Top Features in the New MediaWiki 1.39

Professional Wiki
3 min readFeb 11, 2023


Learn about the top new features from the latest long-term support version of MediaWiki. It was published in December 2022 and will be maintained until November 2025.

Field with sunflowers in all states of blooming.
Sunflower Field near Raichur, India by MikeLynch, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

MediaWiki 1.39 includes several new features, bug fixes, and performance improvements. There are some notable changes for the editors and administrators of a wiki:

  • Better mobile support, with improved styling and layout for smaller screens, is provided via the bundled Vector 2022 skin. These improvements are part of an effort that started in May 2019 and concluded in February 2023.
  • This release adds services and utilities to create temporary user accounts automatically on page save to avoid exposing the user’s IP address, improving data protection for anonymous editors. This feature is, however, currently experimental and needs to be enabled explicitly via a configuration parameter ($wgAutoCreateTempUser).
  • When deleting or undeleting pages, administrators can simultaneously do the same for the associated talk page. This improvement in deleting pages will help avoid performing the same action twice, once for the page and one time for the talk page.
  • A new wikitext magic word {{=}} is available. This new magic word obsoletes the "=" template. Thus, you no longer need to set it up in new wikis. Using it, you can escape an equal sign "=" for unnamed template arguments.
  • To manage allowed domains, you may use uploading files by pasting the URL of the file into the upload field; a new page is available (“MediaWiki:Copyupload-allowed-domains”). On this page, the interface administrators of the wiki can maintain a list of permissible URLs for uploading files. If desired, you need to enable this feature via a configuration parameter ($wgCopyUploadAllowOnWikiDomainConfig).
  • Many more updated translations for the interface of MediaWiki are available now. Moreover, another eleven languages with message translations add to more than 350 existing languages.

There is also news for system administrators for MediaWiki we want to mention at this point:

  • Very important to know: No direct upgrade from MediaWiki 1.33 or lower is supported. To prevent data loss, you must first upgrade to MediaWiki 1.35 before upgrading to MediaWiki 1.39.
  • This release requires PHP 7.4.3 or higher.

Suppose you want to keep the administrative effort for upgrading your MediaWiki instance at a minimum. In that case, this MediaWiki 1.39 release is for you. Note that the previous long-term support release MediaWiki 1.35, is still supported until September 2023, meaning you still have a reasonable amount of time to plan and do your MediaWiki upgrade if you use that version. See the upgrade guide in our help center for valuable information. You can also check out the installation and configuration guides provided in our help center.


Overall, MediaWiki 1.39 is a significant update that offers numerous improvements and enhancements to the platform, making it an even more powerful and helpful tool for building and maintaining wikis.

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Image credit: MikeLynch, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons