Accidentally Overrode Large Deck

I hadn’t used Anki on this PC before this. I haven’t used the desktop version in a year, and the one I made previously was much much much much smaller and on another laptop that barely functions.

I installed Anki because I wanted to download a B1 German deck. I can’t remember if I properly logged onto the desktop version prior to doing a sync or if I signed on afterwards, but when I installed the German deck, I think I pressed the wrong option as my current, self-made deck disappeared.

I checked the ‘backups’ folder, there was a backup from 10 minutes prior but it’s only 45KB, so I’m assuming it’s a backup of when I did the sync as if it contains my overriden deck files, it should be larger. There’s an error when I try to open the back up it says there’s an error and to close Anki and try again, if I press import, nothing comes up.

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Depending on how you installed the deck, you may have “merged” it with your handmade deck. In this case, the notes are still there, they just are in the other deck (in this case, just create a new deck and move back the cards).

Could you show the error?

The backup itself is only 45KB (which is way too tiny for all those cards) and was made 10 minutes prior to the override, I’m assuming this was automatic when I did the sync.

This message just means that, when you restore a backup (which is supposed to be a previous version of your collection), Anki won’t try to sync that, since that would cause a regression, and won’t automatically backup that, since you’d be backuping an old version. If you want to stick with that version, restart Anki.

Depending on the backup you did, your media may not have been included, in which case 45KB seems reasonable as a backup size.

Besides, backup are usually automatically made by Anki before you make changes to your collection (that is, before syncing, before importing, …). See the manual for more information about that.

The top is the one I’m talking about, the second is the German deck I installed that has 1.9k cards (with audio) according to the description.

First of all, you should make a manual backup right now to avoid further deterioration of your collection. Then, you could try restoring that backup (as explained in the link above) in an other profile, just to see what it contains.

It’s just that that error comes up every time I press ‘Open Backup’, it then automatically imports it, and there’s nothing there.

Just to be sure, how do you check there is nothing there? Do you see an empty deck imported, or not even that?

This is after the error comes up after I press ‘Open Backup’, even if I restart Anki afterwards. The same thing happens if I click ‘Import’.

The error comes up when I open the backup file containing the German deck that overrided my first deck, but the German deck does come up just fine afterwards

I’ve also tried Tools->Check Database, which doesn’t fix the issue.

If you go in the browser in your original profile, do you see notes from your old deck in addition to notes of the new deck?

No, it’s the exact same. If I type a word from the old deck into the search bar on Anki Web, it doesn’t appear I’m afraid. I don’t think this can be recovered, but thank you for helping.

EDIT: I logged onto my old laptop and managed to salvage a version with 49 cards. I’ve lost several hundred but at least it’s something lol.

42 kB indeed seems to be the size of an empty backup. And the 2 only backups indicate that the profile was only created today.
However, you say that you have a self-made deck of several hundred cards that doesn’t exist on your older machine. So where did you create it? Was it on AnkiWeb? Did you see it on your new machine?
I can’t imagine how it would vanish without a backup being triggered. Maybe there is another profile? You can check via Anki’s profile screen or the Anki2 folder.

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I initially created it on my old laptop because I wanted to install a few other decks simultaneously, I’ve managed to salvage 49 of the cards from there as that’s how much I had before I switched to using Anki Web on mobile.

I’ve been using Anki Web on mobile for a long time ever since, as my laptop is painfully old and slow. I used my sister’s (much quicker) computer today to install another deck, but I think I clicked the wrong option when installing a separate deck on the desktop app (because I wanted it to appear on the web version as well), which overrode the file.

Unfortunately, there isn’t another profile it seems, but I can live with it. I remember the words I was struggling with memorising before I lost the deck, so I’ll just recreate them.

Ah, so you’ve been adding notes on That’s unfortunate, you wouldn’t have any local backups then. However, I’ve read before that AnkiWeb itself creates weekly backups. As a very last resort, we can ask @dae if there is anything to restore, when he gets the chance.

By the way, Damien, could users be given the option to backup (download) their AnkiWeb collection when they force-push, just like their local collection is backed up when they force-pull?


@Bequem02 I can restore your AnkiWeb collection to a backup from the 20th, where there are 350 cards in that deck. It will overwrite anything you’ve added in the mean time, so if you’d like me to proceed, make sure you have backed everything up first and then give me the go-ahead.

@Rumo it’s something I’ve considered before, but I’m a bit concerned about doubling the bandwidth and time required for a full upload


That would be great if possible please. I’ve copied the text for the cards I’ve added since I lost the deck, so I can just add them to the restored deck.

Thank you very much, I’ll buy the Anki app next time I get paid. :slight_smile:


I’ve restored your AnkiWeb collection from a backup - please choose Download on the next sync. And thank you for your support :slight_smile: