Can I disable leeches altogether?

I don’t get the point of this feature. It pops up that a card was a leech after the card is gone? What possibility for action does that give me?

This section in the manual explains the reasoning behind leeches, what options you have to handle them and the associated settings.
In short, you do have the option to get a warning instead of suspension.



I was about to post the same link.

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I get it. I already disabled suspension.

But… what’s the point of a warning if it pops up after the card has already disappeared?

But one solution would be to put the leech threshold to 999 or something?

I think you do not get the point of it.
Leeches have to be dealt with. They are usually caused by bad formulation or incoherent knowledge. Do you follow the 20 rules of formulating knowledge, as advised by the SRS gurus at Supermemo?

Do not set the treshold up. It will only cause you pain and waste your time. Instead, I’d even recommend lowering it! At the end of the day, or at least every week, go through all cards which have been flagged leech and revisit that knowledge to reformulate it. Or, delete the card if it doesn’t seem to be worth your time to be learned.

It is also advised to get into the habit of reformulating and adding cards during review. Doing this, cards often can be saved and improved before turning into leeches.


OK. Sure.

But am I right that the leeches popup shows after the card is already gone? How is that helpful?

So I have to go in after the fact and select all cards that are leeches and review them?

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Yes/no. It will only show you that a card is a leech after you have graded it, and then it will disappear. In other SRS, the philosophy is a bit different: in Supermemo, cards remain to be seen even after you graded them, no matter if as pass or fail. So yes, you will only see that a card has been a leech in Anki after you’ve already graded it and see the next card.

Actually, I’d even recommend automatically suspending those cards, depending on your situation. You will have to reformulate leeches anyway, they are not sustainable in the long run. In this case, make it a habit of going over them, adding additional cards, reformulating them (or deleting them, if they are not worth your time) and rescheduling them from time to time, like once a week or daily.

However, if you noticed you have a card wrong, you should probably think about reformulating it already, before grading it.

These two add-ons come in handy:

Please notice that the latter one currently has a small bug, which can be fixed:


So I have to go in after the fact and select all cards that are leeches and review them?

No. If you are committed to fight leeches, first - delete the tag Leech from all cards; why:

  1. most OLD leeches might be not leeches anymore.
  2. A lot of leeches arouse from failing the OVERDUE cards ( which one should not fail, but defer.

If you have a habit of post-viewing the Failed cards in Browse screen (after all dues are done),
put the column “Tags” next to the Front column; you will see if some cards were leeches; deal with them NOW.

3. Reducing the limit from 8 to 4 is very good idea ! I set mine at 3.
4. Leeches are time eaters.
5. You can put TAG name on the card:
if you forgot the card, look if there is tag ‘leech’. If it was leech, try to fix it BEFORE rating.