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AWB, or AutoWikiBrowser, is a tool that can be used to do batch wiki edits. Although people refer to AWB as a "bot," think of it more as a wiki-global find-and-replace tool. While the interface can be kind of confusing to get used to, it's fairly powerful, especially if you are familiar with regular expressions, and even if you aren't it can be used to help you out with a broad array of tasks.

This guide will assume that you have already set up a bot password via Special:BotPasswords; if not, then see this article about bot passwords.

Installing AWB

AWB can be downloaded here. You can see more information about the download on the Wikipedia page about AWB. When you download AWB, you actually download an executable file directly and don't need to install anything.

Logging into the wiki on

First of all, set up the site that you need. This is under Options → Preferences → Site. You need to do three things here:

  1. Pick "custom" as your project
  2. Select "https://" instead of "http://"
  3. Enter the domain name of the wiki (for example you want into the text field (n.b. don't include "https://" since you specified that above/before)

Now that you have chosen your site, you can set up your account or accounts. Many users will want to have two separate accounts; one of them is their own, and one of them is a bot with bot rights. This way, when doing brief tasks, you can have them show up in Recent Changes, and longer tasks can be hidden from view there; or for more involved tasks, you can start as yourself and then switch to your bot after a few pages so editors are aware of the changes but the logs aren't spammed. You should discuss with other admins and/or staff the best process for your own wiki, as different wikis may have different guidelines for this.

Note that when we talk about "bot accounts," that's a completely different concept from a bot password; one account can have multiple bot passwords associated with it. Think of a bot password as being similar to a backup code that you might set up when you have 2-step verification on a website; it's a way to guarantee that the account is you without using your normal password. Conversely, a bot account is a second account with its own email address and password that you log into with and that has a different set of user rights; in particular, it has the Bot right.

That said, the way you set up an account is the same regardless of how many accounts you set up. Go to File → Log in/profiles, and then press Add. The Username should be AccountName@BotPasswordName; for example, if your username is and your bot password is called AWB, you would type Assuming you are on a secure computer, you probably want to check the Save Password field. Once you have configured your account or accounts, log in by double-clicking on the account you want to log in with.

Note: If you have just created your new bot account, make sure to log in to the wiki with that new account (as you would with your normal login) and make three small edits before trying to use AWB.

What rights does my Bot Password need?

You will definitely want "High-volume editing" and "Edit existing pages." Most users who are admins on their wiki will additionally want "Edit protected pages." Beyond that, grant rights as needed.

What account should I use?

You can use AWB as either yourself or as a bot user, and this will not affect the operation of the software. As a matter of etiquette, it's generally recommended to do most operations as a bot user account, so that your actions don't clog up recent changes too much. However, you may want to start out as yourself, doing say the first 10-25 actions as yourself, to notify users that the change is happening, and then switch to the bot user after that period of time. Remember to set a helpful edit summary to aid this process as well!


  1. First, you will want to make your list of pages you care about. This may be a category, or "What links here" (same functionality as WhatLinksHere), or really any of the options.
    • It's possible to find differences between two lists using the "List comparer" interface, which can be accessed via the "Tools" tab.
  2. Once you have your list of pages, click the "Options" tab to the right and then "Find and replace."
  3. Check the box to the left of the text, and then press "Advanced settings." If you just want to do a simple typo correction, you can type the exact text to find into the top box and the replace text below it.
    • It's also possible to do more advanced find-replace commands using regular expressions. Appropriate times to use regular expressions are if you want to match similar, but not exactly identical, patterns of text. See the next section for some resources on learning how to do this.

Resources for learning regular expressions

More advanced find-and-replace operations can be done if you use regular expressions.

  • - test your regex and make use of resources including a cheat sheet in its sidebar as you do.
  • - similar to the above.
  • - this site is relatively technical but gives a thorough introduction to regex. If you have trouble following its explanations, don't worry - it's written at a high level and is best used when supplemented with other resources.

Blank editing in AWB

AWB is especially useful for automating "null edits," or editing and saving with no changes, to update caches for the wiki, or related data tables if your wiki uses extensions like Cargo.

To blank edit, you will:

  1. Go to the Options menu (at the top of the application).
  2. Deselect "Apply changes automatically."
  3. Done! You are now blank editing.


If you are getting an error message and asking for help, please screenshot the error message and send the screenshot to the person you're asking for help!

Issues installing

  • AWB is opened by navigating to the folder you downloaded it to and then opening the .exe directly, it won't show up in your start menu.
  • AWB is Windows only
  • You might have to right-click and run as administrator.

Issues logging in

  • Has your bot visited the wiki you are trying to log in to from a browser? If not, it won't be listed as a registered user yet.
  • Are you using the credentials generated at Special:BotPasswords? This is required for logging in to third-party tools, including AutoWikiBrowser.
  • Are you formatting your username correctly, i.e., YourUsername@BotPwdName?
  • Are you using HTTPS instead of HTTP? (You want HTTPS.)
  • Are you trying to log into the right wiki? (Options -> Preferences -> Site)
  • Did you previously use an incorrect login, and are now unintentionally trying to log in with the same credentials? If you are using the "quick login" instead of "add..." make sure you're clicking the button to the right of the fields and not above; also make sure you delete incorrect credential sets.
  • Is your wiki in onboarding? If so, you will have to encode the dev username/password into the URL, for example. admin:[email protected], where admin is the user name and hunter2 is the password (all I see is *******). This user/pass refers to the user/pass sent to you in your onboarding server Discord channel.
  • Did your wiki just leave onboarding? If so, you may need to remove the user/pass encoding from your wiki's URL.

Issues choosing pages

  • Did you select the "all namespaces" version of the field you are trying to use? If not, AWB will only look in the main namespace.

Issues saving pages

  • Is "Apply Changes Automatically" under Options checked? If not, your bot is attempting to null edit, not save pages.
  • Are you logged into the correct wiki for the pages you are trying to edit?
  • If you are doing a find-replace, are your rules enabled? (checkbox to the right of the Name)
  • Do you have followed redirects under Options checked when you don't want to? (Or vice versa)
  • Are the pages you're trying to edit protected? If so, does your bot have the needed privileges in Special:BotPasswords? Note that cascading protections is a different permission from regular protection; you may need to temporarily disable cascading protection from the front page.
    • If not, did you give your bot password the "Edit existing pages" right?

Incorrect thing is happening when I save pages

  • Do you accidentally have a regex selected for a find-replace rule when you shouldn't?
    • Are you SURE?
    • PINKIE SWEAR you checked EVERY SINGLE RULE in BOTH Normal AND Advanced Settings for the "regex" checkmark?
    • Am I gonna take a look for you and find out you crossed your fingers behind your back? 😡
    • P.S. Normal Settings AND Advanced Settings, right??????
  • Do you have some extra rules in Normal/Advanced settings on accident when you mean to be using Advanced/Normal?
  • Do you have "Apply general fixes" selected under "Options"? This is a Wikipedia-specific feature that you almost surely don't want.
  • Do you accidentally have an "add category" or "remove category" rule selected?

Issues with regular expressions

  • Did you remember to check "Regular expression"?
  • Are you using Singleline (. matches newline if enabled) and Multiline (^ and $ match the start and end of lines instead of pages) correctly?
  • Did you check your regex actually works? Using the Test... dialogue can help with this.
  • Do you have an If condition specified on the rule when you don't mean to? (The tab behind your rule)
  • Did you remember to escape all needed punctuation? (|, ?, {}, etc.)


  • Find-replace happens BEFORE append. So, if you want to append a category, but some pages may already have this category present on them, set a rule to find-replace to remove the category, and that will be executed before the append.

See also