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.


AWB is a bot now?Edit

I (expectedly) came across a few pages on a recent bot run with {{nobots}}, which of course the bot skipped. However, when I switched over to my own account in order to clean up these pages, it still skips these pages as "restricted by {{bots}}/{{nobots}}". As AWB just considered a "bot" now for any account, or is there some sort of cache issue I'm dealing with between switching between my bot and user accounts? Primefac (talk) 23:59, 20 September 2021 (UTC)[]

@Primefac: for as long as I can remember, {{Bots|deny=AWB}} forces any AWB operator (bot or not) to skip the page if selected.   ~ Tom.Reding (talkdgaf)  00:53, 21 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Weird, I guess either I haven't come across {{bots}} pages or I've just never noticed. I did find the "ignore nobots" option so I'll be using that in the future should it be necessary. Primefac (talk) 09:52, 21 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Seems a bit WP:OWNy for someone to set on a mainspace article such a thing. Is there any consensus for that? Gonnym (talk) 10:50, 21 September 2021 (UTC)[]
As far as I've seen all mainspace uses are for disallowing Citation bot and IABot, but I do agree it could be problematic if there was a generic {{nobots}} use (which as near as I can tell is only used in combination with {{copyvio/core}}). Primefac (talk) 11:00, 21 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Yes, you probably got lucky previously.
It would probably be useful for someone to hunt through histories to see why stuff is getting ignored and fixing more appropriately if possible.
I do see it as owny, but it's not high up on my personal list of stuff to fix. IznoPublic (talk) 13:32, 21 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Maybe even worth setting up maintenance categories for it for main space. IznoPublic (talk) 13:34, 21 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Done, see Category:Articles using nobots template. With just under 2k articles using it, it might take a while to populate, but we should get a better idea of how it's being used in the article space. Primefac (talk) 14:04, 21 September 2021 (UTC)[]
@Primefac: It would be interesting to easily see which articles are denying AWB, determining why the reason for each article, and removing the template as AWB bugs are fixed. For example, if someone denied AWB years ago because they didn't want AWB renumbering references, the template can now be removed since that AWB functionality has been removed. GoingBatty (talk) 15:58, 21 September 2021 (UTC)[]
The cat sorts by |deny= param, so anything with AWB as the primary reason is sorted under A. Without any sort of dating parameter in use I think the only way to see when things were added is to check each one manually. Hopefully they're all as nice as Bracket, where the edit summary explicitly mentions nobots (though not why it was added). Primefac (talk) 16:00, 21 September 2021 (UTC)[]
WikiBlame is very good for this (make sure "Force searching for wikitext" is checked).   ~ Tom.Reding (talkdgaf)  18:25, 21 September 2021 (UTC)[]

Ignore all of the cat stuff, User:AnomieBOT/Nobots Hall of Shame/0 is the place to check. Primefac (talk) 23:46, 21 September 2021 (UTC)[]

AnomieBOT's 'Main' page only has ~950 entries, yet the mainspace category has/had ~2000, so there is a discrepancy for whatever reason, so I suggest keeping the category for mainspace & using AnomieBOT's pages for everything else.   ~ Tom.Reding (talkdgaf)  07:23, 22 September 2021 (UTC)[]
As discussed on the template's talk page, bots will only abide by the template if it is on the page itself; the extra 1k or so pages were the "list of minor planets" that were transcluding the header template which contained the nobots call), so none of them are technically excluding bots. I found this to be a convincing enough argument to use the hall of shame. Primefac (talk) 10:55, 22 September 2021 (UTC)[]

A four article random sample of the AWB section of the Hall of Shame above, brought the following results: Oldest addition was 8 years ago. Others were 4 years old. Two were added because of acknowledged AWB faults at the time. Two were added because of edits by other bots. One of those other edits was a perfectly good edit that adhered to guidelines, a user reverted it and added the bot blocker at the same time, blocking the bot and AWB. I think every AWB block needs to be re-checked given the passage of time since addition along with a re-evaluation of if the block is warranted. - X201 (talk) 08:01, 22 September 2021 (UTC)[]

