Commons:Turning off local uploads

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This is a short guide on what steps are necessary in between setting up a Wikimedia wiki, and moving to Commons-only uploads, and advice on what is necessary to ensure a smooth transition. "Project" here refers to a language version of a larger project such as "Latvian Wikipedia" or "German Wikisource" or "Tibetan Wiktionary".

Ideally, all projects would turn off local uploads and use Commons only, and Commons would be inundated with helpers. We can make progress on the first point, but not without progress on the second as well.

For more information see meta:Local upload configuration.

Projects that have turned off local uploads[edit]


Language Bug Discussion Help/notes Special:Upload Toolbox upload link[1]
cs: Czech Wikipedia bugzilla:24448 the vote disabled by non-standard means[2] cs:Special:Upload Commons' Special:UploadWizard, with ?uselang=cs
es: Spanish Wikipedia bugzilla:6408 the vote es:Special:Upload Commons: Special:UploadWizard/es (Bugzilla:34566)
eu: Basque Wikipedia bugzilla:28609 the vote eu:Special:Upload Commons' Commons:Upload/eu, with ?uselang=eu
gu: Gujarati Wikipedia disabled by non-standard means[2] gu:Special:Upload
ms: Malay Wikipedia discussion disabled by non-standard means[2] ms:Khas:Muat naik Commons' Special:UploadWizard, with ?uselang=ms
pt: Portuguese Wikipedia bugzilla:7742 the vote their help page pt:Special:Upload pt:Wikipedia:Carregar ficheiro
simple: Simple English Wikipedia discussion simple:Special:Upload none
sv: Swedish Wikipedia bugzilla:11954 1: No local uploads
2: No local EDP
sv:Special:Upload Commons' Special:UploadWizard, with ?uselang=sv


Language Bug Discussion Help/notes Upload page Toolbox upload link
cs:wikt: Czech Wiktionary disabled by non-standard means[2] cs:wikt:Special:Upload Commons' Special:UploadWizard, with ?uselang=cs
ja:wikt: Japanese Wiktionary bugzilla:11775 ja:wikt:Special:Upload
sv:wikt:Huvudsida Swedish Wiktionary bugzilla:7977 sv:wikt:Special:Upload sv:wikt:Hjälp:Ladda upp filer, which points to Commons:Upload/sv


Language Bug Discussion Help/notes Upload page Toolbox upload link
cs:q: Czech Wikiquote disabled by non-standard means[2] cs:q:Special:Upload Commons' Special:UploadWizard, with ?uselang=cs
en:q: English Wikiquote discussion disabled August 2005 en:q:Special:Upload Commons' Special:Upload
es:q:Portada Spanish Wikiquote bugzilla:9728 es:q:Special:Upload none
is:q:Forsíða Icelandic Wikiquote bugzilla:11317 disabled by non-standard means[2] is:q:Special:Upload
it:q: Italian Wikiquote bugzilla:12012 it:q:Special:Upload it:q:Speciale:Carica, but local Common.js adds an additional "upload to Commons" button, pointing to Commons:Upload/it
pl:q:Strona główna Polish Wikiquote bugzilla:4697 pl:q:Special:Upload


Language Bug Discussion Help/notes Upload page toolbox upload link
All Wikinews wikis, except en:n:Main Page, it:n:Pagina principale and pl:n:Strona główna en:n:Special:Upload Default: Commons' Special:Upload. Zh-hans: Commons:Upload/zh-hans. En, he, it, pl: none.
wikispecies: wikispecies:Special:Upload Commons' Special:Upload
cs:b: Czech Wikibooks disabled by non-standard means[2] cs:b:Special:Upload Commons' Special:UploadWizard, with ?uselang=cs
is:b:Forsíða Icelandic Wikibooks bugzilla:11318 'sysop' has 'upload' right is:b:Special:Upload
cs:s: Czech Wikisource disabled by non-standard means[2] cs:s:Special:Upload Commons' Special:UploadWizard, with ?uselang=cs
ja:s:メインページ Japanese Wikisource bugzilla:3572 ja:s:Special:Upload Commons' Special:Upload
cs:v: Czech Wikiversity disabled by non-standard means[2] cs:v:Special:Upload Commons' Special:UploadWizard, with ?uselang=cs
d: Wikidata Never enabled
es:voy: Spanish Wikivoyage Never enabled es:voy:Especial:SubirArchivo
pt:voy: Portuguese Wikivoyage Never enabled pt:voy:Especial:Carregar_imagem

Projects that have restricted local uploads[edit]

The Wikimedia default, set by Bugzilla:12556 in March 2008, is for only autoconfirmed users to have upload rights: Commons is the only exception to this, allowing all registered users to upload. Some projects have retained local uploads but limited the [upload] permission to higher usergroups, such as sysops.[3]

A live list of the wikis using this configuration exists.


Language Uploads restricted to Bug Discussion Help/notes Special:Upload Toolbox upload link
bg: Bulgarian Wikipedia sysops bg:Special:Upload bg:MediaWiki:Uploadtext, which at bottom of page points to Commons:Upload/bg
de: German Wikipedia autoconfirmed users bugzilla:12391 de:Special:Upload de:Spezial:Hochladen
fo: Faroese Wikipedia sysops bugzilla:11669 fo:Special:Upload
it: Italian Wikipedia autoconfirmed users bugzilla:10640 discussion it:Special:Upload it:Speciale:Carica, but local Common.js adds an additional "upload to Commons" button, pointing to Commons:Upload/it
la: Latin Wikipedia sysops bugzilla:13190 la:Special:Upload Commons' Special:Upload, with ?uselang=la
pl: Polish Wikipedia autoconfirmed users bugzilla:6303 discussion 0 local images exist. With many discussions, Special:Upload has been kept enabled locally. pl:Special:Upload Points to a page sending people to Commons.
ru: Russian Wikipedia sysops, 'uploaders', filemovers, and 'closers' bugzilla:12334 limited to autoconfirmed users ru:Special:Upload
sr: Serbian Wikipedia autoconfirmed users sr:Special:Upload


Language Uploads restricted to Bug Discussion Help/notes Upload page Toolbox upload link
en:wikt: English Wiktionary sysops bugzilla:5033 en:wikt:Special:Upload Commons' Special:Upload
es:wikt:Portada Spanish Wiktionary sysops bugzilla:7152 es:wikt:Special:Upload Commons' Special:Upload, with ?uselang=es
is:wikt:Forsíða Icelandic Wiktionary sysops bugzilla:11187 is:wikt:Special:Upload is:wikt:Wikiorðabók:Hlaða_inn_skrá
it:wikt: Italian Wiktionary sysops bugzilla:12466 it:wikt:Special:Upload it:wikt:Speciale:Carica, but local Common.js adds an additional "upload to Commons" button, pointing to Commons:Upload/it


Language Uploads restricted to Bug Discussion Help/notes Upload page Toolbox upload page
en:b: English Wikibooks "uploaders" group and sysops bugzilla:21011 discussion en:b:Special:Upload Commons' Commons:Upload
incubator: Incubator bureaucrats bugzilla:11168 incubator:Special:Upload incubator:Incubator:Upload
ja:v: Japanese Wikiversity sysops ja:v:Special:Upload


  • Firstly, develop an image use policy. It should contain general advice and also specific advice on the countries that most editors are from. Have it approved by the community. Ideally it will match Commons:Licensing. ie no fair use, no logos, files must be sourced and licensed.
  • If they don't exist, create translations and help pages for the language used by your project. See Commons:Help page maintenance.
  • Write material on your project encouraging editors to upload free media to Commons with a friendly guide, and links to users who can help them if they have trouble.
  • Create a formal or informal working group (eg a WikiProject) to systematically check uploads on your project, possibly transfer suitable media to Commons, and generally encourage the use of Commons.
  • Encourage users from this working group to seek adminship on Commons after gaining some experience here. These users can act as a "bridge" between the project and Commons, especially if there are no other admins who speak the language used by the project.
  • If the image use policy does not already match Commons:Licensing, seek community approval to change it to match this, with the express intent of turning off local uploads and only uploading to Commons.
  • If this request seems likely to succeed, inform the Commons community by posting to commons-l or the Commons:Administrators' noticeboard. Advertise yourself as someone to be contacted with any problems arising from new uploaders from your project.
  • Depending on the size of the wiki and the language used, more people to be nominated for adminship may be encouraged. If the project is small and there are already some active admins who speak the language, none may be necessary. If the language has no active admins in Commons already, at least two will be wanted (otherwise it is a big burden for one person). If the project is also large, then definitely more will be wanted. While the community will be happy to "wash its hands" of the boring task of dealing with uploads, it is important to realise that this responsibility is simply being transferred to Commons. If some of the helpers are not also transferred, then the experience will be frustrating for both the existing Commons community as well as the new uploaders here (who may not understand what is expected of them, or why).

Useful examples[edit]

Here are some examples of things people have done to help educate their project's users and make them feel more comfortable using the Commons.


  1. Can be set via $wgUploadNavigationUrl, controlled via the Wikimedia settings file, or via MediaWiki:Upload-url, or via MediaWiki:Sidebar (see eg sv:MediaWiki:Sidebar)
  2. a b c d e f g h i The standard method is to set $wgEnableUploads to false. Here, the setting is left in the Wikimedia-default 'true', and instead 'upload' permissions are set to 'false' for the only usergroups which have it by default.
  3. This is controlled via the Wikimedia settings file. MediaWiki default settings are to assign [upload] permission to all registered users.

See also[edit]