Commons:Moving files to Commons

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Off they go!

"Moving files to Commons" means uploading eligible files from other Wikimedia projects (such as Wikipedia) to Commons for use by these and other projects. FileImporter is the preferred method of importing files and default on all wikis (the file must include or you must add the "Export to Wikimedia Commons" link).



I. Prepare the file

  • Check if the file has a proper license/author/source/permission. Note that Commons will not host "fair use"; so such files will not be transferred to Commons.
  • Add or update the template {{Information}}. It is not required for a good transfer, but it is helpful in making sure the important details of the file are not lost in the upload.
  • If the file is own work replace {{<licence>}} with {{Self|<licence>}}, this will help the bot (for example {{GFDL}} with {{Self|GFDL}})

II. Transfer the file


The preferred and default tool of importing files is FileImporter:

  • Use FileImporter: (It is now default on all wikis and it is the ONLY tool that will preserve all the history of the file!)
    • This is possible if the file has an "Export to Wikimedia Commons" link. It will preserve all the history of the file.
    • Use the "Export to Wikimedia Commons" link to start the process, and you'll get a chance to edit the file description as described below.

You have several other options:

  1. Use Commonshelper:
    • If the file page currently has the fine print "Copy to Commons: via CommonsHelper", click on via CommonsHelper. This simplifies/automates much of the work of transferring a file.
    • Use your own account to upload the file and get the text to paste from Commonshelper (be careful to upload the original file , not a thumbnail!)
  2. Use For the Common Good, an efficient downloadable tool
  3. Use MTC!, a downloadable, mass-transfer tool
  4. Use your own bot ( in pywikibot)

Don't forget to tag the source file with {{Nowcommons}}.

III. Check the file

  1. Click the link Check now! in {{BotMoveToCommons}} (will remove the template, set the edit summary and you can start editing the text)
  2. Clean up the information template
    • Description: You might want to remove some leftovers or maybe add a translation.
    • Source: Usually all right. You might want to remove the information about the source on the sister project (which will soon be unreachable and is redundant with the log included in the file page) and replace any "own work" statement with {{Own}}.
    • Date: We don't care about the original upload date; however if it's possible restore the original date.
    • Author: Set the author. If the original uploader is the author remove the "Original uploader was" (e.g. changing {{Original uploader}} to {{User at project}}).
    • Permission: Remove information that is redundant with the license tags. If there is an VRT ticket, leave it untouched.
    • Other_versions: Set if any other version exists, empty most of the time
  3. Check licence template(s) and remove redundant templates and comments (sometime more than one licence template is added by the bot).
  4. Set proper categories (You should always put your uploads into categories: How to use categories)


  • to avoid {{BadJPEG}}: "convert non-photographic JPG to PNG before uploading it. The quality of thumbnails would gain."

See also