Better sync iCloud

IOS sync with iCloud seems to download everything in the vault, and keeping it on the device. This leads to a ton of problems when setting up new devices (a lot of people report bugs about freezing, and being laggy). It’s also a bit weird to store even file from the vault in full on every device, as my Mac have a lot more storage than my phone (my vault is 23GB).

I would like:

  1. a better UI for when the files are downloading the first time, giving users an understanding of what’s happening (so they can let Obsidian download every file, get an estimate, and don’t just look at a frozen app).


  1. not for Obsidian to download every file to my phone, just the one I have used the last x days or something, and a database of names for the rest of the files or something. This way they will be searchable (and if I decide to open it, it can be downloaded on the spot), but it isn’t on my phone all the time.

To be honest, It would be better for me to just have the last ten files on my phone, and not be able to search the rest. 23Gb is a lot, and I use Obsidian on the phone primarily to write down small notes or thoughts I edit on my Mac later.
Though I understand that many uses their iPad as more of a PC :slight_smile:

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iCloud would download what it sees in the folder. It doesn’t know what a vault is. To iCloud it is just files in folders.

I’m not a Mac developer, but I don’t believe it’s possible for Obsidian to manage your iCloud account. But I do know that at the moment it is not. So it isn’t “weird”. Obsidian reads and writes files on your filesystem. And you chose to put those files in iCloud. Obsidian is not doing this syncing, and Obsidian is not downloading files to your iPad. iCloud is.

Again, Obsidian can’t manage your iCloud account. If you were using Obsidian Sync, then it does have a log of what is being synced, because it is the one doing the syncing. Otherwise in iCloud, how can Obsidian know?

you might want to create a separate vault then to just to sync those iphone notes. Or use another app and workflow to sync those notes to your Mac

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Thank you for the answers, and you are right in that I maybe ask to much of the system. I don’t understand how obsidian works on iPhone, I have never said so, I just pass on a problem I have :slight_smile:

In understand that Obsidian don’t control my iCloud, and it’s not Obsidians job. But when the app don’t work without every file downloaded, it forces iCloud to download everything, which is (for my use) not ideal since its so much data. This is not the case on Mac, where files in the vault that is not used will only be in the cloud (and they will still be accessible by Obsidian. When a file is clicked, it gets downloaded(will be accesable.) This is not a technical explanation, just the way I “observe” it.

But maybe I should think about Obsidian Sync. For backup, iCloud is good enough, but for across device use its not ideal :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

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Yes, my solution for the time being will be to use Pretext. I can write simple .md notes directly to an iCloud file (and its free) :v:

For sure! Just wanted to make sure to put it in clear context, so you can design your system in a way that works! I like @udracing suggestion to have a separate input vault to send a small amount of notes to your computer, to later be integrated.

I kindly urge you not to consider any sync service as a full backup solution. You should definitely have another way of backing up your files, preferably in a way that also takes version snapshots. If anything ever goes wrong with your data, syncing tools will just continue to sync the problem, and then the problem spreads to your other devices.

(Personally, I use git, periodic .zip snapshots of my vault, Dropbox, Backblaze, and external drives.) Years ago I was using one backup tool (rsync or something to an external drive) and I didn’t notice until years later that it had only backed up to a certain folder depth, and I lost a bunch of digital music I had composed. One backup method just isn’t enough!

As @tzhou said in Discord the other day, paraphrased, if you only have one backup, you have none.

Sorry for the rant! Keep your data safe. :slight_smile:

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You make a good point here, my friend! I know, in the back of my head somewhere that I need to implement a better system. Maybe the Christmas holidays finally give me enough time to be bored enough to actually set up a full backup system :slight_smile:

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