On AnkiDroid, how do you sync from USB? I'm unable to find the option in settings. Is it just a matter of having your device plugged in via USB and having AnkiDesktop open?

1 Answer 1


AnkiDroid developer here.

It does not work so easily unfortunately.

Right now the easiest/safest would be:

  1. Export your decks as an APKG file
  2. Copy the APKG file over USB
  3. Open the APKG file in Anki Desktop

There is a more convenient solution but it is very difficult to set up initially:

  1. Set up Android to to Ethernet over USB
  2. Install your own sync server
  3. Compile AnkiDroid with your own sync URL
  • With ADB running on the computer (see e.g. Is there a minimal installation of ADB?), would there be anything to ease the job? Or would that be an idea for a future version of AnkiDesktop maybe? Not using it myself, just suggesting ;)
    – Izzy
    Nov 10, 2014 at 9:52
  • @Izzy: Indeed copying the SQLite files over USB with adb pull/push sometimes work, but it breaks things when the database is not properly closed, so it is very dangerous and not recommended. Nov 11, 2014 at 2:55
  • I rather thought about something implemented into Anki: Dektop triggers an Intent, which exports the data and gives back the /path/to/file.apkg, which then can be "pulled" by the Desktop (raw idea, but you get it). Would be an easier variant of your first approach then – with the difference of the user just having to "push a button" in AnkiDesk :)
    – Izzy
    Nov 11, 2014 at 6:47
  • Put it on your Todo list and mark it as "patches/pull-requests welcome" then, linked from the README so visitors of the project's Github page can't miss it :)
    – Izzy
    Nov 11, 2014 at 9:18
  • 1
    Done: code.google.com/p/ankidroid/issues/detail?id=2397 There are currently 679 enhancement requests and all are waiting for volunteers :-) Nov 11, 2014 at 9:25

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