The Polish Wikipedia originated in September 2001 as an independent project under the domain . At the suggestion of the founders of the English Wikipedia, the site was incorporated into the international project as on January 12, 2002, and as on November 22 that year. To avoid domain squatting that could frustrate potential users, the Polish Wikipedia also has its own domain, wikipedia.pl, which redirects to pl.wikipedia.org. On January 27, 2005 the founders of the Polish Wikipedia, Krzysztof P. Jasiutowicz and Paweł Jochym, received the Internet Citizen of the Year 2004 award issued by the Internet Obywatelski society. In July 2005, the tsca.botbot program was instructed to upload statistics from official government pages about French, Polish and Italian municipalities to the Polish Wikipedia. In a few months, the bot uploaded more than 40,000 articles. On October 13, 2009 the Polish Wikipedia received a "special recognition for social innovation" at the 2009 Jan ŁukasiewiczAward ceremony, which recognises the most innovative Polish IT companies. The Polish Wikipedia exceeded 1,000,000 articles on September 24, 2013. In April 2016, the project had 1,140 active editors who made at least five edits in that month.
The text of the Polish Wikipedia was first published on a DVD together with the paper edition of the magazine Enter SPECIAL in August 2005. The publisher did not make any attempt to contact the Wikimedia Foundation prior to making the DVD available on the market, and the edition itself turned out to be illegal, as it violated the GNU FDL license. Additionally, the software used on the DVD worked improperly on Microsoft Windows 98. A second DVD edition was prepared as a joint project of Wikimedia Polska and the Polish publisher Helion. It contained articles written before June 4, 2006. The edition was completed on November 24, 2006, and released at the end of July 2007 with a purchase price of 39 zlotys.
In 2019 Polish Wikipedia had two hundred thousand unique categories. The average article in this language version has 4 categories, while number of unique categories per articles ratio is 0.154. The largest number of articles are in the Politics and People categories. The articles that have the highest average quality are related to entertainment and military. Articles about crime are read more often and have the highest authors' interest on average. In March 2020 the Polish Wikipedia contained 6.0 million references, wherein 2.18% of them had the DOI identifier and 8.61% of references contained the ISBN number. Total share of articles on the Polish Wikipedia with at least one reference was 57.85%. At the time it had 11.58% and 0.3% of articles with at least 10 and 100 references respectively.