Access Wikipedia Offline In Google Chrome - gHacks Tech News

Access Wikipedia Offline In Google Chrome

You may sometimes be in a position where you need to look up information but do not have Internet available at the moment. This can be during your daily commute or in a situation where an Internet connection is not available or working. We have reviewed several options in the past to get the majority of Wikipedia contents on your system locally to access the information without the need for an Internet connection. Check out WikiTaxi, OkaWix or Wikipedia School DVDs if you are interested in those methods.

The latest option has been exclusively designed for the Google Chrome web browser and therefor also Google's Chromebook. The web application allows you to download nearly all textual contents from Wikipedia to make them available directly in the Chrome browser.

You are asked to either pick a 13 Megabyte dump of the most popular Wikipedia articles or the big database which weights in at about 1 Gigabyte. You can also select one of four available parsers which turn the Wikipedia information into HTML contents that are readable in the web browser.

offline wikipedia

Especially the large download make take a while, and you also need to make sure that you have enough disk space available for it.

Once installed you can use the following page to access your Wikipedia information offline in the Chrome browser. The developer suggests to bookmark the page for fast access.

access wikipedia offline

It offers a search option, access to the program settings, access to the article index and an option to load a random article from the repository.

The search supports suggestions which are displayed automatically once you start typing in the first letter of your search term.

The articles are complete with the exception of media and the footnotes which are not displayed at all.

Search results are displayed almost instantly on modern computer systems.

Chrome users who would like their own personal Wikipedia copy on their computer can download and install the web app from the official Chrome web store.

Update: The Google Chrome extension has been pulled from the Chrome Store. There is unfortunately no related extension available that is free of charge at the moment. I suggest you use the options above to get access to an offline copy of Wikipedia.

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  1. Robert Palmar said on January 17, 2012 at 2:11 am

    The size of the full database, even excluding footnotes and media files,
    of 1 GB strikes me a quite a but smaller than what I would expect.
    I am sure it is complete but Wikipedia just seems bigger.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on January 17, 2012 at 2:15 am

      It does appear a bit small, I agree.

    2. Varun said on January 17, 2012 at 6:22 am

      My thoughts exactly. Where are the rest 12 GB? Have they compressed it? Is such a high level of compression even possible?
      One more question, which of the above methods/softwares that were mentioned above can update the dump automatically? (meaning without redownloading the entire dump again).

      1. Kent said on January 17, 2012 at 6:40 am

        Where did you get the idea of 12GB? Could that be all about the images? If all text, the compression ratio can be very high. 12 becomes 1 is very likely. :)

      2. Varun said on January 17, 2012 at 7:30 am

        To quote the above article.
        ” The largest repository on site, the English language version of Wikipedia has broken the 13 Gigabytes barrier lately, and that’s text only. If you add images, you end up at 30+ Gigabytes of space.”

      3. Martin Brinkmann said on January 17, 2012 at 9:21 am

        That’s with media though.

  2. Varun said on January 17, 2012 at 9:31 am

    Okay, so there’s at least a minute possibility that that the 1GB download contains all the text then.

    The caveat of this add-on is, the settings page doesn’t give you the option of where to download/store the dump. Also, it’s only accessibility through Chrome is a bit of a drawback compared to the other options.

    Thanks for the reply.

  3. ilev said on January 17, 2012 at 11:49 am

    This works with iOS5 as well as with Firefox.

  4. Martin said on February 20, 2012 at 11:01 am

    I tried it and was very impressed. It is so fast. I now want to save the data to an SD card, but just can’t find where the 1GB of data was saved. I searched for all files edited ‘today’ larger than 250Mb and got no hits. Any help is welcome.

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