Solved: how to delete cards from a deck

Make a ‘discardable’ note type.
Select the cards to delete and change their note types to your discardable note.
Delete the cards. Since only cards using that note will also be deleted, all the rest of the regular cards will remain untouched.
This fixes at least one of the most perplexing behaviors of Anki. You can add one card at a time, but not delete a mistake? Me no understand why something so obvious is not a trivial task. Anki is full of these kinds of weirdnesses

I’m having trouble understanding what you’re using this workaround for. Would you please elaborate a bit more?

Decks are made from a collection of Cards. Cards are based on Notes. A ‘Note’ is a template that defines what kind of information is on a card and how the card behaves. Different cards can use different Notes, and a Deck can be made up of any kind of card, although I think it is very common that all the cards in a deck are based on the same Note.

Critical to this answer is that you can edit a card at any time and even change the Note that it is based on.

Now, I can add a card to a deck at any time. Often you will just keep adding cards to a new empty deck until you have made all the cards you want. Sometimes though, you might make a mistake. It is possible to completely edit the card, but more likely you accidently made a duplicate. Anki will let you know when you have a duplicate. If even one card in a deck is the ‘same’ as a card in another deck, it is considered a duplicate. There are probably ways to delete just duplicates but I have not discovered that. Or you might just want to remove a set of cards you are done with.
Anyway, it should be an intuitive step to add a card to a deck, or delete a card from a deck. There is no way to do the latter because EVERY card that uses the same Note will also be deleted.
So I made a dummy note that you can change one or more cards to when you want to delete them.
This knowledge comes from a lot of headaches learning how Anki works. I can’t get into the details of how to find and select the cards you want or stuff like that.
Hope this makes more sense.

Thanks for the explanation! You appear to have a good understanding of how Anki works, but I also am under the impression that there is some confusion about certain points. In particular, regarding the exact definition of Cards and Notes, and the difference between Notes and Note Types.

If I were to rewrite your initial paragraph:

  • Decks are made from a collection of Cards.
  • Each Card belongs to a Note.
  • Each Note has 1 or more Cards. Notes define what information is on a card.
  • Each Note belongs to a Note Type (e.g., Basic or Cloze)
  • ‘Note Types’ and ‘Card Types’ are templates that define how the card behaves.

This section of the manual should be helpful: Key Concepts - Anki Manual.

Regarding your workaround, it seems to me that it is not necessary: deleting a Card will also delete all other cards belonging to the same Note, not to the same Note type.
For example, if I were to right click on Card 1 and choose delete, Card 2 and Card 3 would also be deleted, but all other Notes belonging to the ‘Cloze Demo’ Note type (which are not shown in the screenshot) would not be affected at all.


Hmmm, did not realize there was a Note and a Note Type, guess more reading is in order, thanks!

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I’m finding the difference between a Note and a Note Type to be unclear. What information is contained in a Note that is not already described in a Note Type? Why does a card have to have a Note when all that is needed is to assign it to a Note Type?
And you can’t delete a Card, only a Note. That seems like a confusing notion for a user, who will always think in terms of Cards, not Note. I don’t have a stack of ‘notes’. I have a deck of cards!

However, I just reset my laptop and reinstalled Anki and now when I delete a Note it only deletes that. Before it would delete all 1000 cards! So perhaps a bug and my ‘fix’ is now obsolete.

I think your confusion might be due to a misunderstanding of the difference between a Note and a Card.

  • A “Note Type” is something like “Basic”, or “Basic (and reversed card)”, or “Cloze”. It has a set of fields, and a set of card templates. You can create your own Note Types, and modify the existing ones. For example, you might create a Note Type called Countries, with fields called Country, Capital, Flag. It might have a card template with What is the capital of {{Country}}? on the front and {{Capital}} on the back. There might be another card template with {{Flag}} is the flag of which country? on the front template and {{Country}} on the back template.
  • A Note is the set of values that you enter when you do Add. For example, Country: England, Capital: London, Flag: (an image of the Union Jack).
  • A card is what Anki generates for you - it fills in the {{fields}} from the templates with the values in the note. Each card is what you actually see when you review, and has its own schedule. You cannot directly modify cards; they are always and solely generated based on the notes and templates.

From: Reddit - What’s the difference between Note and Card

For example:

This is a Note. Since it uses the Basic (and reversed card) Note Type, when you study the deck Anki will show two distinct Cards (1. Front → Back, 2. Back → Front)

Card 1 (Front → Back)

Card 2: (Back → Front)

(If you were to add a Note with the same field contents, but using the Basic Note Type instead, Anki would generate only 1 Card (in the direction Front → Back))

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