Wikimedian in Residence

How to upload media to Commons

How to upload a media file to Wikimedia Commons - this could be an image, video or audio file.

Video: How to upload an image onto Wikimedia Commons.
Images are an important part of Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects. This video explains how to upload an image onto Wikimedia Commons, an online repository of free to use media and images.

Wikimedia intern Hannah Rothmann explains how to upload an image to Wikimedia Commons.

Before you begin

  • You need to have the image file you want to upload on your computer.
  • You need an account on Wikipedia or Wikimedia Commons to upload files.

What can you upload?

Images that you upload to Wikimedia Commons have to be educational and freely licensed. While "educational" may be a vague category, "freely licensed" is quite specific:

  • Commons can accept most images that you create entirely by yourself, so long as your image does not itself depict another copyrighted work. 
  • Commons can accept images created by others as long as the copyright holder of that image is willing to license/ has already licensed it freely.
  • Commons cannot accept images created or inspired by others without their express permission (verified via their OTRS system).
  • Commons cannot accept any image which is not freely licensed or clearly in the public domain— most images found on the Web are not freely licensed and will be quickly deleted from Commons.
  • Commons is not a repository for personal photos and all images must have potential educational use.

Uploading an image

To upload files to Wikimedia Commons, use the Upload Wizard.

Getting started

Go to the Upload Wizard on Wikimedia Commons. You can always get to it from the Upload file link in the menu on the left. On the first page of the wizard, read the illustration to understand whether Wikimedia Commons can accept your upload. When you're ready to upload, click Next near the end of the page. Click Select media files to share and find the image or images you want to upload from your computer.

Licensing your file

Click Continue and select the options that apply to your upload, as prompted. When you are done, click Next

Organizing and describing your upload

Enter a title for the image. Use plain, descriptive language. Then enter a description of the image and the date it was created. Help organize Wikimedia Commons by assigning categories to your file. When you are done, click Next.

After this, your upload will be published and complete.