@X201: You are correct! Some of the AWB blocks were created when AWB was reordering/renumbering references. That functionality has been removed from AWB by popular demand. I used AWB (with the Preferences box "Ignore {{bots}} and {{nobots}}" checked) to run general fixes and typo fixes against some of the articles in the category. If there was no damage caused by AWB, I removed the {{bots}} tag. I'll work on this more today. GoingBatty (talk) 13:23, 22 September 2021 (UTC)[]
@X201:   Done for articles not related to "unnumbered minor planets". GoingBatty (talk) 14:07, 22 September 2021 (UTC)[]
@GoingBatty:  Good job. It needed doing. - X201 (talk) 14:58, 22 September 2021 (UTC)[]
If the inclusion of the bots template in {{MinorPlanetNameMeaningsDisclaimer}} does not prevent AWB from running in Meanings of minor planet names: 31001–32000, should it be inside <noinclude>...</noinclude> tags in order to clean up the "What links here" listing? Also, if true, it might be worth making this situation clear in the documentation, i.e. that bots look for the template in the wikitext of a page, so transcluding it via a template does not work. I don't have the ability to run AWB, else I would check all of this and make the changes myself. – Jonesey95 (talk) 03:28, 23 September 2021 (UTC)[]
@Jonesey95: I confirmed that AWB will happily run Meanings of minor planet names: 31001–32000. See discussion at Template talk:MinorPlanetNameMeaningsDisclaimer. GoingBatty (talk) 03:44, 23 September 2021 (UTC)[]

Date format tagsEdit

{{Use mdy dates}} and {{Use dmy dates}} are both listed in Wikipedia:AutoWikiBrowser/Dated templates, so AWB adds |date=September 2021 to them when GENFIXes are enabled. However, looking at their documentation, |date= signifies the month and year that an editor or bot last checked the article for inconsistent date formatting and fixed any found. I just checked, and it doesn't appear that there is an active GENFIX task that corrects e.g. instances of 7 April 2021 in articles tagged with Use MDY dates. Could we create such a task? Or, if not, should we continue to list the tags as dated templates? {{u|Sdkb}}talk 20:37, 25 September 2021 (UTC)[]

Moving pagesEdit

Hello! Help a newbie in need! I'm an admin in SqWiki. We have around 600 template subpages ending in /dok that need to be moved to /doc as per the module:Documentation needs. I was able to generate a list of these pages and I thought I could use AWB to move them. Everything is better than manually and we don't have any bots capable of doing that. (mw:Manual:Pywikibot/ didn't look like it could solve much.) The problem is that the process is extremely slow because I have to tick the three boxes over and over again (move talkpage, leave no redirect, add to watchlist) + click move on each page individually + click save on each page individually so I can go on the next page (+writing the new title on every page). No matter how hard I try, I can't do more than 4 pages per minute. Now I do understand that AWB wasn't made primarily for moving pages but maybe those 3 boxes could be left ticked somehow, same as the summary gets remembered? Or maybe there's a way I don't need to click on move+save on each page individually? Or maybe there's another better way altogether than using AWB? Any kind of help is appreciated. - Klein Muçi (talk) 01:41, 30 September 2021 (UTC)[]

