Subject: Urgent Help Needed: Anki Review Cards Issue

Hi everyone,

I am a dedicated Anki user from South Korea, and I am facing a severe issue with Anki that is driving me nearly insane. As a non-native English speaker, I used a translator to write this post, so please excuse any mistakes. I am in such a frantic state trying to resolve this problem that I did not have time to proofread thoroughly.

Here’s the situation:

Before going on vacation, I finished all my reviews and decided to suspend all my Anki cards. To be safe, I also backed up my Anki files before leaving. After my vacation, I opened Anki and unsuspended my cards, expecting everything to be just as it was before my trip. However, to my absolute horror, I found that the review cards had continued to accumulate during my absence, resulting in a massive backlog.

This unexpected behavior from Anki left me shocked and frustrated beyond belief. I then tried my fallback plan: restoring the backup file I had saved before my vacation. But this didn’t work either. Inexplicably, the restored file included all the reviews that had accumulated during my vacation, not the pre-vacation state I had backed up. This is an absolute nightmare. I cannot comprehend why Anki would adopt such a frustrating system that recalculates review cards instead of simply restoring the exact backup state.

I am now at my wit’s end. The only remaining options seem to be mindlessly marking all the overdue reviews as “Easy” to clear them out or quitting Anki altogether.

Could anyone please help me with:

  1. A way to clear all the accumulated reviews in Anki without affecting the card states?
  2. A method to restore my backup file to its exact state before my vacation without any automatic review recalculations?

I have spent over 5 hours desperately searching online for a solution but to no avail. I am on the verge of losing my mind over this. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you in advance for your help.

A method to restore my backup file to its exact state before my vacation without any automatic review recalculations?

Technically, your collection is in the exact state it was left in as you started your vacation. The only thing that has changed is that time has passed making a lot of cards’ next due dates point to the past.

A way to clear all the accumulated reviews in Anki without affecting the card states?

If your vacation was X days long, I guess what you want is essentially to have the all of your cards’ due dates moved forward by X days?

Some options to do this:

  • The simplest option: If you want to pick up your reviews from where you left off, simply beginning to go through the backlog will essentially do just that. Set a maximum amount of reviews per day and start going through them. You will be seeing your cards in the same order you would’ve seen them had you done reviews during the vacation.
  • Edit the cards’ due dates manually: Perhaps you could use FSRS Helper addon’s Postpone function? The intended use case would seem to be exactly what you want here.
    • However, I think you need to have FSRS enabled in Anki to use this. Are you using the new FSRS scheduler or the default scheduler?
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I’m going on vacation. Can I pause the scheduler?
Due times after a break

You can put the backlog in a filtered deck. To reduce the psychological pressure, you can hide the filtered deck in a deck with a limit on repetition.
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Until you figure out the backlog, do not enter new cards.

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Thank you so much for your kind response. Given my limited knowledge of computers, I think the second option you suggested would be best for me. I have been using the default Anki algorithm, but I am now considering trying out the FSRS scheduler.

However, I have some additional questions about the FSRS scheduler.

Before that, let me explain how I have been using Anki so far. I haven’t really utilized Anki’s forgetting curve. I set the maximum review interval to 60 days, so most of my 10,000 cards had a review interval of 60 days (meaning most cards in Anki were mature cards). I also set the maximum daily review limit to 300 cards per deck, so I reviewed my 10,000 cards over a 60-day period.

After reading about the FSRS scheduler you mentioned, I realized my previous method was quite foolish. Therefore, I plan to install the FSRS scheduler and use it to learn based on the forgetting curve. In this case, after configuring FSRS and optimizing it, should I leave the daily review limit unset and keep the default review interval (36500 days) to review all the cards that are due each day?

I’m sorry if I’m being a bother with these additional questions. Thank you again for your assistance.

Thank you very much for your kind reply. I have an additional question, but I am not familiar with the site’s format, so I wrote it below. I would really appreciate it if you could reply when you have time.

There is no option to leave it unset. But, you can set it to a high value such as 9999 so that the limit is never reached.

Yes.

However, if you want to, you can change it to 1825 (5 years) or 3650 (10 years) too. If you are interested, here is a past discussion on this: Decrease the default value of "Maximum interval"