Anki Media Sync downloading someone else's Ankis

Hi everyone,

So I recently broke my phone and got a second hand phone. I factory reset this phone and downloaded Anki, logged into my AnkiWeb account and wanted to download my decks from my PC. My PC and Macbook sync perfectly fine with each other and my old phone used to sync just fine as well.

Now with this new phone, when I sync, all the cards sync correctly, the cloze deletions, all the text etc.
However, the media is not syncing properly. So I decided to check media and it says:
Files in media folder but not used by any cards: 4642
Files used on cards but not in media folder: 3540

I then decided to look at my Android’s files, and in Internal Storage/AnkiDroid/, I find media images that do not belong to me. When I do media check and ask Anki to delete the unused files, it deletes these images that don’t belong to me. I try syncing again and it repeats.

I tried factory resetting my phone again and the problem persists, what should I do?

Thank you

Before you do anything else, I suggest that you back up all your devices.

After that, I suggest that you don’t delete anything from any device until you get responses from the folks here.

Secondly, don’t do any more syncs.
Q: How many devices do you have. I count the following, in sequence from your post:

  • this phone
  • my PC
  • Macbook
  • my old phone
  • this new phone
  • my Android
  • my phone

As a good starting point, it might be a good idea to reply to your own post, with a rewrite of your original post. In it’s current form, it’s difficult to understand.


It is highly unlikely that data from someone else’s account has been downloaded to your device. The logs seem to indicate that you uploaded a large amount of media files over the last few days. That implies that the media files were on one of your devices (such as your desktop), and have been sent to AnkiWeb. Media files are not automatically deleted when you delete a shared deck, so you may have had them lying around from previous shared deck imports.

I have my PC, macbook, my old android phone and my new android phone so 4 total devices.

Yeah i know it sounds unlikely but there are images in my that I have never seen in my life. And also, the media sync is fine, I am able to see images on both my PC and macbook fine, they both transfer between each other perfectly.

As I mentioned above, these are likely files from shared decks you downloaded in the past. Digging into your account further, some of your media files were added to your account a few years back when you originally created an account, and chances are you downloaded some shared decks to test with back then, and no longer remember doing so. After your devices have finished syncing, you can clean up the unused files using the steps shown in the video I linked to above, and then the deletions will sync to your other devices.