Wikipedia talk:AutoWikiBrowser

Active discussions

This is the discussion page for the AWB project. It is also the place to discuss using the AWB program itself (if you need help, or have a question about AWB, etc.). Where to make specific types of reports or requests is explained in the Before you post section below. Before asking questions, please read the Frequently asked questions below.

Before you postEdit

Do you want to ... Please use
Report a bug or request a feature in AWB? Check reported tasks before filing a new task. You do not need to create another account there; just log in with your normal Wikimedia account. See this MediaWiki wiki page on how to report bugs and request features on Phabricator.
Report a bug details

Try to report bugs in the current version of the software. Update to the most recent version and check to make sure your bug has not been reported already on this page. See "How to Report Bugs Effectively" for advice on how to write bug reports.

Before posting anything related to non-Wikimedia Foundation wikis, verify that the site is running a recent version of MediaWiki with enabled Bot API. Older versions of MediaWiki or without the Bot API are not supported. Be sure to mention the exact URL of your wiki.

Request a feature details

Please use the feature request button to add new feature requests. This format allows the developers to keep track of feature requests. Take some time to search the archives, both on-wiki and on Phabricator to check whether a similar request was previously discussed.

Report an incorrectly fixed typo? Wikipedia talk:AutoWikiBrowser/Typos
Request approval to use AWB? Wikipedia:Requests for permissions/AutoWikiBrowser
Ask a question about AWB or ask for help? This page

Frequently asked questionsEdit

Frequently asked questions
  • When I start it up I get one of the following errors:
    "The application failed to initialize properly (0xc0000135). Click on OK to terminate the application.", or
    "To run this application, you must first install one of the following versions of the .NET Framework..."
    This error means your computer does not have the .NET framework version 2 installed properly. You can choose from various versions for download here, or you can run Windows Update and select version 2 of the .Net framework from the "Optional Updates" section, if you want the choice made for you.
  • Does AWB run on Linux or Mac?
  • Does AWB work on other projects and languages?
    Many Wikimedia projects and languages are supported, see the "User and project preferences" option in the general menu. Other languages will be added on request, though at the moment the interface is always in English. You are also able to use AWB with third-party wikis: Options > Preferences > Site, you can change the wiki there. The wiki must support the Bot API required by AWB. This means that it should have latest HEAD version of MediaWiki or something close to that. The wmf-deployment branch is also recommended, as this is what is currently live on WMF sites.
  • Under Windows Vista (and newer), AWB is using wrong font size, which results in clipped text and lost buttons and options, (see example here). How to fix it?
    • Solution #1: Go to "Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Display" and switch resizing of the fonts to 100%.
    • Solution #2: Right click on AutoWikiBrowser.exe --> Properties -> Compatibility (tab) --> enable the "Disable display scaling on high DPI settings" option or for Windows 10, if available, select System (Enhanced).
  • AWB puts stubs after categories, though categories are always rendered the last by MediaWiki?
    According to WP:STUB#Categorizing stubs, by convention they are placed at the end of the article, after the External links section, any navigation templates, and the category tags, so that the stub category will appear last. If your wiki uses another order, please let us know here.
  • I don't like or use Internet Explorer; please use Firefox instead.
    AWB does not use Internet Explorer per se. It does, however, use the same web browser control (MSHTML) as Internet Explorer; the equivalent Firefox component does not provide the needed functionality.
  • How do I open the page in another browser if I can't use the one in AWB?
    Right click on the edit box in the bottom right side of your screen. Select "Open page in browser".
  • How do I edit a page that doesn't exist?
    Uncheck "Ignore non existing pages" in the "Skip articles" box.
  • How do I skip certain articles?
    Use the "Skip if contains" and "Skip if doesn't contain" on the "Skip" tab
  • Can't you leave up a "stable" version, so I don't have to download new versions?
    It is important to keep people up to date with the latest versions, because their use of the software doesn't just affect them, but the whole of Wikipedia. As any bugs that remain will be trivial, hopefully releases won't be too frequent.
  • How can I stop AWB clicking when it changes pages?
    This is a Windows sound theme setting. This page explains how to turn off the clicking sound.
    Alternatively, delete the following key from the Windows registry:
  • AWB randomly crashes upon page load on my system, and I always use a browser other than Internet Explorer when using Wikipedia.
    You may have installed custom scripts incompatible with IE. Wrap the contents of your monobook.js into conditional:
               //Detect IE5.5+
               if (navigator.appVersion.indexOf("MSIE")==-1)
                   // Previous contents go here
  • I get Just In Time Debugger Messages when loading AWB/loading pages.
    In Internet Explorer, go to Tools → Options → Advanced. Make sure 'Disable Script Debugging (Internet Explorer)' and 'Disable Script Debugging (Other)' Are both checked. Press apply and close.
  • Why does AWB run very, very slowly if I try to make changes in the edit window on larger pages, especially pages with long lists or tables?
    If running on Windows, exit the Speech Recognition software that is built into some versions of Windows; don't just turn it 'Off', you must 'Exit' the software if you have started up Speech Recognition.
  • When I do a clean install of AutoWikiBrowser the application seems to find old setting data somewhere. I'd like to do a really clean install. Any ideas?
    Clean up your registry and remove the folder "C:\Documents and Settings\user name\Local Settings\Application Data\AutoWikiBrowser" (Windows XP) or "C:\Users\user name\AppData\Local\AutoWikiBrowser\" (Windows 7). Note that the application data folder may be hidden.
  • AWB prompts that there is a newer version but won't update
    Check the version number of your AWBUpdater.exe. The current version is If you have an older version, you have to download the latest AWB version and make a clean install.
  • Which .NET Framework version do I have?
    You can find your .NET Framework version in Help → About box.
  • Where are the default settings stored?
    • Windows XP: C:\Documents and Settings\[username]\Local Settings\Application Data\AutoWikiBrowser
    • Windows Vista onwards: C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Local\AutoWikiBrowser\Default.xml
  • I cannot copy text from the diff window using the Control+C keyboard shortcut.
    You must have Microsoft.mshtml.dll available for AWB to use for this functionality to work. You can try downloading the file (there are a number of third-party websites offering DLL file downloads) and putting it in the same folder as AutoWikiBrowser.exe. This is reported not to work for all users, presumably due to .NET Framework problems.
  • Is there any way to set AWB to not use https? (GFW blocks 443 port)
    In preferences, set project to "custom". Set the left box to http. In the webpage box, type (English Wikipedia) or (Chinese Wikipedia). Note that leaving off the /w/ will result in a "root element missing" error.
  • How do I login to AWB with accounts enabled with two-factor authentication?
    You should use a bot password. Despite the name, they aren't just for bots. See Wikipedia:Using AWB with 2FA.


