Anki stores the sounds and images used in your notes in a folder next to the collection. For more on the folder location, please see the file locations section. When you add media within Anki, either by using the paperclip icon in the editor or by pasting it into a field, Anki will copy it from its original location into the media folder. This makes it easy to back up your collection’s media or move it to another computer.

If your media filenames contain spaces or other special characters such as percentage signs, the way the filenames appear in the HTML editor will differ from the way the filenames appear on disk. For example, a file called hello 100%.jpg will appear as hello%20100%25.jpg in the HTML editor. Internally, Anki still uses the original filenames, so if you would like to search for the file or modify the filename with Find&Replace, you will need to use the name as it appears on disk, not as it appears in the HTML editor. Exporting to a text file is another way to see the underlying representation.

Checking Media

You can use the Tools>Check Media menu option to scan your notes and media folder. It will generate a report of files in the media folder that are not used by any notes, and media referenced in notes but missing from your media folder. It also allows you:

  • To delete unused media files.
  • To tag notes that refer to missing media files.
  • To empty your trash folder.
  • To restore the deleted files back to your media folder.

This tool does not scan question or answer templates, which is why you can’t place media references to fields in the template. If you need a static image or sound on every card, name it with a leading _ (e.g., \_dog.jpg) to tell Anki to ignore it when checking for media. If you delete media using the unused media check, Anki will move it into your operating system’s trash folder, so you can recover if you accidentally delete media that shouldn’t have been deleted.

Manually Adding Media

When you add media via Anki's interface, Anki takes care of ensuring the filenames are encoded in a way that should work across different devices, removing characters that won't work on certain operating systems, and truncating very long filenames.

If you manually add files to your media folder, you should use Tools>Check Media afterwards, to ensure the filenames are encoded correctly. If you skip this step, any filenames that are not compatible will be skipped when syncing.

Supported Formats

Anki uses a program called mpv (and mplayer as a fallback) in order to support sounds and videos. A wide variety of file formats are supported, but not all of these formats will work on AnkiWeb and the mobile clients. MP3 audio and MP4 video seems to be the most universally supported.