Weird behavor regarding deck import

Hi !
For some context, I have two ankiweb accounts, one where I do my reviews and one to store the decks I’m not currently reviewing and back up the one(s) I’m currently reviewing.
So. To do that, once every two to three weeks I export and import the deck I use (in an apkg file). I noticed something weird when importing last time, between the last two imports I move sub-subdecks between subdecks and they got “duplicated” in my backup account. See the screenshots.

I checked all boxes to update notes, merge notetypes etc when importing.

Thanks for checking it out

I just thought, maybe you could add an option to completly “rewrite” a deck. For example when I import my deck “DFGSM2” there would be a checkbox “replace a deck”, when checked it would open a dialog box or just a list of all decks and subdecks to select one of them that would be completely wiped and replaced by the one imported.

I’m going to start with advice that doesn’t answer your question, but does eliminate your issue –

You don’t need to be doing all this export/import backing-up. [And you certainly don’t need to syncing your duplicate profile to AnkiWeb! That seems like a waste of space on this resource we have available to us for free. Imagine if everyone backed-up their collection twice on AnkiWeb?]

Anki makes automatic backups for you frequently – many times each day, Backups - Anki Manual – and you can make a manual back-up any time you want. [Make sure to backup your media periodically as well – maybe you can keep that on your every 2-3 week schedule.]

You can copy any of those backups to another storage location for extra security if you want, but they don’t need to be imported into Anki. They are fine just sitting there quietly becoming outdated.

As to your issue, the structure of your deck “tree” matters for a lot of things, and moving subdecks around is relatively rare. If you were syncing your collection, or doing a full collection backup (colpkg), deck “deletion” would be preserved.

I don’t think there’s much of a use case for wiping out an existing deck automatically, and since it would also delete any cards that remained in that deck (you seem to have several leftover cards in your old decks), it could go badly very quickly. Hopefully the better solutions above will mean you don’t need to worry about this in the future.

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Thanks for your response!
I admit to being a bit paranoid about my Anki data because it is, honestly, what keeps me successful in med school. If I lose that data, I think I will fail my school year.

I’ve considered anki’s automatic backups, but unfortunately they don’t fit my needs, as the media I have is essential (sometimes it’s the only answer to my card). And I also keep my manual backups in multiple copies.

The other account helps me not to have to scroll through multiple decks and tags when creating my cards. But I recognize that it’s a waste of resources, and I’m going to stop synchronizing on that account. It’s mainly here when I need to check cards I don’t normally review.

Finally, I would like to see an option to enable automatic media backups even at the cost of storage space (if it doesn’t have a bottleneck in another way), maybe that’s just what I need?

I understand the paranoia – no worries!

As far as your media – you’ve currently got it in your primary profile folder, as well as on AnkiWeb, and if you sync with any other devices, it’s there too. I’ll be the first to say – you shouldn’t count on AnkiWeb to be your only backup, but in a network of backups, it’s a nice piece to the puzzle.

It’s also hard to lose media in Anki since (1) it isn’t automatically deleted when you delete the notes that use it, and (2) it isn’t overwritten in a one-way sync of your collection. Short of manually deleting it in Check Media (which only 1-step deletes it to a still-accessible trash folder), manually deleting it from your folder (while sleep-walking perhaps?), or [tuh-tuh, knock-on-wood, protective amulet of your choice, etc.] hardware failure/loss of one of the storage locations – that media wants to stick with you.

But, to cover all your bases – you can setup automatic media backups with any generic backup software, and get another reliable duplicate in cloud storage or on an external drive. Depending on how much space you have, you can backup your entire Anki2 folder – Managing Files - Anki Manual – but probably just your folder (inside your profile folder), will be enough. Just set it to run when you’re not going to be using Anki, so it doesn’t run into any collisions on the files.


Wonderfull ! I’ll try that, since the beginning I’ve relied on my manual deck and collection backups (+ ankiweb) that I put on multiple drives on multiple pc and on the cloud. But have it done automaticaly could save me a lot of trouble.
All the firewalls for the media deletion reassured me and I’ll be sleeping a little better everytime haha.
Thanks so much !

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