Connection errorsEdit

A few days ago I was able to connect via AWB and work with it in a private wiki (a few thousand changes). Only one day later I get another error, so no connection.

The wiki is a 1.34.0 i tested AWB, both give the same error. The error text varies depending on the protocol and IE access:

I also tested different workstations with different operating systems to avoid having a misdirected firewall rule causing this.

I'm not sure if it's a common mistake and how to fix it. I've always had mistakes before, but as I said I was able to work with them that day without any problems. I only had some problems with the user before, that was solvable by creating a new one for tests.

Any ideas what could causes that or way i can try? maybe theres a way to force the adress, to skip the tests? --Gunnar.offel (talk) 04:48, 18 August 2020 (UTC)

I created an internal rebuild of the wiki by just using the database. it uses the default settings in LocalSettings. It doesn't workes either. On a later test it could login, as long the application was open it works several hundred changes. after restarting AWB, the error comes back. So i would like to reask, any ideas which setting could force this or any way how i could skip the tests? An older version (1.33) seems to work always. -- Gunnar.offel (talk) 06:57, 6 September 2020 (UTC)
I have the same issue on an independent wiki. This happened suddenly, with no changes made to the wiki's or AWB's settings. I'm surprised this is barely reported. And even though I'm using the latest version, the "Check for updates" option literally tells me it fails even though it should just tell me I'm up-to-date. Klow (talk) 19:42, 19 September 2020 (UTC)

AWB not startingEdit

Is it just me or anybody else's AWB not starting up? —usernamekiran (talk) 21:07, 22 August 2020 (UTC)

