App/Import/Download Central

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

Download Central is a simple way to download wikis for XOWA


As of v3.6.3, the Download Central page lists available wikis for download.

The advantages are as follows

  • Simple: Find a wiki, click on it, and it will imported.
  • Android and desktop: Listed wikis will work directly on Android as well as the desktop. These wikis are HTML dumps of XOWA pages.
  • Images included: Listed wikis will also include image databases. Previously, users would need to download image databases separately from
  • Suspend and resume: Long tasks can be paused and resumed at a later point in time.

More wikis and functionality will be added to this page throughout 2016.


  • Open the Main Menu and choose Tools -> Download Central
  • or, go directly to home/wiki/Special:XowaDownloadCentral

Technical details

Download Central works in the following manner:

Get list of wikis and files

  • Loads a list of wikis from C:\xowa\bin\any\xowa\addon\bldr\central\bldr_central.data_db.xowa
  • Loads a list of files for that wiki. For example, Simple Wikipedia will have 3 files
  • Generates a "task" for each group of files and lists them in the "Available" table.

Download the files

Available tasks can be added to the Queue. When the Queue is run, Download Central will do the following:

  • Download the file from
  • Verify the download with an MD5
  • Unzip the download
  • Verify the unzip with an MD5
  • Move the file to the wiki directory. For example, will be moved to C:\xowa\wiki\\
  • Register the file in the user's list of wikis (for "core" wiki file only)
  • Repeat again with each file until done.

Manual setup

Some users may not want to use Download Central. For example, users may have an alternate download manager which will be faster[1]

In these cases, manual setup is still possible in the following way:

  • Click on the Info button for your download. For example, Simple Wikipedia Articles will take you to home/wiki/Special:XowaDownloadCentralInfo?task_id=1
  • Copy and paste the listed URLs to your download manager.
  • Unzip the files to the wiki folder listed on the Info page. For example, Simple Wikipedia files will go to C:\xowa\wiki\\
  • For the desktop, just restart XOWA. XOWA will automatically pick up the new wiki
  • For Android, copy the files to your SD Card. See Android Setup for a list of paths.

Existing monthly update users of the English Wikipedia v2b images

This section only applies to users who have been manually downloading the monthly updates for English Wikipedia.

No need to redownload the images in Download Central

The Download Central image databases are the same as the existing ones on They only differ in the following ways:

  • They are broken up into 1 file per zip instead of 3 or 4 files per zip
  • They have an md5 file.

If you are up-to-date with your monthly updates, all you need to do is download the update for 2016-06. For example, let's say you downloaded the initial v2b batch:

You then downloaded all the monthly updates until now:

All you have to download is the 2016-06 update:

At this point you will have exactly the same files as those in Download Central

Download Central should be used for 2016-07 and future monthly updates

For next month (and future months), you should download the monthly update through Download Central. There will be a new task called "English Wikipedia - Image Update (2016-07)". You will just need to download this item, and you'll be up-to-date.

Of course, you will still be able to download them manually from But as shown by the section above, this can be quite laborious.


  1. ^ Most download managers will have various tricks to speed up downloads. For example, they can open up multiple connections to a server and download the file in pieces. In contrast, XOWA only opens one connection and downloads. For more technical info, see:



Getting started