache at Options/Files
  • You can view the cache in C:\xowa\user\xowa.user.anonymous.sqlite3. The table name is file_cache

ImageMagick and Inkscape

As of v2.5.4 ImageMagick and Inkscape are no longer needed for online image downloads.

ImageMagick and Inkscape are still used for some functions, such as building image databases. If you want to setup these programs, see the following links:

File databases: v1, v2a and v2b

XOWA has 3 different types of database sets for English Wikipedia. These are named v1, v2a and v2b. All 3 sets work with the latest version of XOWA, but they have notable differences. See the table below for details.

Currently, v2b is the recommended set. These files were uploaded in 2015-07 and are the current listed files at . v2b is the only set that will work on Android.

If you downloaded an image set before 2015-07, I strongly recommend that you download v2b. I'll continue to release monthly updates for v1 and v2a for a year or so, but they are obsolete.

Name Release date File extension File size Location Works on Android
v1 2013-11 and 2014-07 .sqlite3 1 GB C:\xowa\file\ No
v2a 2015-04 .xowa 3 GB C:\xowa\wiki\ No
v2b 2015-06 .xowa 1.5 GB C:\xowa\wiki\ Yes




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