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AutoWikiBrowser is not an automatic bot—edits made using this software are the responsibility of the editor using it. Although AWB does have an automatic mode enabled for some bot accounts, it normally just assists a human.

Original author(s)Bluemoose (retired)
Stable release6.3.0.0 (January 16, 2024 (2024-01-16)) [±]
Preview releaseSVN (SVN) [±]
Written inC#
Operating systemWindows Vista and later
Platform.NET Framework
Available inEnglish
TypeWikipedia tool
LicenseGPL v2


2020 Coolest Tool
Award Winner

in the category

AutoWikiBrowser (AWB) is a semi-automated MediaWiki editor designed to make tedious or repetitive editing tasks quicker and easier. It is a .NET desktop application which includes a browser that follows a user-generated list of pages to modify, presenting changes to implement within each of those pages, then progressing to the next page in the list once the changes are confirmed or skipped by the user. When set to do so, it suggests some changes (typically formatting) that are generally meant to be incidental to the main change.

AWB is written for Windows operating system versions Vista and newer. It also functions reasonably well under Wine on Mac and some versions of Linux but is not officially supported.

At present, AWB can create a list of pages from single or multiple categories, "what links here", the wiki links on a page, a text file, a Google search, a user's watchlist, or a user's contributions. AWB also comes with an integrated program to search Wikipedia database dumps. The edit box of AWB supports the Microsoft Text Services Framework for use with speech recognition/handwriting applications.

The sources are available under the GPLv2 (see Documentation page). It is written in C# using Microsoft Visual C# Express Edition/Visual Studio, which is freely available at Microsoft downloads.

There is an AWB IRC channel at #AutoWikiBrowser connect.

Usergroup No. approved
Admins All (855)
Bots 80
Users 1,683

Rules of use

  1. You are responsible for every edit made. You are expected to review every edit, just as if you were making an edit using Wikipedia's edit form when editing by hand. Do not sacrifice quality for speed, and review all changes before saving.
  2. Abide by all Wikipedia guidelines, policies and common practices.
  3. Do not make controversial edits with it. Seek consensus for changes that could be controversial at the appropriate venue; village pump, WikiProject, etc. "Being bold" is not a justification for mass editing lacking demonstrable consensus. If challenged, the onus is on the AWB operator to demonstrate or achieve consensus for changes they wish to make on a large scale.
  4. Do not make insignificant or inconsequential edits. An edit that has no noticeable effect on the rendered page is generally considered an insignificant edit. If in doubt, or if other editors object to edits on the basis of this rule, seek consensus at an appropriate venue before making further similar edits.
Repeated abuse of these rules could result, without warning, in your software being disabled. If you wish to run a bot, see Wikipedia:Bots; bots must be approved by the bot approvals group.

Using this software

(1) Register

Request permission at Wikipedia:Requests for permissions/AutoWikiBrowser if you would like to use the software. Once your username is added to the list on the check page, you can then use AutoWikiBrowser on the English Wikipedia.

Anyone can be registered, but only if an admin approves your registration. As a general rule, only users with more than 250 non-automated mainspace edits or 500 total mainspace edits will be registered. You will probably not be contacted when your registration has been approved, so look at the check page periodically for your name or watchlist the page. Admin accounts are automatically approved for using the software, even without being registered. Admins with pseudo-bot or flooder (not available on the English Wikipedia) will still need to add themselves into the bots section of the CheckPage to be able to use the Bots tab.

If you are planning to use only the "Make list" or "List comparer" options, then there is no need to register. These parts of the software do not prompt for a username or check the account permissions.

(2) Download

Download the release version here. Please ensure that you click on the correct download button on the SourceForge page, as there may be more than one. The correct button is green and inside the box containing the description, just above the screenshots.

If you want to run the latest SVN version, see Wikipedia:AutoWikiBrowser/Sources.

Running on Windows

AutoWikiBrowser requires Windows Vista or newer to edit on Wikimedia wikis. AutoWikiBrowser does not work on Windows XP as it does not meet Wikimedia's security standards. On other wikis, AutoWikiBrowser may work with Windows XP, although the tool is likely no longer maintained.

AWB comes in a zip file, and it is recommended that it be unzipped to a new directory, rather than running, for example, straight from the desktop. AWB is not installed on the PC and runs mostly as a standalone application: AutoWikiBrowser.exe (the provided WikiFunctions.dll file is also required). AWB can be unzipped to any directory; however, on some machines there can be permissions problems that stop AWB working correctly if the directory used is on a network drive. If you're unsure, unzip AWB to somewhere on the machine's C: drive, for example, within 'Downloads'.

Running on Linux or Mac

AWB running on Ubuntu Linux 16.10

On Linux, AWB mostly works with Wine with .NET 4.5 installed and is suitable for use for regular editing. The installation process is the same as Wikipedia:Huggle/Wine.

