Backup Obsidian for beginners

I am a beginner who lost hours of work with a chart. I erased a column by mistake. I should have backed up. I made a copy of the page before I started playing with it, but the copy seems to inherit my mistake.
I would like to go back to my original, but apparently TimeMachine does not recognize it. ??? Also, I do not see how I open up a restored vault in Obsidian.
I realize that I could backup to git hub. But the directions for that are over my head.
For now I will stay away from Advanced Charts in Obsidian. I can not even find directions for a beginner. The links to to the new work done on formulas. I need beginner directions. How do I find those so I don’t make the same kind of mistake?

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I’ve heard that dropbox comes with versioning. Would that help?

Dropbox has 30-day version history on its cheapest paid tier.

@EllenMad you can just place your entire vault inside the Dropbox folder and have automatically backed up.

Dropbox seems to be for businesses. There’s assuming you have a team of three. I hope I can use my iCloud account and do something with Keyboard maestro to periodically save files.

Dropbox has a “Plus” plan fo individuals. However, if you’re willing to take care of the versioned backups yourself, it may be as simple as zipping your entire vault (minus the .obsidian folder) and putting a timestamp on the filename. I don’t use KM, but I’m sure it’ll be able to handle that. Doing it automatically every day would be even better.

Thank you very much. I’m sure I would’ve spent hours trying to figure out what you just told me. Now I can ask the people that came in a reasonable way. Thank you.

@EllenMad are you on a Mac or Windows machine? If you’re on Mac by chance, I have a script I can share that does automatic backups of your vault. If git/Github backups are over your head, this might be a useful plan-B.

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I’d be interested in the script as well!

I can just hugely recommend using Github (and the 3rd party plugin “Obisidan Git”) for versioning.
I setup mine to automatically sync every hour. I am able to go to Github and pull my complete pkm from any time (it was synced) in the past.
Its easy, its free and you cant forget to do it (if you use the plugin - so its automated)

I cant recommend this enough…


So much is done with github. I wish it were not over my head. But it really is for the moment. Do you have any suggestions for learning how to use the 3rd party plug in and get enough GIThub knowledge to do it?

Can I put the script into Keyboard maestro, or could you suggest where I would put the script?

I have a cloud backup and a backup of my Mac using time machine. I guess these are not enough because the backup needs to be frequent.

Learning GitHub sounds difficult.

Thank you for your offer.

First you install Git on your system (if you not already have that) - an easy way is to use the desktop client:
Then you create an github account here:

Check the documentation on github desktop : Creating your first repository using GitHub Desktop - GitHub Docs

That way you dont need to use command-line stuff (thats what people normally fear) - instead you use a desktop application that is (in my opinion) way easier to get into.

Basically you create a new repository (as far as i remember, it can be an already existing directory, for example your vault) - git will install some files there to be able to connect and monitor.
You can then Push/Commit and Pull from the desktop app, but this still is some friction.

If you followed the steps to set up everything via the desktop app, you can then make it simpler for you by Installing the community-plugin called “Obsidian Github” from within Obsidian. You dont need to authenticate, as this is done already through the installation process and registering your directory via github-desktop app (the additional directory and files that got created in your vault)
You should make a .gitignore file in the root of your vault, but this is explained in the documentation from the plugin (its to exclude some system-files from constantly updating to git)

You set the backup interval in the plugin page (every hour, or once a day or whatever you feel comfortable with) and thats it.
You will see a message in Obsidian when files got pushed to git and you see in the lower part of Obsidian a status message what the plugin is doing, and when the last time was it pushed/pulled changes…

I know its sounds a bit complicated at first, but with Github Desktop its easier as you dont need to fiddle with command-line prompts.


That is amazingly easy to imagine. I am going to try because I have heard so much about GitHub. Thank you very much. I will let you know how I fare following you clear instructions.

Thank you from my part too. I follow your instructions and those of Obsidian Git. The vault is updating every 5 minutes, as described. Now, my stupid question is: Where do I find the backup of my vault?

Hehe, nice to hear that it worked for you.
One thing i would do is increase the backup time to an hour or even a day - you will populate your vault-history with tons of (most likely meaningless) entrys - but test it out yourself. I started with 5 mins too, and very soon changed to an hour, and now i even considering only once a day.

For easy pulling out a complete “Backup” of your vault at a certain time you have to do the following:

  1. Go to or just log in and navigate to it manually.

  2. You should see something like this:

  3. Click on the xxx commits part (directly below the green “code” button

  4. this takes you to your history, you can scroll through it to any time you have pushed an update in the past (you will quickly realize why its not really good practice to update every 5 mins =P )

  5. Search for the time you want and click on the <> part (right side of the entry)

  6. it leads to a site that looks pretty similar to the one you first started, difference is you can see the choosen time-stamp at the header… This is your complete backup at this time.

  7. to download just click on the code button and choose download as zip

  8. extract the zip

  9. open the extracted directory from within obsidian as a new vault

  10. have fun beeing a time-traveler and check out how life was back then XD


Thank you. I have to try it.