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To import pages, an import token is required. This token is equal to the edit token and the same for all pages, but changes at every login. Import tokens can be obtained via action=query&meta=tokens , or by using the following method:

Obtaining an import token

Importing pages[edit]

Pages can be imported with action=import, either by uploading an XML file or by specifying a page from another wiki (also known as transwikiing).


Parameters marked with (upload) are only used when importing an uploaded XML file. Similarly, parameters marked with (interwiki) are only used when importing from another wiki (transwiki).

  • summary: Summary for the import log
  • xml: Uploaded XML file (upload)
  • interwikisource: Wiki to import from (interwiki)
    • The possible values for this parameter differ per wiki, see $wgImportSources . If the list of possible values for this parameter is empty, interwiki imports are disabled
  • interwikipage: Title of the page to import (interwiki)
  • fullhistory: If set, import the full history rather than just the current revision (interwiki)
  • templates: Import all included templates as well (interwiki)
  • namespace: Namespace to import to. If not set, don't change the page's namespace (interwiki)
  • rootpage: Import as subpage of this page. Cannot be used together with namespace. 1.20+
  • tags: Tags to apply to the entry in the import log and to the null revision on the imported pages. 1.29+
  • token: The token obtained in the previous request. Take care to urlencode the trailing +\ as %2B%5C.


Note: In these examples, all parameters are passed in a GET request just for the sake of simplicity. However, action=import requires POST requests; GET requests will cause an error.


Import meta:Special:MyLanguage/Help:ParserFunctions to the Manual namespace (namespace 100) with full history

XML file[edit]

Import XML dump dump.xml (from Special:Export) to the Manual namespace (namespace 100)

When uploading a file, you need to use multipart/form-data as Content-Type or enctype, application/x-www-form-urlencoded will not work. The parameter xml is not a file name, but the actual content of a file.

Ruby source code example using httpclient (assumes login cookies are already in @headers)

 res = HTTPClient.post(@api_url, {
                              :action => 'import',
                              :xml => File.open("dump.xml"),
                              :token => token,
                              :format => 'xml'}, @headers)

If the result says "no file" it is expecting a file in a POST body. You can easily POST using FormData.

To quote from /api.php

    xml      - Uploaded XML file
               Must be posted as a file upload using multipart/form-data
JavaScript example[edit]

For simplicity, the following code is reading the XML from a textarea and makes use of MediaWiki's JavaScript includes:

 var apiUrl = mw.util.wikiScript( 'api' );
 var onreadystatechange = function() {
	if ( 4 !== this.readyState ) return;
	if ( 200 === this.status ) {
	  console.log( this.response );
 function continueWithToken ( token ) {
	  var fd = new FormData();
	  var xhr = new XMLHttpRequest();
	  // First argument is an array!
	  var bXml = new Blob( [$( 'textarea' ).val()], {
				 type: 'text/xml'
			} );
	  fd.append( 'format', 'json' );
	  fd.append( 'action', 'import' );
	  // Third parameter is not required but
	  // You're likely on the safe side using it
	  fd.append( 'xml', bXml, 'file.xml' );
	  fd.append( 'token', token );
	  xhr.onreadystatechange = onreadystatechange;
	  xhr.open( 'POST', apiUrl );
	  xhr.send( fd );
 $.get( apiUrl, {
	  format: 'json',
	  type: 'import',
	  action: 'tokens'
 } ).done( function(r) {
	  var token = r.tokens.importtoken;
	  continueWithToken( token );
 } );

This is just a minimal implementation. Do not forget error-handling. If you have the exports as files for upload and want to make it working in older browsers not sufficiently supporting Blobs and FormData, just build a HTML form. The form's target could be an iframe so you can read the response from it without exposing the blank API result page to your users.

Expected response[edit]
{"import":[{"ns":0,"title":"Main Page2","revisions":1}]}
Raw request resulting[edit]

The request that is composed by the client and sent to the server for reference. Note the file's in a POST body.

POST http://localhost/api.php HTTP/1.1
Host: localhost
User-Agent: <ua string>
Accept-Language: de,en-US;q=0.7,en;q=0.3
Accept-Encoding: gzip, deflate
Referer: http://localhost/index.php?title=Special:Export&action=submit
Content-Length: 3231
Content-Type: multipart/form-data; boundary=---------------------768648126486
Cookie: <redacted>; mwdbUserID=1; mwdbUserName=Rillke
Connection: keep-alive
Pragma: no-cache
Cache-Control: no-cache

Content-Disposition: form-data; name="format"

Content-Disposition: form-data; name="action"

Content-Disposition: form-data; name="xml"; filename="file.xml"
Content-Type: text/xml

<mediawiki ...schemas... version="0.8" xml:lang="en">
  <sitename>Sample Wiki</sitename>
<!-- .... -->
Content-Disposition: form-data; name="token"

"Missing boundary in multipart/form-data POST data" error?

This is because you sent it url-encoded but claimed it would be multipart/form-data? MediaWiki is looking for a boundary in the header but cannot find it.

Possible errors[edit]

All errors are formatted as:

<error code="code" info="info">
Code Info
notoken The token parameter must be set.
cantimport You don't have permission to import pages.
cantimport-upload You don't have permission to import uploaded pages.
nointerwikipage The interwikipage parameter must be set.
nofile You didn't upload a file
filetoobig The file you uploaded is bigger than the maximum upload size
partialupload The file was only partially uploaded
notempdir The temporary upload directory is missing
Note: This generally means the server is broken or misconfigured
cantopenfile Couldn't open the uploaded file
Note: This generally means the server is broken or misconfigured
badinterwiki Invalid interwiki title specified
import-unknownerror Unknown error on import: error.


(main | import)
  • This module requires read rights.
  • This module requires write rights.
  • This module only accepts POST requests.
  • Source: MediaWiki
  • License: GPL-2.0-or-later

Import a page from another wiki, or from an XML file.

Note that the HTTP POST must be done as a file upload (i.e. using multipart/form-data) when sending a file for the xml parameter.


Log entry import summary.


Uploaded XML file.

Must be posted as a file upload using multipart/form-data.

For uploaded imports: interwiki prefix to apply to unknown user names (and known users if assignknownusers is set).


For interwiki imports: wiki to import from.

One of the following values: meta, w:en, usability

For interwiki imports: page to import.


For interwiki imports: import the full history, not just the current version.

Type: boolean (details)

For interwiki imports: import all included templates as well.

Type: boolean (details)

Import to this namespace. Cannot be used together with rootpage.

One of the following values: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 90, 91, 92, 93, 100, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 486, 487, 828, 829, 1198, 1199, 2300, 2301, 2302, 2303, 2600, 5500, 5501

Assign edits to local users where the named user exists locally.

Type: boolean (details)

Import as subpage of this page. Cannot be used together with namespace.


Change tags to apply to the entry in the import log and to the null revision on the imported pages.

Values (separate with | or alternative):

A "csrf" token retrieved from action=query&meta=tokens

This parameter is required.

See also[edit]