User-Agent policy/ar

This page is a translated version of the page User-Agent policy and the translation is 4% complete.

As of February 15, 2010, Wikimedia sites require a HTTP User-Agent header for all requests. This was an operative decision made by the technical staff and was announced and discussed on the technical mailing list.[1][2] The rationale is, that clients that do not send a User-Agent string are mostly ill behaved scripts that cause a lot of load on the servers, without benefiting the projects. User-Agent strings that begin with non-descriptive default values, such as python-requests/x, may also be blocked from Wikimedia sites (or parts of a website, e.g. api.php).

Requests (e.g. from browsers or scripts) that do not send a descriptive User-Agent header, may encounter an error message like this:

Scripts should use an informative User-Agent string with contact information, or they may be blocked without notice.

Requests from disallowed user agents may instead encounter a less helpful error message like this:

Our servers are currently experiencing a technical problem. Please try again in a few minutes.

This change is most likely to affect scripts (bots) accessing Wikimedia websites such as Wikipedia automatically, via api.php or otherwise, and command line programs.[3] If you run a bot, please send a User-Agent header identifying the bot with an identifier that isn't going to be confused with many other bots, and supplying some way of contacting you (e.g. a userpage on the local wiki, a userpage on a related wiki using interwiki linking syntax, a URI for a relevant external website, or an email address), e.g.:

User-Agent: CoolBot/0.0 (; generic-library/0.0

The generic format is <client name>/<version> (<contact information>) <library/framework name>/<version> [<library name>/<version> ...]. Parts that are not applicable can be omitted.

If you run an automated agent, please consider following the Internet-wide convention of including the string "bot" in the User-Agent string, in any combination of lowercase or uppercase letters. This is recognized by Wikimedia's systems, and used to classify traffic and provide more accurate statistics.

Do not copy a browser's user agent for your bot, as bot-like behavior with a browser's user agent will be assumed malicious.[4] Do not use generic agents such as "curl", "lwp", "Python-urllib", and so on. For large frameworks like pywikibot, there are so many users that just "pywikibot" is likely to be somewhat vague. Including detail about the specific task/script/etc would be a good idea, even if that detail is opaque to anyone besides the operator.[5]

Web browsers generally send a User-Agent string automatically; if you encounter the above error, please refer to your browser's manual to find out how to set the User-Agent string. Note that some plugins or proxies for privacy enhancement may suppress this header. However, for anonymous surfing, it is recommended to send a generic User-Agent string, instead of suppressing it or sending an empty string. Note that other features are much more likely to identify you to a website — if you are interested in protecting your privacy, visit the Cover Your Tracks project.

Browser-based applications written in JavaScript are typically forced to send the same User-Agent header as the browser that hosts them. This is not a violation of policy, however such applications are encouraged to include the Api-User-Agent header to supply an appropriate agent.

As of 2015, Wikimedia sites do not reject all page views and API requests from clients that do not set a User-Agent header. As such, the requirement is not automatically enforced. Rather, it may be enforced in specific cases as needed.


On Wikimedia wikis, if you don't supply a User-Agent header, or you supply an empty or generic one, your request will fail with an HTTP 403 error. Other MediaWiki installations may have similar policies.


If you are calling the API from browser-based JavaScript, you won't be able to influence the User-Agent header: the browser will use its own. To work around this, use the Api-User-Agent header:

// Using XMLHttpRequest
xhr.setRequestHeader( 'Api-User-Agent', 'Example/1.0' );
// Using jQuery
$.ajax( {
    url: 'https://example/...',
    data: ...,
    dataType: 'json',
    type: 'GET',
    headers: { 'Api-User-Agent': 'Example/1.0' },
} ).then( function ( data )  {
    // ..
} );
// Using mw.Api
var api = new mw.Api( {
    ajax: {
        headers: { 'Api-User-Agent': 'Example/1.0' }
} );
api.get( ... ).then( function ( data ) {
    // ...
// Using Fetch
fetch( 'https://example/...', {
    method: 'GET',
    headers: new Headers( {
        'Api-User-Agent': 'Example/1.0'
    } )
} ).then( function ( response ) {
    return response.json();
} ).then( function ( data ) {
    // ...


In PHP, you can identify your user-agent with code such as this:

ini_set( 'user_agent', 'CoolBot/0.0 (;' );


Or if you use cURL:

curl_setopt( $curl, CURLOPT_USERAGENT, 'CoolBot/0.0 (;' );


In Python, you can use the Requests library to set a header:

import requests

url = 'https://example/...'
headers = {'User-Agent': 'CoolBot/0.0 (;'}

response = requests.get(url, headers=headers)
from SPARQLWrapper import SPARQLWrapper, JSON

url = 'https://example/...'
user_agent = 'CoolBot/0.0 (;'

sparql = SPARQLWrapper(url, agent = user_agent )
results = sparql.query()


See also