Was backup on Anki close removed? It doesn't work

Version ⁨2.1.51 (cf78a555)⁩, Python 3.9.10 Qt 5.15.2 PyQt 5.15.5 doesn’t create backup on cloze.

Is it expected behavior or a bug? In 2.1.49 there was a feature “create backup on cloze”. Was it removed?

Was it replaced by this new feature: “Minutes between automatic backup”? I think they are two separate features.

If it was removed please bring it back, because it was a very good feature. I will definitely use Create Backup option but may have problem to remember about it.

Backups on close were flawed:

  • If you frequently opened and closed Anki, you ended up with too many backups
  • If you rarely closed Anki, backups were rarely created
  • They slowed down Anki closing

With the ‘minutes between backups’ setting, backups are now evenly spaced apart, and if you close Anki and open it the next day, a backup will happen within 5 minutes of opening the profile.


But that is relatively rare situation when users add / test some add-ons.

That is an argument to add option that are present now to make backups more frequently but not against backup on cloze.

Indeed. But was it that important? In testing situations yes, but I don’t think that if someone studies for 30 - 60 minutes that few seconds make a big difference.

The point is that when I have automatic backup set to 10 minutes and I finish all my studying after 5 minutes, these 5 minutes work is not backuped.

Let’s say someone has disk crash and have backups on some wi-fi backup drive they will end up repeating 5 minutes work from the previous day.

The ultimate solution would be to leave backup on cloze as an option. When add-ons are tested or in similar situations users / developers could disable it.

Now I have to remember about creating backup before clozing anki which forces me to use menu. So far I just clozed Anki with window cloze button like other applications.

So, all Anki users must develop a new habit if they want to have backup of the whole work done in this particular day / session.

They are if you sync automatically on close. And even if you don’t, disk crashes are rare, and losing a small amount of work in those cases is not the end of the world.

With a separate backup on close, you could end up with an automatic backup and then one only seconds later when you close the app. It’s not terribly efficient. If that doesn’t bother you, you could run Anki with a .bat file that creates a copy of your collection after Anki closes to emulate the old behaviour.

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The cases when users need to use backup are also rare. It is not only about repetitions but also changes in template, the whole user collection.

To me backup at random times like for example 10 minutes doesn’t make much sense. It makes much more sense to create backup manually after finishing a deck or introducing important changes to template and I do it anyway regardless of automatic backup.

But it is not very frequent event either.

This new solution is only effective when backups are done very frequently like 2-5 minutes but still doesn’t replace manual backup. With bigger intervals like 30 minutes users still need to think about necessity of doing backup after important changes or having finished a big pile of cards to feel that backup serves its purpose.

Of course I am not against the new options. They are useful, indeed. I am just drawing conclusion that if someone wants to have the feeling that their data is effectively backuped manual backup at closing or an option to backup at closing is the best solution.

It is the same like working with text editor like MS Word. If you compose a document and you have Word set to save it every 1 minute and you type last word like 40 seconds after last save and you wish to keep this as a file on disk you save it manually before closing. That is the normal way people handle their work. They don’t wait 20 seconds for the next automatic save and they don’t close program without saving with the awareness that some of text may be lost if the document is important. People don’t think: “Never mind - I can retype it next time”. Word even asks whether user wants to keep / save document before closing. I am not saying that Anki should ask, I am just explaining how I think about backups and that I want to have full backup of my work, not only a part of it.

Of course I can handle manual backups or create script for this.

Text editors discard any unsaved work, and usually don’t create backups. Anki doesn’t discard anything, and does create backups. I don’t see the point of this comparison.
I wouldn’t concern myself too much with the potential risk of disk failures. Not many users encounter them, and those who do tend to be overjoyed to recover even several-days-old data, just look at some threads here.

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Disk crash is not the only case when users use Anki backup. The other case is when user mess up something by using add-on and there are probably more cases.

I know that all changes in Anki are saved in real time and normally users don’t have a need to revert from backup. This discussion is about how to make backups to make the most of them.

@ Rumo
Do you prefer partial backup over full backup?

Can you see the difference between partial backups and full backup when you need to use it?

I didn’t mention text editor to compare it to backup. I mentioned it to explain how people think about saving their work. People save their work when it is finished. Anki does that as well. But when someone use backup for whatever reason they want to revert to their finished work not to partial work.

The reason why people use backup is actually not important here. What is important is why people create backup and to what extent Anki can help them in this task.

Of course I can make backups myself manually or even with external programs that are created specifically for this purpose but this is another story. Actually all users can create .bat files that would create backups every minute or whatever they prefer.

It’s not terribly efficient.

With optional backup on cloze that would not be a problem for those who don’t want to use it and not a problem for those who want to use it.

I appreciate you taking the time to offer your thoughts, and we’ll keep an eye on how this functionality is received as it rolls out to more users.

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