Lost PC desktop - please advise me

I installed Anki some years ago, but am not very familiar with the use of it and also have lost (apparently irretrievably - Disk Drill failed to help) all the data associated with it. (This loss was not while anki was running)

I used to create data on the PC, sync it to the web, then download sync it to ipad ankimobile where i intend to do the actual memorising. If I click synchronise on the ipad all the expected data seems to still be there, so currently i assume both the server and ipad data is ok and intact and untouched by the PC chaos.

Win10 still thinks it has a program Anki version 2.1.65. But I have not run this yet without knowing what to do next. Will the profile information be with the now-disappeared anki data? Can I request/force ankiweb to download a new environment for me?, or does there have to be an empty profile already on the PC for it to download into?

Do I need to recreate my profile on the PC first, then request a download ?

Also, I seem to recall downloading all kinds of options into Anki relating perhaps to Japanese and Korean. Is there any record kept on the server of what versions and options I had downloaded ?

If I rerun Anki locally without having the exact same options that were used previously to create all the records, will this cause anomalies or corruption?

Sorry about the length.

See Restoring an Automatic Backup (Recovering from Data Loss) - Frequently Asked Questions

There are 2 Anki locations on a Windows system.

  • The app is installed (by default) in %LOCALAPPDATA%\Programs\Anki
  • The profile-by-profile data (including your collection, media, and backups) and Anki add-ons are stored in %APPDATA%\Anki2 Managing Files - Anki Manual (or elsewhere for older versions)

If your profile data is truly lost on your PC (as in, the profile folder and/or Anki2 folder is completely missing), then when you start Anki, it will create a new blank profile for you. But this won’t have any syncing information in it, so your data on AnkiWeb and your ipad will be safe. Then you can setup syncing (Syncing with AnkiWeb - Anki Manual) – with your existing AnkiWeb account (https://ankiweb.net/account/settings). The first “sync” will always be in only one direction, so make sure to select Download to bring your collection from AnkiWeb to your PC.

If you find your profile data is still there on your PC, but is outdated, you should be fine starting Anki on your PC and your local collection will auto-sync with any new information from AnkiWeb. However, if you have any concerns about the condition of your profile on your PC, you can start Anki while holding down Shift (until you see the confirmation message) to stop the auto-sync from happening. Then set the next sync to be forced in one direction (Preferences - Anki Manual), and when you sync make sure to select Download to bring your collection from AnkiWeb to your PC.

I don’t think any record of that is kept within Anki or synced to a server. That is all stored in the addons21 folder alongside your profile data (at the Anki2 location). If you’ve lost that folder, you’re going to be starting over. I’d suggest adding them one-at-a-time, making sure that each of them works with the version on Anki you have installed.

Running Anki with no add-ons – that should be fine, and you’ll just be missing functionality.
Running Anki with the same add-on, but different settings/options – that depends a bit on what add-ons you had and what they were doing, so it’s hard to speculate. Most of the time it shouldn’t be a problem. But you’ll have local automatic backups and you can make a manual backup before you start loading add-ons (Backups - Anki Manual), so you’ll be able to recover if anything goes wrong.

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