Works fine for me. Ionmars10 (talk) 21:14, 22 August 2020 (UTC)
whenever I am trying to start AWB, first I am getting error "the operation has timed out" under window title "network access error". After clicking ok, I get "Object reference not set to an instance of an object." followed by following this in the same dialogue box:
<tr><th>Message:</th><td>`Object reference not set to an instance of an object.`</td></tr>
<tr><th>Call stack:</th><td><pre>   at AutoWikiBrowser.MainForm.SetProject(String code, ProjectEnum project, String customProject, String protocol)
   at AutoWikiBrowser.MainForm.LoadPrefs(UserPrefs p)
   at AutoWikiBrowser.MainForm.LoadPrefs(String path)</td></tr>
**OS**: Microsoft Windows NT 6.2.9200.0
**version**: AutoWikiBrowser (, WikiFunctions (, revision 12353 (2019-09-17 21:16:42)
**net**: 4.0.30319.42000
- Kingbotk Plugin



If I click on "continue working", then the green loading box (with the loading bar) stays there forever. courtesy ping to User:Ionmars10 —usernamekiran (talk) 08:49, 23 August 2020 (UTC)

Does AWB work for Windows NT? I seem to recall it's Vista or newer. Primefac (talk) 11:53, 23 August 2020 (UTC)
According to our article on MS Windows versions, NT 6.2 is Windows 8 (not 8.1). --Izno (talk) 12:41, 23 August 2020 (UTC)
I hate to admit that as someone who used to own a machine running Windows NT (4.0, apparently) I did not realize they kept the name but dropped the marketing. Primefac (talk) 16:40, 23 August 2020 (UTC)
According to the Phab task which implemented AWB 6.0, the required .NET version is 4.5. You may need to update that first. --Izno (talk) 12:46, 23 August 2020 (UTC)
Your problem may be logged already at phab:T99277. --Izno (talk) 12:51, 23 August 2020 (UTC)
  • I got this error on windows 10, and the .NET version is above 4.5. It was working fine till a couple days ago, and I got this error without any changes in my computer system. —usernamekiran (talk) 18:11, 23 August 2020 (UTC)
  • update: I successfully logged in, and made two edits; without making any changes to the system. —usernamekiran (talk) 17:31, 24 August 2020 (UTC)
  • Just a weird observation: whenever I am trying to use AWB without enabling VPN, I am getting this error. Maybe an issue with my ISP? —usernamekiran (talk) 20:19, 15 September 2020 (UTC)

Misplaced sign when space is used as the thousands separatorEdit

Not sure if this still happens (last edit from 2016) but: [1][2][3] ("5 000€" -> "5 €000" etc.) (talk) 20:57, 23 August 2020 (UTC)

Still happens in —[AlanM1 (talk)]— 11:51, 9 September 2020 (UTC)
Thanks for clarifying. According to the following regex search, it may still happen in some articles: [4] That search takes some time and gives the "timed out" warning but manages to give a few results. That search is for the € sign, but there're probably more similar signs that have the same problem. Maybe disable the sign repositioning for the [0-9] [0-9][0-9][0-9]€'s and leave it on for the [^0-9] [0-9][0-9][0-9]€'s or something. (talk) 22:07, 15 September 2020 (UTC)
This search is quicker and finds more cases (though far from all, because other three-digit numbers are available). Certes (talk) 23:05, 15 September 2020 (UTC)

Please bump the released versionEdit

To emphasize a comment above: some (very) experienced editors using AWB genfixes are still pushing short description under hatnotes without noticing. Not all of the users are source-capable, I think. Can you bump the downloaded binary? David Brooks (talk) 21:06, 23 August 2020 (UTC)

