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Nuvola apps important.svg Important: Before uploading an image or media, you must read these instructions very carefully, or it will be deleted. We really don't want to have to delete uploads that you have contributed.


Is the image suitable?

Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, and, as such, the upload service is for files which are potentially useful to the encyclopedia, either to articles, or to project-related content. Wikipedia is NOT a free web host or social networking site, and will not host other files if they are clearly not useful for the project. Such files will simply be deleted.

If you want to host images which are not for Wikipedia in some way, you should use a free image hosting service, which are much simpler to use, and less fussy.



Red copyright.svg

Wikipedia takes copyright law very seriously. To upload a file you must provide detailed info on the following:

  1. The source of the file. If the file is available online, include a link to the page.
  2. The copyright holder and license of the file, including:
    • A correct copyright/license tag. You can select the license in the drop-down list, or type the name of the tag into the summary box.
    • An explanation of why you believe the file is so licensed.
  3. If the file is copyrighted and non-free (e.g., album cover, company logo, film poster or still, etc.), then in addition to the standard license tag, a non-free use rationale is needed. This rationale should explain clearly why the copyrighted content should be used in each of the relevant article(s).
  • Do NOT upload images found on the Internet without the appropriate licensing and rationale. They will be deleted.
  • Images that cannot be uploaded include:
    1. Images with unknown source or licensing information.
    2. Images that have permission to be used only on Wikipedia, or images with a non-commercial use restriction. These licenses might sound suitable, but any images uploaded here will also be used on other sites which host copies of Wikipedia's articles. The other sites are not associated with Wikipedia, and some of them are commercial. Therefore images under these licenses are not suitable.
    3. Copyrighted images of a living person or extant building may not be uploaded under a claim of fair use if an equivalent image under a free license exists somewhere or could be created with reasonable effort.

Do NOT upload content with false license declarations. Do NOT claim to be the creator of an image that you just found somewhere. It will be found, and you will be blocked.


Something you made yourself?


If you made the content yourself - that is, you are the original artist, photographer, or license holder of the work, slightly simpler rules apply:

  • If you think the image is only useful to pages on the English Wikipedia, upload it here. You must license it under a free license or release it into the public domain, using one of the free license tags. State that you are the creator of the work. That's all you need. Fair use rationales are not needed for these types of license.
  • If the image you created if of good quality and might also be useful to all the different language versions of Wikipedia and related Wikimedia projects, please do not upload it here at all - create an account at Wikimedia Commons, and upload it there instead. Images at Wikimedia Commons are far more valuable. Although on a separate web site, they instantly become available for use here on the English Wikipedia and all the other 255 different language versions of Wikipedia.

Note: If you simply scanned in an image of an album cover or magazine (for example), redrew a copyrighted logo, or took a screenshot from a computer program or copyrighted television program or film, that is not a self-created image, even though you created the file. It is a derivative work covered by copyright, and must be handled per section 2, above.


New version of an existing file

If you are only uploading a modified or updated version of a file that already exists under the same name here on Wikipedia (not Commons), then the process is simpler. Leave the License box blank, and use the Summary box like an edit summary to explain the changes you made to the image (e.g., "Adjusted brightness for clarity"). This text will appear in the file history. The text on the image description page will be unchanged.

Having read all of the above and made sure that the file is appropriate, you are ready to upload it. Don't worry, it's not quite as complicated as it sounds. Here's some tips:

  1. Help people find this file. Use a descriptive file name to prevent duplicate names and make managing the project easier. A default name like "IMG00301.JPG" would not be a good file name, whereas "Tomcat playing with ball of string.jpg" (for example) would be much better. Files can't be renamed afterwards.
  2. Include a short summary of the image, including what it is, when it was made, etc.
  3. Wikipedia has copyright tags for nearly every kind of file. But if you have looked through the list and are still completely unsure about what tag is correct, please ask at Wikipedia:Media copyright questions. They know the licenses and will help you find the right one.
  4. Don't worry about making mistakes! After you click the Upload button, you'll be taken to the image description page, which just like Wikipedia articles, you can edit by clicking the "edit this page" link. If you forget to provide some of the info, you can edit it afterwards. Files with incorrect or missing licenses will not be deleted immediately and can be fixed.