Backup file size half means deleted cards?

tldr: is it possible for cards to get deleted automatically? are they recoverable?

Recently started studying my Portuguese deck and surprised to see there are only 400 cards created. In 2020, I spent the better part of 3 months creating cards and I always start a language with the top 500 words.

My last backup on my computer, 2022, shows a file size of 330mb. Today the backup file size is only 295mb. Prior backups have only increased in file size. Is this proof that cards were deleted?

I got an email a year ago saying that things will get deleted if I don’t login and use the system. That email was marked read. Thus, I logged in and synced.

I’m confused.

I don’t know which or if anything was deleted though I’m nearly certain they were as I show ~6700 cards now while in the past I’m nearly certain I had something like 11-13k cards.

I noticed when downloading the backup today there is a box to include older and larger files. If I didn’t click it in the past, do I lose cards older than a certain date?

How can I verify if something was deleted? And what? And can I get it back?

Like many of you I’ve poured hundreds of hours into this app.

Can I combine my deck from 2022 with my current deck?

Thanks so much.

Cards won’t be deleted without some action on your part. Possible explanations are that your database was automatically optimized (happens every few weeks), or that the old backup was exported with an older Anki version with worse compression.

If your AnkiWeb account had been removed, it would have been everything, not just select files. AnkiWeb account removal - Frequently Asked Questions

Is it possible that you’re looking at the number of Notes instead of Cards?

Was it this message during Export? I believe that relates to database compatibility, not to what is included/excluded from the backup.

Yes, you can combine decks, profiles, all sorts of things. What specifically do you have that you are trying to combine?

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