Just to put some meat on this: I reviewed the most recent 1,000 AWB-tagged edits. Of them, 35 of the edited articles had a short description out-of-order; of those 35, there were 5 that seemed to have been pushed down by a genfix during that edit, and 2 that seemed to have been re-ordered manually. The remaining 28 have the potential to be auto-fixed by the unreleased genfix code. In addition, there were 144 where the short description was kept on top, usually because there were no subsequent hatnotes to be flipped upwards.
That was one snapshot; I just ran the code again and got 43 out-of-order and 162 "stable" ones. David Brooks (talk) 17:25, 26 August 2020 (UTC)
I usually remember to double-click the short description in the left and right diff panels to restore it to the top, but I expect I've forgotten more than once. Certes (talk) 17:42, 26 August 2020 (UTC)
I usually restore it as well, but have noticed later I've missed it on occasion. It also slows me down by having to Skip because that is the ONLY change. MB 20:06, 26 August 2020 (UTC)
I wasn't even aware of the issue until it was pointed out to me the other day. Please count this as another vote for an updated binary. --Ser Amantio di NicolaoChe dicono a Signa?Lo dicono a Signa. 19:51, 30 August 2020 (UTC)
Once this issue is resolved, it might be worthwhile to run a bot on these pages to put the {{Short description}} templates back where they belong. Ionmars10 (talk) 19:54, 30 August 2020 (UTC)
Talk about a cosmetic, unnecessary edit. If and when the issue is resolved, it can be dealt with in the course of dealing with more pertinent issues. This is hardly worth a specific run. Primefac (talk) 19:25, 31 August 2020 (UTC)
We may have different ideas of what's "cosmetic": if an editor makes an article conform to the Manual of Style with respect to Short Description and hatnotes ordering, then later it's edited with AWB and genfixes on, the article will no longer conform. I think MOS goes a little beyond cosmetic. And I wasn't clear in the above: the issue was resolved last November (change 12363); it just hasn't been prop'd. I've been making a private build of 12426 available to some active AWB users, which isn't an ideal choice. David Brooks (talk) 20:21, 31 August 2020 (UTC)
Likely; I'm coming at it from a bot/BAG perspective (see WP:COSMETIC), wherein the changes mentioned above do not alter the "reader-facing" side of the page, do not change any categorization on the backend, and only changes the wikitext. I'm not saying it cannot be fixed by the patched/new release of AWB, I'm saying that going through purely to change the order of the templates will be problematic if done at a high rate. Primefac (talk) 15:43, 1 September 2020 (UTC)
Thanks for the formal definition of cosmetic; I understand your reluctance better now. Still, given the manual's invitation for technically-adept users to sync with source daily, I still feel comfortable making a private build available to some less-technical users (if they trust me to dispense binaries). David Brooks (talk) 17:16, 1 September 2020 (UTC)
Would a temporary regex rule to replace (.*)(\{\{short description\|.*?\}\}) by $2$1 after fixes be useful? (Not tested; actual working regex may differ.) Certes (talk) 17:27, 1 September 2020 (UTC)
Nice idea. I think (.+)(\{\{short.?description\|.*?}}\n) would work, with the SingleLine option. I started with (.+) to avoid a null edit, and the .? covers some redirects. Note this would (properly) lift the SD from anywhere in the article, while AWB just re-orders Section 0 -- I do the same in a module anyway. David Brooks (talk) 14:19, 2 September 2020 (UTC)
What is the process to get the release version updated? — GhostInTheMachine talk to me 09:27, 13 September 2020 (UTC)
Just to hop in here - it is not just the ordering that is required but the change to handle date fixes in 2020 which are not happening at the moment. (T242103). Keith D (talk) 12:47, 13 September 2020 (UTC)
The fix is revision 12394 so a build-from-source will pick it up. Or something else? David Brooks (talk) 15:40, 13 September 2020 (UTC)


Does AWB work on Windows 8.1? I downloaded it but when I click run, nothing happens... (talk) 03:57, 26 August 2020 (UTC)

If you mean the "Start" button, the reason isn't because of your OS but rather because you need to apply for permission first in order to use the program to actually make changes. This requires making an account to give said permission to, and even then you probably won't be accepted until you have at least a few hundred edits. Ionmars10 (talk) 04:06, 26 August 2020 (UTC)

Auto tagEdit

Any idea where the code is for the "auto tag" option is on AWB? Is this listed somewhere? Best Wishes, Lee Vilenski (talkcontribs) 13:17, 28 August 2020 (UTC)

In WikiFunctions/Parse/Tagger.cs, starting at line 73. Is that what you meant? David Brooks (talk) 16:46, 28 August 2020 (UTC)

