Collection Transfer

If you don’t have regular internet access, it’s still possible to copy your collection back and forth between devices, though the process is not as convenient.

Collection transfer works by importing or exporting all your decks at once, in a special file called collection.colpkg. You can export that file on one device, copy it to another device, and import it there.

When you import a collection file, any existing content you have is replaced with the contents of the file - it is a one-way transfer from your other device.

This means that unlike syncing via AnkiWeb, you can’t make changes from two locations at once and then merge them - you need to make sure you’ve imported any recent changes from your other device before you make changes, or you’ll end up losing the changes made on one device.

A workflow you would typically use is to export your collection from your mobile device and import it into the computer version, make modifications (such as importing a shared deck you downloaded to your computer), and then export your collection and import it back into your mobile device.

Exporting individual decks is not currently possible, but is planned for the future.

Computer to iPhone/iPad

Export the File

On your computer:

  1. Open the computer version of Anki.

  2. Choose File>Export from the menu.

  3. Click the Export​ button. Make sure to leave "All decks" and "Include scheduling information" turned on.

  4. Anki will automatically create a collection.colpkg file on your desktop. If the file is named something else like deckname.apkg, please see the previous step again. If it is called collection.apkg, that will work - your Anki version is just old.

Transfer the File

If your devices are on the same wifi network and signed in to iCloud, you can use the AirDrop option in Finder to AirDrop the collection.colpkg file to your mobile device.

If you do not have access to AirDrop, you can use Finder or iTunes to drop the .colpkg file into Anki's file sharing area.

Import the File

If you AirDropped the file, AnkiMobile should have automatically popped up and imported the file when you accepted it.

If you transferred the file via iOS file sharing, go to AnkiMobile's deck list screen, and then:

  1. Tap the Add/Export button on the bottom left.

  2. Choose Import from iTunes, then confirm the replacement.

  3. If you receive a message about "No file found to import", please check to make sure you put the collection.colpkg file in AnkiMobile's file sharing section.

Once complete, the decks on your device will have been replaced with the decks from your desktop.

When you import a collection.colpkg file, Anki will avoid copying any sounds or images if they already exist on your mobile device, and are the same file size. This will make imports after the first one considerably faster if you have a lot of media files.

iPhone/iPad to Computer

On AnkiMobile, tap the Add/Export button on the bottom left of the decks list.


  1. Choose Export to Share, and then choose AirDrop.
  2. Select your computer. If your computer doesn't appear, make sure you have AirDrop open on your computer.
  3. Once the file has arrived on your computer, use File>Import inside Anki to import the file.


  1. Choose Export to iTunes, and tap Export.

Then on your computer:

  1. Connect your Apple device to your computer via the USB cable.

  2. Open Finder or iTunes.

  3. Locate Anki’s file sharing section with Apple’s instructions.

  4. Drag the collection.colpkg file from Finder or iTunes to your desktop.

  5. Use File>Import in Anki to import the file.

  6. After importing, you can delete the file on your desktop if you wish.