issue w/ sharing decks


I’m a high school Spanish teacher and have been using Anki with my students for the past six or seven years. It is incredibly effective and my students themselves recognize how well it works and how superior it is to all other flashcard systems out there.

In beginning the school year this week, I did as I always do and got my students set up on Anki. After installing the software and creating AnkiWeb accounts, I then shared a mini-deck (I have about 15) with their first set of (187) cards for a particular curricular unit. Again, I’ve done this hundreds of times over the years without any issue, but this time for whatever reason when students imported the one mini-deck that I shared, ALL OF MY MINI-DECKS appeared in their Anki, not just the one I shared. Can you explain why this happened or what I can do in the future to avoid it from happening again? My work around this time was to have them delete all of the other mini-decks minus the one I wanted them to have, but I don’t understand what changed from years past or why this happened.

Any information you can give me is greatly appreciated!

Thank you very much for Anki! It is one of the key elements of my very successful pedagogy.

Francisco Teixeira

That sounds odd - did you share it via the AnkiWeb site, or via a local export + distributing an .apkg? If the former, is the deck still online, so I can try importing it to see if the problem is reproducible?

And thank you for the kind words :slight_smile:

Hi Damien,

Thanks for the reply. I shared the .apkg file with my students via their Gmail accounts. Unlike in the past, this time Gmail asked if the people with whom I was sharing the upload item should be “viewer, editor, commenter, etc.”. I chose “editor” not thinking it mattered. Maybe that was the reason?

With a different class and because this had already happened in several classes prior, I chose to share as “viewer”. For whatever reason only two of my decks popped up in those students’ Anki (SP1_U1) and (SP1_U1 singles). So that you understand my nomenclature, “singles” are just the “production” cards while the other decks with the same names minus the singles are the “hearing” and “comprehension” cards.

Here is a screenshot of my school Anki profile:

Let me know if you’d like to test this and I can email you the mini-decks and share them with you (as “editor” or “viewer” or “commenter”).

I’ll await your reply.

Thanks again, Damien!

Francisco Teixeira

Viewer/editor/etc is a Google thing and shouldn’t be related to whatever you’re experiencing here. Please note that if your notes have multiple cards, Anki can not export a subset of the cards. So if your notes have cards spread across decks a, b and c, and you export deck a, you’ll end up with deck b and c as well. Does that explain what you’re seeing?

If not, is your content uploaded to an AnkiWeb account? If so, please let me know the steps you’re taking to export the file, so I can try to reproduce the issue when importing into a fresh profile.

Hello Damien,

To answer your questions. My cards for any given curricular unit are only divided into two groups: one group is the production cards (labeled “singles”) in my Anki school profile; the other group is has the same title for the deck, but without the “singles” designation, and consists of the comprehension and hearing cards. I’m okay if both of those import, as I can have students delete the latter. Just so you know, during the past two years I’ve been able to export just the production cards and only those would import into my students’ Anki profiles.

Yes, all of my school decks are on AnkiWeb. I have three profiles and they’re all under the one labeled “school”. Here are the steps I follow to export a deck, which I then share via email with my students

  1. click on “gear shift icon” to the far right of the deck and choose “export” (please test using SL2_deck 1)
  2. next screen → export format = .apkg | export pull down menu = only SL2_deck 1 (checked “include media” “support older versions”
  3. click export → have it export to my desktop
  4. share deck with students via Gmail account

Thanks again for your help, Damien. I’d really like to resolve this issue.

Much appreciated,

Francisco Teixeira

I can’t seem to find an AnkiWeb account using the email address you’ve used to post here on the forum. If you created an AnkiWeb account using a different email address, please let me know what it is (you can do so privately over on AnkiWeb accounts are optional, so if you’re not using a different email, it’s possible you haven’t synchronized your data to AnkiWeb (and each profile would require a separate email address to sync with if you were using AnkiWeb). If your data is not synced to AnkiWeb, another way you can get it to me is to File>Export your entire collection, including scheduling but excluding media, and then uploading the .colpkg file somewhere like Google Drive. Then please get a shareable link, and send it to me in a private message.

Hi Damien,

I created my AnkiWeb account around seven or eight years ago.

Here is the old email address that I used:

Sorry for the confusion.


One more thing, Damien. Yesterday I shared one of my production-card only mini-decks with a different class (SP1_U1 singles). When they downloaded and imported the deck, only that deck AND the “non-singles” related deck (SP1_U1) containing the same comprehension and hearing cards appeared.

I believe this is what you were saying previously about the different types of notes “existing” together. I’m okay if this is how we resolve/work around this, as it just requires deleting the one deck of comprehension and listening cards.

Just thought you should know.

Thanks again.


I was able to access your AnkiWeb collection, but it appears to contain a different set of decks. I suspect you haven’t got your school profile set up for syncing yet, or have used a different account. Are you able to either sync it to a different account or export a .colpkg and provide it to me privately?

Some more info: Synchronizing multiple profiles - Frequently Asked Questions

Before doing that, it might be worth double-checking your issue is still reproducible. If you follow the same steps that triggered it last time, then use File>Switch Profile to create a new profile for testing, and import the file there, do you still end up with all the decks?

Hi Damien,

Now I’m confused. Yes, I have three profiles: Francisco (my own Anki decks), Ruben (English Anki cards I was making for a friend), and School (all sorts of mini-decks of cards that I use with students as a Spanish teacher). If you see the first screenshot below (profiles), this is what popped up when I clicked on “switch profile”.

The other screenshot below that one (school - Anki) is what automatically popped up when I launched Anki for the first time this morning. When I clicked “upload to AnkiWeb”, it uploaded the data and remained on my “school” profile. Doesn’t that prove that I have an AnkiWeb account for my school profile?


As mentioned in that link above, each profile requires it’s own AnkiWeb account. What you’ve done there is overwrite your AnkiWeb data with your School profile, deleting any data that was previously there. If you then synced one of your other profiles and chose Download, you’d end up overwriting that other profile with your school data, leading to data loss.

Regarding your original issue - I was able to grab your school data since you just uploaded it, and I can reproduce this. It is as I suspected on issue w/ sharing decks - #4 by dae - your notes have cards spread through different decks:


Anki doesn’t export individual cards (it used to, but this was a bug), so when a note’s cards are spread through multiple decks, you’ll end up with those decks too. If you move all of the cards of those notes into the same deck, it will prevent any other decks from being created. You may find the “select notes” option in the browse screen helpful for doing this.

Thank you for this information, Damien. I now understand. I’m going to delete one profile (Rubén) after exporting all of the cards, as I don’t use that profile anymore leaving me with just two, my school profile along with my personal one. I really do want them separate at all times, and never want my personal cards to accidentally pop up in my students’ accounts. That will prevent against that issue/concern, correct?

I’ll play with this over the weekend, but my plan is to create a second AnkiWeb account for my personal cards using a different email address. I understand that this will not resolve the original issue of cards/notes spread across multiple mini-decks, but at least I now understand what the issue is. Moreover, I won’t be regularly overwriting the data and run the risk of losing it.

Thank you very much for all of your time and help, Damien. I really appreciate it!

Francisco Teixeira

Yep, as long as they are each set up to sync to a different AnkiWeb account. You can check the logged-in account in the preferences screen.

And thank you for the kind words! You’re very welcome.

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