How to find out what Anki is "Processing..."?

I believe Anki didn’t use to show “Processing” in older versions.

The “Processing” progress window now pops up in many cases, whether it’s clicking on a deck or opening the cards browser. What makes it particularly annoying is it just says “Processing…” without telling you what the heck it is actually doing.

Obviously I am omniscient, but what about your mere humans?

Is there a debug ENV var or CLI flag for finding out what is happening when Anki is “Processing…”? Even so, shouldn’t Anki be more informative about it in the UI?

Note I don’t have any addon installed at all. What could it be processing except syncing? And if it’s syncing, why doesn’t it just say it’s syncing?

I’m blatantly dodging your main question to suggest it might be possible to solves the underlying problem. If you’re seeing this often enough to take note – I wonder if you could make it go away. When was the last time you ran a Check Database or Check Media?

I do these fairly regularly. Just did again on your suggestion :slight_smile:

I’m not seeing “Processing…” too often, perhaps, except my baseline is never.
In any case, the question stands…

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Does it continue after updating to 24.04?

Oh, let me clarify a bit, I don’t mean that “Processing…” pops up every time I click on a deck or open the cards browser. It just happens a little too often to make me wonder what it’s doing.

I have now updated from 23.12.1 to 24.04, but I can’t tell what difference it makes, yet. It’s not a “deterministic” / “reproducible” procedure, only an impression from day-to-day use. I guess that’s part of my complaint: that it’s doing something automatically depending on some factors. I just wish it were more transparent / controllable.

It will pop up any time a long-running operation takes longer than about 600ms to complete. This could be because some other long-running action was already running, or because your machine’s disk is temporarily slow (because of other background activity)


Today when I opened the cards browser (pressing b), the “Processing…” windows pops up again, and stayed for a couple seconds. What is it doing in this case? How do I find out (the question in OP)? I feel this is a little too in your face.

Does it have to be so slow? I wonder if this happens for everybody as well? Really there isn’t anything special in my setup I don’t think; I have no add-ons installed, only several thousand cards, 1.5k or so pictures, that’s it. My hard disk is a SSD, not a slow old magnetic spinner.

Opening the browser requires reading in all decks, tags, notetypes, etc from the database, so they can be shown in the side bar. The time it takes will depend on how many of those you have.

The “Processing…” window comes up way too often for me. Maybe it doesn’t come up every day, but at least every other day when I open the cards browser or click open a deck. It stays a few long seconds.

Presumably, this can’t be the normal user experience. I have no clue why, but a wild guess: Do cards of a cloze(-based) type take more processing? (Most of my cards are cloze deletions.)

Another thought, easy for me to say, is that we can easily imagine this “Processing…” being done in the background. For example, when I’m reviewing flashcards for the day, Anki has plenty of time doing whatever processing it needs to do; why should it force me to wait for it to finish all this work before letting me get to the review?

It depends on what’s running in the background on your computer, and what information is currently cached in memory vs on disk.

Only one operation can run at once. When Anki is busy for longer periods, a progress window is shown, as otherwise it would appear the UI had was stuck if you tried to interact with it.