@Klein Muçi: I've never moved pages with AWB, but you could go to Options > Default Edit Summaries, and add something like "Moving documentation page from /dok to /doc". Then, on the Start tab, once you select it as your Default Summary, it should stay until you manually change it. Hope this helps! GoingBatty (talk) 04:40, 30 September 2021 (UTC)[]
@GoingBatty, thanks a lot for your answer! I've already have that part solved though. It was the only part that gets remembered through different moves. I was hoping to keep some other parts static through the process as well. - Klein Muçi (talk) 08:29, 30 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Klein Muçi You can use --আফতাবুজ্জামান (talk) 16:56, 6 October 2021 (UTC)[]
@আফতাবুজ্জামান, can you explain to me a bit how that is supposed to work? I mw.loader-loaded it from the original page in my js user page. Now? - Klein Muçi (talk) 17:28, 6 October 2021 (UTC)[]
@Klein Muçi, then on the sidebar, look for "MassMover" and click there. Anyway, User:Ahecht/Scripts/massmove is also fine. --আফতাবুজ্জামান (talk) 19:24, 6 October 2021 (UTC)[]
@Klein Muçi Take a look at User:Ahecht/Scripts/massmove. It should be able to remove /dok and replace it with /doc, and lets you set the options for moving talkpage, adding to watchlist, and leaving redirects for all moves at once. Once you add it to your Special:MyPage/common.js, you should see a "Mass move" link on the left under "Tools". --Ahecht (TALK
) 17:50, 6 October 2021 (UTC)[]
@আফতাবুজ্জামান, "MassMover" on the sidebar! Got it! I can't express enough how painful was moving everything manually these past days so I'll keep both for the moment. Mass moving is something I deal with often lately. Thanks for showing it to me! :))
@Ahecht, thanks a lot! It literally felt like a Neanderthal watching a computer working. It moved +400 pages in minutes, more than double of what I had moved in 2 weeks manually. Really grateful for both of your suggestions! Maybe this is not the right place to say it but can similar functions be implemented to AWB? Given that it already has the move function and in principle it is supposed to work with lots of pages fast. Even massprotection and massdeletion could be much needed features for the same reasons - Klein Muçi (talk) 19:32, 6 October 2021 (UTC)[]
@Klein Muçi See also User:Animum/massdelete.js and User:Timotheus Canens/massprotect.js. --Ahecht (TALK
) 20:32, 6 October 2021 (UTC)[]
@Ahecht, thank you very much! Those sure will come in handy in admin actions. Any chance we can have a gadget in the future that combines all three of those functions at 1 place? You choose what you want to do (move/protect/delete) and then proceed normally like you would from the specific userscripts. I mean, the same userscripts + 1 extra step in the beginning basically. - Klein Muçi (talk) 20:41, 6 October 2021 (UTC)[]
@Klein Muçi See User:1234qwer1234qwer4/mass-tools.js. ― Qwerfjkltalk 21:30, 8 October 2021 (UTC)[]
@Qwerfjkl, thank you! What am I supposed to be looking for? A certain Mass-something on the "Tools" section? - Klein Muçi (talk) 22:23, 8 October 2021 (UTC)[]
Yes ― Qwerfjkltalk 14:18, 9 October 2021 (UTC)[]
@Qwerfjkl, unfortunately I see nothing new. :/ Have I done it correctly? - Klein Muçi (talk) 14:45, 11 October 2021 (UTC)[]
@Klein Muçi: I don't think so. Try using
mw.loader.load( '' ); ― Qwerfjkltalk 16:11, 11 October 2021 (UTC)[]
@Qwerfjkl, yes, thanks a lot! It works now! - Klein Muçi (talk) 16:18, 11 October 2021 (UTC)[]

AWB stopped working on one PCEdit

For the last week or so every time I try to run WP:AWB it tells me:

Network access error
The operation has timed out

I'm running AWB v6.2.1.0 on Windows 7 SP1 64-bit, and nothing has changed on my system, as far as I know. Checking my contributions I can see that the last time I used AWB successfully was 2021-09-30. I initially suspected a problem with the server so I asked at Wikipedia:Village pump (technical) § AWB network error, where it was suggested that it might be the lets encrypt problem. Perhaps it is, but I'm not having much luck - so I'll try here. Here's a summary of what I have so far:

My main Windows 7 PC reports the error every time. It did have an expired (2021-09-30) DST Root CA X3 in the certificate store, so I deleted that certificate and cleared all the caches per [1]. This did not fix the problem. I check all the installed certificates, and no other certificate expires on or near 2021-09-30.

Deleting %LOCALAPPDATA%\AutoWikiBrowser, %USERPROFILE%\Documents\AWB and HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\AutoWikiBrowser does not fix the problem.

I started up a virtual machine with a clean installation of the same version of Windows (from the DVD) with no additional updates or software, to see if I could reproduce the problem. I installed .NET 4.5.2, copied AWB and ran it - and it works fine, allowing me to login. The certificate manager says that DST Root CA X3 (which expired 2021-09-30) is not present at all on the clean VM, and manually installing it does not cause AWB to fail.

Does anyone have any hints as to what else I can check on my PC to find out why it's not working? I'm not aware of having changed anything on the PC in the last week or so that could affect it (but obviously I could be wrong). Is there somewhere on Phabricator that I can ask for tech support? (It doesn't appear to be a bug, because it works fine on the VM, and worked fine on my main PC up until a week ago.) Mitch Ames (talk) 12:50, 6 October 2021 (UTC)[]

