Your Anki cards are important to you, especially if you’ve put so much time and energy into creating and studying them. So, you may be wondering how can you save and back them all up?
The following article will help you with some very useful Anki tips to give you greater security with Anki and peace of mind.
Can I save and back up my Anki cards by simply dragging the Anki deck folder into an external hard drive?
Short answer: No.
Some Fluent Forever customers have asked whether they can simply drag the initial Anki deck folder into an external hard drive in order to back up their Anki data.
We strongly suggest that you do not drag any Anki folders into your hard drive. The reason you shouldn't drag Anki folders that have your content is because it may cause errors when you move those files and folders in that way, and you may actually lose data, which can be very annoying. It’s also inefficient to use that method.
Two suggested ways to save and back up your Anki decks
There are actually 2 better ways to ensure that you can save your Anki data and never lose them.
1) Use a free AnkiWeb account to sync all your data into the cloud
2) Export an Anki Deck Package (*.apkg) file and use that one file as your backup, which will contain all your Anki data
1) AnkiWeb: Create a free AnkiWeb account (if you don’t have one already), then regularly sync your Anki with AnkiWeb
You can regularly and automatically save your data by creating a free AnkiWeb account and then syncing your computer’s Anki account with your AnkiWeb account. When you "sync", it means that all your files are copied via the internet from your computer to your online AnkiWeb account.
In order to sync your files onto AnkiWeb, click on the sync button in Anki. Make sure you are connected to the internet whenever you click the sync button.
After you click the sync button, you may be asked for your login details for your AnkiWeb account. If you already have an AnkiWeb account, then type in your AnkiWeb ID and password. If you do not have an AnkiWeb account, then you can click on the blue “sign up” link in the “Account Required” popup so that you can quickly create a free AnkiWeb account.
After logging into your AnkiWeb account, click on the sync button again to ensure that all the Anki cards on your computer have been synced to your AnkiWeb account. During the sync, you should see a popup window similar to the one below.
Every time you open or close Anki on your computer, your files will automatically be saved in your AnkiWeb account on the internet. You can also press the "sync" button any time you want to ensure that you sync your files, which can be useful especially after you make major changes to your decks or cards.
Syncing your Anki files with AnkiWeb is beneficial because:
a) If you lose all your Anki files on your computer, then you can download all your Anki decks and cards from your AnkiWeb account.
b) You can study your Anki deck and cards on several devices, such as your computer, smartphone and tablet, and you can easily move your decks and cards to different devices.
c) AnkiWeb is 100% free!
2) Export an Anki Deck Package (*.apkg) file and use that 1 file as your backup, which will contain all your Anki data
"Exporting" allows you to save your Anki collection as a packaged Anki deck file. To export, click the "File" menu and choose "Export", as shown in the image below.
Then, the Export popup box will appear. Make sure all the settings are the same as the ones shown in the image below. That is, make sure the settings are the following:
a) Export format: Anki Deck Package (*.apkg)
b) Include: All Decks
c) Include scheduling information: YES (Check the box)
d) Include media: YES (Check the box)
These settings are important because it ensures that all your Anki decks and files, including your images and sounds, will all be saved and backed up.
Click the "Export..." button.
Next, a yellow popup will display saying, "A file called collection.apkg was saved on your desktop."
Go to your computer's Desktop, and you should now see a new file there called "collection.apkg"
This new file is known as an Anki Deck Package (*.apkg) file. All of your Anki decks, cards, notes, templates, and media will be stored within this one file. You can rename the file to something more useful, such as "Anki Collection Backup as of 23 Dec 2017.apkg", but that is optional.
This one file can serve as a backup of your current Anki collection, and you can use it to transfer all of your Anki data from one computer to another computer or external hard drive.
"Importing" allows you to load your Anki collection from a packaged Anki deck (*.apkg) file. This is useful, for instance, if you exported your Anki data from one computer and you now want to import that Anki data onto another computer. To import, there are two options:
a) Click or Tap the apkg file: Both the computer version and mobile versions of Anki make it easy to import from an apkg file simply by clicking or tapping on it. AnkiWeb does not have the ability to import apkg files however, so you will need to import the apkg file on the computer version or Anki on a mobile device.
b) Import the apkg file from within Anki: You can also import the apkg file by opening Anki. Then, click the "File" menu and choose "Import", and search for your apkg file.