110 folders seems to break Obsidian sidebar output/UI?

What I’m trying to do

Just started trying Obsidian by importing the 110 main folders I keep my markdown notes in and the UI doesn’t seem to be able to handle this many folders. See included screenshot below.

Tried the following

  • I have disabled all plugins and restarted Obsidian and this sometimes does work but only temporarily and then seems to recur which tells me its not a Plugin issue
  • I have searched this forum for “UI issues with dozens of folders” and variants and can’t find a solution.


Is this a number of flat folders? Or 110 folders deep?

Do any of your folders or note titles have special characters in them?

What operating system?

I just did a test with 210 folders in a flat list in Windows 10. And it’s working fine. So it isn’t just the number of folders. Something else is likely happening.

If you are nesting folders very deep, this might be a relevant thread: Error occured whole loading obsidian

Hi @rigmarole,

I have layered may folders in folders and have had no issues as long as I use the allowed characters by Obsidian.

There have been several times where I get the message “File path too long”

I am aware of the limits in Mac OS to be 1024 for total characters to be allowed. So is Obsidian bound by this rule as well and if so how can I override it to be infinite.

Thanks so much :slight_smile:

Obsidian is built on top of the ordinary file system, so it can’t go beyond the limits of the underlying file system.

You can’t reliably go beyond that limit, although some trickery can be achieved using symlinks in some edge cases.

However, you’re usually better of restructuring your folder structure.

Thanks for the response - how would I manage to do sim links?

Can you show me how to do it and how much it would make a difference?

I have never done this before and I am using the MAC OS operating system for my notes in Obsidian.

What is the screenshot showing? Are there folders missing from the view or just excessive space between them? What makes you think the number of folders is what’s causing it?

I would strongly advise against using symlinks for this purpose, even though I’ve done it in a few cases to achieve backup of folders exceeding the limit due to file system mounting across devices and so on.

I’m almost sorry I mentioned it, but I really do believe you need to restructure your file folders (or devise another system not having such long folder names), and I’m not willing to help you compromise the integrity of your file system any more than you’ve already done. Sorry.

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Hi @holroy

That helps and I appreciate you for explaining that - went back and checked my total file path characters used and the limit on MAC OS which is 1024, I’m not even close to being that high up, and I tested in an empty folder how many untiled file folders you can make inside each other: 62 folders inside one and onward was the max.

I only have most around 15 tops for my folder in folder structure…

Also made sure to have all characters be the ones that are allowed and no weird characters that Obsidian forbids in the file name either.

Please help really stuck on this one.

As a general FYI, I think this was caused by me trying to sync Obsidian with Logseq and Logseq was doing some modification to markdown file names to remove special characters and I think these alterations triggered this listing issue.

This happens in my obsidian as well, but only if I open a folder with PDFs in it. A lot of my pfs have fairly long filenames, so I think that might be the problem (no special characters tho). Never touched Logseq, so I don’t know about that.

Thanks again to everyone for input on this thread. I haven’t experienced this since I stopped trying to synchronize my Obsidian with Logseq and I am now fully just using Obsidian without Logseq and loving it. I’ve also greatly simplified my folder structure and use tags as my primary org but I have some shared projects that have to live inside dedicated folders because they are part of independent GIT repos!

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