Anki fails to open web browser

So, I watched the video, it says click: Get Shared.
I do that, a Loading pops up, disappears after a second or two and… nothing.

It appears that anki is making some assumptions about my computer and its browsers that means it doesn’t work.
Unfortunately, if I manually go to ankiweb I get told in no uncertain terms that it’s impossible to use without using the computer version (which ironically appears to just load a browser… so why do I need the computer version anyway; as a form of gatekeeping? Genuinely confused, I’ve never seen anything like this before).

I’d like to suggest you can’t rely on people have browsers setup in the way you expect. I do have a default browser, but Anki doesn’t seem to want to interact with it. I’d also like to suggest it should be possible to download cards without starting through Anki.
Alas, as it stands I still have no clue how to use Anki because my install is failing at the very first usage hurdle.

The core of Anki is an open-source desktop application to create and review notes/cards. It offers all the features and is extendable by addons.

There are clients for smartphones and tablets that let you create and review notes/cards, but don’t offer all the features and have no support for addons.

Then there is AnkiWeb, which provides the infrastructure to sync your Anki content between devices. It also offers basic functionality to create and review notes/cards for people who don’t have access to other devices or can’t install Anki (e.g. on work computers).

So download Anki for desktop, if available, and fill it with content. It is not a gatekeeper, but the heart of the Anki eco system.


Well, since you’ve submitted this as a suggestion – what are you actually suggesting? (“You’re doing it wrong and should do it better,” reads like an unproductive complaint instead.) I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt that you’re actually trying to help with these posts.

What suggested solutions do you have for the devs about what would make this work on your particular system? For instance – What OS is it? Does your default browser successfully and universally open urls/links from other apps on your computer (because if your default browser can’t do that then there’s not much hope here)? Which ones?

And what other work-arounds have you considered?

Well… that’s not the right page to download shared decks, so we can’t do anything about you not finding shared decks there. But the right page is quite easy to find – it’s the top several Google results for anki shared decks. That seems like the next logical step for a new user who found that the “Get Shared” button didn’t work for them.

It’s a link to the site where you can download and install every version of the app. I’m sure you have seen that before, since I explained it to you last week.

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Thanks, but I have downloaded it, unfortunately it doesn’t do anything, that’s my problem, hence this thread.

Well I don’t know how to use it or what it’s trying to do, so I’m constrained in how much constructive feedback I can offer.
Admittedly some of the feedback I provided has to be inferred. To be explicit:

  • It shouldn’t fail invisibly.
  • If no default browser is detected, it should warn the user.
  • It should be possible to access the anki cards directly from the home website.
  • The several paragraphs of text’s there now should be more clearer and more succinct.

Why is that not the right page? How is a user meant to find the right page themselves? What problem is being solved by having a page telling users to download an application that itself will load a web-browser?
Or to be less Socratic: The user should be able to access and download cards from ankiweb directly and without having to use any third party tools or websites.

Everything should be discoverable through basic site navigation using the various web-design precepts that have been developed over the last 3 decades.

It never occurred to me to search for the page because I assumed if there was one, it would be easily discoverable on the ankiweb site. Instead the site explicitly tells me I can only access it via downloading some software. API’s don’t tend to be discoverable by web-searches unless you know exactly what to look for, and as we’ve established, as a new user, I have no idea what I’m looking for.

I’m seeking to be, yes. I’m providing the “new user” perspective, as it seems a lot of assumptions are made that aren’t necessarily compatible with how a new user would expect to use a site.

Well, since you’ve submitted this as a suggestion – what are you actually suggesting? (“You’re doing it wrong and should do it better,” reads like an unproductive complaint instead.)

I’d further point out: Actually what I was trying to submit was a bug report, but Anki doesn’t appear to have one of them.
faqs ankiweb net when-problems-occur html

leads to:
docs ankiweb net troubleshooting html (this project really likes its needless redirects!)

leads to:
docs ankiweb net getting-help html

So while you’re welcome to read it as an “unproductive complaint”, this is on Anki for not providing a more suitable location for reporting bugs.

Anki is built on a GUI toolkit called Qt, and it asks Qt to open your browser. If it’s not working, this is either a bug in Qt, or a problem with your system configuration. If you wish to report it as a bug, please see Report an issue to Qt · Issue #2652 · ankitects/anki · GitHub