Often see edit-summaries that look like they are doing nothingEdit

Perhaps this is just annoying to me but on the watchlist, I often see AWB summaries that look like they are doing nothing (eg. [5] "(clean up, replaced: 9 million → 9 million))" Is not 9 million the same as 9 million.). Can that be bettered? Alanscottwalker (talk) 15:43, 30 August 2020 (UTC)

In that example, a simple space is being replaced by a non-breaking space for good reason, but I agree that's not too obvious from the summary. David Brooks (talk) 19:47, 30 August 2020 (UTC)

Formatting in display paneEdit

In the display window, broken links no longer show in red. Is this an intentional change? Colonies Chris (talk) 13:38, 4 September 2020 (UTC)

restarting inEdit

I am often coming across articles which are making AWB go "restarting in <countdown timer>". For example: Hans Langsdorff, and Nalbari district. AWB is successfully processing the pages, it gets "ready to save", and then upon hitting "save"/ctrl+S, it says "restarting in 30 seconds". That timer increases with every attempt, but the edit never gets saved. Is anybody facing similar problem? These articles have URLs without http by the way. —usernamekiran (talk) 07:31, 6 September 2020 (UTC)


I have just had 'Institute' become 'ie'. The intention was probably to remove the cap. Need to report this in Phabricator, my regex skills are a little rusty? Neils51 (talk) 14:02, 6 September 2020 (UTC)

That looks like "the institute" rule from Wikipedia:AutoWikiBrowser/Typos. I've made a basic fix but the intention may have been more subtle. Certes (talk) 14:25, 6 September 2020 (UTC)
@Neils51: I can see the problem and have probably fixed it but am having difficulty testing the fix. Can you name a page where the problem occurred? Certes (talk) 14:36, 6 September 2020 (UTC)
Hi Certes, thanks for looking at this. This is the article.
Thank you. That article has already had the typo fixed but I've tested with the similar Acton Institute, which confirms that the Institute was now fixes correctly. Certes (talk) 22:44, 6 September 2020 (UTC)

Bug with linktrailEdit

The linktrail on English Wikipedia is apparently lower case ASCII letters a through z. AWB attempts to simplify links without taking this into account. For example, process Cleavage (breasts) with general fixes, and it attempts to change [[bra|brassières]] to [[bra]]ssières. Instead of displaying as "brassières", this change would cause the incorrect "brassières". (AWB version, SVN 12353) MANdARAX  XAЯAbИAM 21:38, 7 September 2020 (UTC)

Oops! They're going to be hard to find without searching a dump. A quick sample check reveals quite a few cases but not resulting from AWB. There was a brief discussion at VPT in 2013 on changing $linkTrail. Certes (talk) 22:45, 7 September 2020 (UTC)

Importing PetScan query list to AWB?Edit

I'd like go through a list of pages categorized as essays but missing {{essaysort}} on their talk page. I don't know how to set this up in AWB, but it's reflected in the PetScan queries linked here. Is there any way to import those to AWB? {{u|Sdkb}}talk 00:16, 14 September 2020 (UTC)

Sdkb, if you have a way of converting the list into plaintext (i.e. each line contains *just* the page name), you should be able to just copy-paste it into AWB's page list area. If not, you could set the output format in PetScan to "Wiki", copy that and paste it into some page in your userspace, and then use the "Links on page" search type in AWB. Ionmars10 (talk) 00:25, 14 September 2020 (UTC)
It might be worth asking for a "simple list" option to be added to PetScan's output formats. I'm sure that would be a trivial enhancement, which I would also find useful. I currently request a .tsv then use a pre-canned regex to have my text editor remove all but the second column. Certes (talk) 11:12, 14 September 2020 (UTC)
Sdkb, you should convert the PetScan query to PagePile (use PagePile option in Output tab), and click on PlainText in the result. IKhitron (talk) 12:06, 17 September 2020 (UTC)

Making a list against Special:UnconnectedPagesEdit

Is that have any method to make a list to Special:UnconnectedPages with the namespace available to select, recently an user created some article then connects to Wikidata which leaves those pages in the list. If is's possible it will be better to create a list and do a null edit for those pages to clean up those items. Shinjiman 04:42, 19 September 2020 (UTC)

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