@Mitch Ames: Do you have a replacement for the expired certificate? ISRG Root X1, valid until 2035, is best. Second choice is a version of X1 cross-signed by the expired X3, which should work until 2024. Certes (talk) 15:22, 6 October 2021 (UTC)[]
See also m:HTTPS/2021 Let's Encrypt root expiry, though I don't think it answers your questions. Certes (talk) 18:28, 6 October 2021 (UTC)[]
I did install the replacement ISRG Root X1, but it does not fix the problem. Note that when I run on AWB on a clean VM - with only Windows 7 SP1 (with no updates), .NET (same version as my main PC) - it works, and that VM does not have either DST Root CA X3 or ISRG Root X1. Does anyone know for sure that AWB (or .NET 4.5.1) uses the Lets Encrypt certificates? So far, other than the date, there's seems to be no direct evidence that the Lets Encrypt expiry is the cause. Note also that the error message is a timeout, not a security issue. Mitch Ames (talk) 23:37, 6 October 2021 (UTC)[]
Conveniently I had an image backup of my PC taken on 2021-09-27, when AWB was still working, so I restored the machine to that image - and I still get the problem. This does suggest that it is date based, rather than a change to something else on my PC that caused it to fail. I also tried rolling the clock on the PC back to 2021-09-27, but that doesn't fix the problem.
So I tried to replicate the problem again on the clean VM. I delete all the certificates on the VM, cleared the caches - and AWB still works!
Does anyone have any other ideas as to what I can try? Mitch Ames (talk) 13:22, 9 October 2021 (UTC)[]
@Mitch Ames: the 'Network Access Error' message appears to be a catch all. If there is a straight network issue then AWB complains that it can't resolve At what stage do you get the timeout error? Perhaps go back to basics when it fails. Check arp table (arp -a), try nslookup of and check all is good with interface(s), (ipconfig /all). Do other apps work?
I remember that there were fault scenarios with Windows 7 where there would be an attempt to connect thru a nonactive interface. Perhaps an invalid network mask? Any anti-virus installed? Usually if the environment works then breaks either something changed or something broke (hardware can break in both subtle and unsubtle ways). Maybe the change was external? Is the virtual machine on separate hardware? Installed a new router/switch or similar? Might need to move this discussion to say a page of yours. It's likely to get off-topic. - Neils51 (talk) 20:12, 9 October 2021 (UTC)[]
Thanks for the suggestions. I think I've fixed it now. The problem was apparently caused by ULA Prefix Advertisement being enabled in the router. I had updated the router firmware on 2021-09-25, but had assumed that was not the problem because AWB did not fail until a week later. It turns out that:
  • The problem occurred when AWB fetched a new ObjectCache.xml, which it apparently does only when the old one expires, after 5 days.
  • The file I retrieved from my image backup was dated 2021-09-26 (the day after I updated the router) and expired 2021-10-01.
  • AWB actually works exactly once after the router is rebooted (with ULA Prefix Advertisement enabled), then fails on subsequent attempts (5 days later, when the file expires).
  • Apparently the default setting in the router has changed with the new firmware. (I took screen shots of every setting before I updated the router firmware, just in case.)
Presumably the network configurations on the PC (with a physical network adaptor) and the VM (on the same hardware, but with a virtual network adaptor) are sufficiently different that the ULA causes a problem for one but not the other.
Mitch Ames (talk) 09:16, 10 October 2021 (UTC)[]
Good to hear all is well. Neils51 (talk) 11:37, 11 October 2021 (UTC)[]

Request regarding the default edit summaryEdit

Per this thread, could the AWB devs consider changing the default regex edit summary from Typo(s) fixed to something like Replacement(s) made, or at least provide the option for users to change it? The WP:AWB/T master list contains a lot of things that are stylistic issues, not typos (when to capitalize "President", dash/hyphen usage, comma placement, potential redundancy like "end result"…). It seems that it's causing unnecessary bad feeling when good-faith editors (reasonably) feel the default edit summary is accusing them of sloppiness or a failure to proofread their work; changing the default summary to something less confrontational wouldn't lose any meaning, and might reduce some of the general animosity towards AWB that's still widespread across the project. ‑ Iridescent 14:49, 16 October 2021 (UTC)[]

@Iridescent See the Request a feature section of Before you post. ― Qwerfjkltalk 14:55, 16 October 2021 (UTC)[]
@Iridescent: I created a ticket on phabricator for this.   ~ Tom.Reding (talkdgaf)  15:12, 16 October 2021 (UTC)[]

adding articles from inactive categories from a pageEdit

Hello. I created the page Wikipedia:WikiProject Organized crime/Bot tagging categories/bare categories for this very experiment purpose. The page contains list of recursive no recursive categories. I would like to add articles to the AWB list from these categories. Is it possible? I tried "links on page", but it adds only the categories to the list, and not the articles from the categories. The "categories on page" (hidden/non hidden) doesnt give any results as expected, as it looks for active/non-neutralised categories? Any ideas how I can get the articles from the categories listed on that page? Thanks a lot in advance. Regards, —usernamekiran (talk) sign the (guestbook) 17:57, 16 October 2021 (UTC)[]

nevermind. just found the solution. —usernamekiran (talk) sign the (guestbook) 18:01, 16 October 2021 (UTC)[]
Return to the project page "AutoWikiBrowser".