Setting up Kiwix: An Offline Wikipedia Reader

Published by Lamin Kanteh on

Kiwiz Logo

With the 2016 United States election given rise to the term “Fake News,”  several content-serving conglomerates like Facebook and Google have been using Wikipedia as a means to combat the onslaught of unverified information.

Using Wikipedia as a reference point of validated information is in all fairness, a logical choice since the platform is the most popular and by contrast, the largest source of general reference work available anywhere.

With several billion views per year and an average of several hundred million unique users, Wikipedia, that is owned and operated by a non-profit body called the Wikimedia Foundation, holds over several million openly edited articles for almost any topic.

If you love visiting Wikipedia and on the lookout for ways to access the site even while offline, — could be you are traveling to an area where internet access isn’t available or just taking precautions should you ever get disconnected, — then you’ll find Kiwix utmostly useful.

Available via a number of mediums on Chrome OS including a Chrome Extension and a standalone Android App, Kiwix allows you to download already archived and condensed forms of all sections of contents from Wikipedia (text and images) to the device of your choice and access them without internet.

Here is how to get Kiwix up and running on your Chromebook in no time and there are two ways to go about getting it for your Chromebook.

Route 1- Web Store:

This allows you to install a Chrome extension which is only a front-end access to pre-downloaded Wikipedia content stored on your computer and is in the zim file format.

Depending on how you choose to download Wikipedia, file size can go up as much as 10GB depending on whether on not you decide to download the archived data with media files.

Route 2 – Play Store:

Opting for this route means your Chromebook has Play Store support thereby allowing you to download the standalone Android app. I will recommend going for Route two since the Android version of the program has features like a direct connection to the archived content on the web, where you can categorically download sections of Wikipedia.

Kiwx also works with any content that supports the OpenZIM format.

How to Set Up Kiwix – Android version

Step 1:

Download the Kiwix Wikipedia Offline from the Play Store

Step 2:

After the download is complete, open the program and you should see a screen like this

The Library connects to two places, location for the downloaded Zim files on your system and a portal to connect online and download them directly through the app.


After this stage, you can go ahead and download any content you want on the list and use it at will. Personally, I find Kiwix to be faster than the web especially when I need to make a quick search.


Lamin Kanteh

I live, breath, and dream technology. I've only known myself to push the boundaries on what's possible in my mental scope in relation to technology. And having been a writer for the good part of the past three years (covering varying subjects on the major mobile platforms), No place has ever felt more like home than Chrome OS. And as you may know, Chrome OS is ushering us into a future of the unknown and I'm here to help in the process of easing the way into that future via ItsChromeOS.

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