AWB can also be started on Mono, albeit with some strange errors, and the web browser component does not yet work under Mono. AWB under Mono is not yet suitable for use for regular editing.

On macOS, AWB is not natively available, but one option is to use virtualization with software such as Parallels Desktop, VMware Fusion, or VirtualBox and then run Microsoft Windows virtually with AWB as per the Windows instructions above. A paid license is required for both Parallels Desktop and Microsoft Windows, though VirtualBox is free and open-source software and VMware Fusion provides a freeware version. Another option is to use Boot Camp to install Windows on an Intel-based Mac, as it is not supported on Macs with Apple Silicon (to check if your computer is Apple Silicon based, please see this Apple Support article). AWB can also be used under Wine on a Mac. A package manager such as Homebrew can be used to install Wine; see Wine on a Mac using homebrew. However, AWB has not been compiled for ARM (Wine has been) so AWB won't run natively on Apple Silicon.

Alternatively, JavaScript Wiki Browser may be used on any major operating system in web browsers.

(3) Get started

A default screen arrangement for standard AWB editing
A dual-monitor screen arrangement for more complex AWB diffs
  1. Select "Make from Category", then enter a category name.
  2. Click "Make list", then let the list load up.
  3. Set any options, such as find and replace, edit summary, etc.
  4. Click "Start", it will load up the page, automatically make any changes, and then go to the diff.
  5. Change anything in the page you want in the Edit box on the lower right, not the normal website textbox in the browser, then click "Save" or "Skip / Ignore", the next page will load up automatically.

Refer to the FAQ for more information, including problems with other software and Wikipedia skins.


AutoWikiBrowser's main feature is to easily make the same type of edit to a large number of pages. For example, fixing a typo, adding a navbox, or adding a category to dozens or hundreds of pages.

  • Create a list of pages, files, categories to run edits on. Criteria for list building include:
    • CheckWiki errors
    • items in category
    • Google search results
    • links or categories on target page
    • links or a simple list of titles in a text file
    • watchlist contents
    • special page results
    • pages that link, transclude or redirect to target
    • Wikipedia search results
  • Search and replace wikitext – plain text or regular expressions
  • Add material to the beginning or end of each page
  • Add, remove, or replace categories and files
  • Rules-based page skipping
  • Custom user scripts

AutoWikiBrowser also has some other features.

Database scanner

AWB includes a database scanner that scans versions of Wikipedia downloaded to your local computer. It can be used to search wikitext, without causing extra unnecessary load on Wikimedia servers. This is useful for building lists of titles to perform AutoWikiBrowser tasks on, and for performing searches that would time out on-wiki searches. The scanner supports regular expression searches and users can run multiple instances at once.

Database dumps are created from time to time (more info here) and are available for free download. As the page states, the best/most useful dump is the enwiki-latest-pages-articles.xml.bz2 (dir). Visiting the database dump progress site allows you to view the status of the current dump and easily browse to the downloads in it.

After downloading, the archive needs to be uncompressed; this will turn it from a ~18 GB bz2 archive into an XML database dump around 79 GB.

A scannable .xml file of selected files can also be generated by visiting Special:Export.


Custom modules

AWB allows you to write your own C# or VB.NET code and execute it inside the program, via Custom Modules. This can be accessed via Tools -> Make module.


AWB can also load and use fully customized plugins. These plugins can process page text and extend the user interface, and are in the form of libraries (.dll files) which can be made in any .NET language such as C# or Visual Basic .NET. When AWB loads, it automatically checks to see if there are any plugins in the folder from which it was executed. Any plugins found are loaded and initialized without further intervention by the user.

AWB ships with WikiFunctions.dll, which can be referenced by other standalone projects. The DLL includes a wiki-ready web browser control, a simple page editor, a listmaker, and other tools and components.

See also

  • JavaScript Wiki Browser – A user script with similar functionality to the downloadable AutoWikiBrowser, but loaded within the web browser
  • AutoEd – A user script that helps to automatically make certain changes in articles
  • autoFormatter – A user script that semi-automatically fixes more than 200 common errors in wiki markup
  • WPCleaner – A tool designed to help with various maintenance tasks, especially repairing links to disambiguation pages, checking Wikipedia, fixing spelling and typography
  • Wikiget – A Unix command-line tool to generate a list of articles from categories, templates, backlinks, etc.
  • WP:HIDEAWB – Instructions on how to hide AWB edits from your watchlist.
  • {{AWB topicon}} – a top icon template to indicate you have the AutoWikiBrowser user right – adds a category to page automatically
  • Category:AutoWikiBrowser user templates – Userboxes to show AutoWikiBrowser userright (e.g. {{Wikipedia:AutoWikiBrowser/Userbox 2}} generates the userbox below
  • Wikipedia:Using AWB with 2FA
This user has AutoWikiBrowser rights on the English Wikipedia. (verify)

External links