Generic rendered image of sailboat

To use an image (or video, or audio file) on Wikipedia, it must first be uploaded. However, there are some important restrictions on what images Wikipedia can accept. This tutorial introduces you to the relevant rules and guidelines.

To upload images, you will need to register an account. It's quick and free, and has many benefits.

Hopefully, your image will be improving an article very soon!


The best place to upload most images is Wikimedia Commons, where they become part of a collection that can be used by Wikipedias in multiple languages, as well as our sister projects and the general public.

To upload images to Commons you can use the Commons Upload Wizard tool, which will guide you through the process.

There is an important caveat: Commons accepts only freely licensed images. This means that you cannot upload most images found on the internet, as the vast majority of them are not free.

However, there are some circumstances in which Wikipedia can use non-free or fair use images. This is typically when an image's presence significantly increases readers' understanding of a topic, no free alternative is available, and its use does not negatively affect the commercial interests of its owner. Examples include movie posters, corporate logos, and screenshots of web pages.

To upload a non-free image, use the File Upload Wizard, which will help you add all of the required information. A link to the wizard can be found under "Tools" at the left of the screen.

Durdle Door, a natural arch near Lulworth Cove

Once your image is uploaded to Commons or Wikipedia, you will probably want to use it in an article. Simply click Edit on the article you want to include the image in, then add the following where you want the image to appear:

[[File:Image name.jpg|thumb|Caption for the image]]

For example:

[[File:Durdle Door Overview.jpg|thumb|[[Durdle Door]], a [[natural arch]] near [[Lulworth Cove]]|alt=Beach with a large rocky arch over the water]]

The   button also works. Notice that the caption can contain links.

The Colosseum in Rome

By default, images display on the right side of the article. You can place images on the left side of the article by including |left:

[[File:Colosseum in Rome, Italy - April 2007.jpg|thumb|left|The [[Colosseum]] in Rome]]

See Wikipedia:Extended image syntax for more details on adjusting the display of images, including their size.

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