Syncing with AnkiWeb

AnkiWeb is a service that allows you to keep your collection synchronized across multiple devices, and to study online. Please sign up for a free account before following the steps below.

Intro Videos

For a quick introduction to syncing, please check out the syncing intro videos.

Setup

To start syncing your collection across devices, click the sync button (the top right one on the main screen), or press 'y' on your keyboard. You’ll be prompted for your AnkiWeb ID and password, which you created in the signup process.

When you synchronize your collection for the first time, Anki will ask you if you want to upload or download. If you have cards on your computer and your AnkiWeb account is empty, choose "upload" to send your data to AnkiWeb. If you have cards on AnkiWeb from another device, and no cards on your computer, choose "download" to replace the empty local collection with the cards that are on AnkiWeb. If you have different cards on both devices, more work is required to avoid losing data.

Once the initial one way sync is completed, Anki will be able to merge changes from multiple locations with a few exceptions.

If you have multiple people using Anki on one machine and have created a profile for each user, each user will need to create their own AnkiWeb account to sync with. If you attempt to synchronize multiple profiles with a single AnkiWeb account, you will lose data.

Automatic Syncing

Once syncing is enabled, Anki will automatically sync each time your collection is closed or opened. If you would prefer to synchronize manually, you can disable automatic syncing in Anki’s preferences.

Button Color

The sync button will change to blue when a normal sync is required, and red when a full sync is required.

Media

Related video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=phP9GGG-PxY

Anki will synchronize any sounds and images used by your notes. It will notice when media has been added or removed from your media folder, but will not notice if you have edited some existing files without adding or removing any. To get your edits noticed, you need to add or remove a file as well.

If you’re running Anki off a USB flash drive, you should use an NTFS file system, as Anki may not be able to detect media changes on a FAT32 filesystem.

Conflicts

Related video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UEAcpfMQnjo

Under normal circumstances, reviews and note edits can be merged, so if you review or edit on two different devices before syncing, Anki will preserve your changes from both locations. If the same card has been reviewed in two different locations, both reviews will be marked in the revision history, and the card will be kept in the state it was when it was most recently answered.

There are certain changes that Anki is unable to merge. These mainly relate to the format of notes: things like adding a new field, or removing a card template. When you perform an operation that can’t be merged, Anki will warn you, and give you the option of aborting the operation. If you choose to continue, you’ll be asked to choose whether to keep the local copy or the copy on AnkiWeb when your collection is next synchronized.

If certain problems are detected while syncing, it will also force a one way sync. If you find this consistently happens, please post on our support site.

When a one way sync is required, you need to choose whether you wish to keep the collection on your local device, or the collection on AnkiWeb. If changes have been made on both ends, only changes on one end can be preserved.

If you choose Upload, the content on your local device will be sent to AnkiWeb. You then need to sync your other devices, and choose "Download" to have them grab a copy of that content.

If you choose Download, it will replace any local changes you’ve made with the data that is on AnkiWeb.

Once all devices are in sync, future syncs will return to the normal behaviour of merging changes from both ends.

If you wish to force a full upload or download (for example, because you accidentally deleted a deck on one side and want to restore the deck rather than having its deletion synchronized), you can check the "On next sync, force changes in one direction" box in Tools>Preferences>Network, then sync as usual. (You’ll be given the option to choose which side you want to use.)

Forcing a one way sync only affects card syncing - media is synced as normal. If you have files that you want to remove from AnkiWeb, please ensure your client is fully in sync first. After syncing is up to date, any files you remove (eg via the Check Media function) will be removed from AnkiWeb on the following sync.

Merging Conflicts

Because the first sync can only sync changes in one direction, if you have added different content to different devices or profiles before setting syncing up, content on one device will be lost if you overwrite it with the content from the other device. With some work, it is possible to manually merge data into a single collection.

Start by taking a backup on each device/profile, in case something goes wrong. With the computer version you can use File>Export to export "all decks" with scheduling information and media files included, and save the file somewhere safe. In AnkiMobile, the Add/Export button on the decks list screen will let you export all decks with media.

Next, if one of your devices is a mobile device, synchronize it first. If there’s a conflict, choose "upload" to overwrite any existing data on AnkiWeb with the data from your mobile device. If both devices/profiles are on your computer, synchronize the device/profile with the most number of decks first.

Now return to the other device/profile. If automatic syncing is enabled, a message may pop up asking if you want to upload or download. Click the cancel button - we don’t want to sync yet.

Once you’re looking at the deck list, click the cog icon next to the first deck, and choose "export". Export the content with scheduling information and media included, and save the .apkg file somewhere. Now you’ll need to repeat this for each top-level deck.

Once all top-level decks have been exported, click the sync button at the top right, and choose "download", which will overwrite the local content with the content you synced from your other device.

You can now use File>Import to import the .apkg files you exported earlier, which will merge the exported content with the existing content, so everything will be in one place.

Firewalls

Anki needs to be able to make outbound HTTPS connections to sync. It must be able to connect to ankiweb.net, sync.ankiweb.net, sync2.ankiweb.net, and so on. These domains may change over time, and the IP addresses they point to may also change, so we recommend you allow wildcard access to *.ankiweb.net to reduce the chance of the firewall rules needing to be updated in the future.

If you have a firewall on your machine, you should add an exception for Anki. If you are on a work or school network, please contact your network administrator for assistance - it is not something we can help you with.

Proxies

If you need a proxy to access the internet, Anki should automatically pick up your system proxy settings if you’re on Windows or macOS, and will honour the HTTP_PROXY environment variable if you’re on another platform.

Anki will only be able to pick up your system settings if a proxy is manually configured, and does not require a password. If your system uses automatic proxy setup, or uses a proxy that requires a username and password, you will need to manually tell Anki the proxy configuration.

To tell Anki your proxy settings, define a HTTPS_PROXY environmental variable that points to the proxy server. It will look like:

http://user:pass@proxy.company.com:8080

If your username or password contains an @ (eg user@workdomain.com), you need to change it to %40, like so:

http://user%40workdomain.com:pass@proxy.company.com:8080

Anki 2.0 expects to find HTTP_PROXY instead of HTTPS_PROXY.

To set environmental variables on Windows, please see https://www.google.com/search?q=windows+set+environmental+variable

If you’re on a Mac, please see http://stackoverflow.com/questions/135688/setting-environment-variables-in-os-x

Heavily locked down networks that intercept secure connections and present their own certificate instead may cause Anki to throw up SSL errors. In such environments, you may be able to work around the errors with https://ankiweb.net/shared/info/878367706

An alternative solution is to install a local proxy server, and point that proxy server at your normal proxy server. You can then tell Anki to use the local proxy, which will redirect requests to the proxy you normally use.