[Bug] v1.4 Obsidian iOS app quits and restarts when losing foreground focus


[x] iOS
[ ] Android

Obsidian Mobile version: v1.4

First of all, thank you for the really promising, fantastic update.
I was very much looking forward to testing it (with a smaller and a larger vault) on my iPad mini 4. (I admit I was excited enough to have even lost some sleep last night.)

I have a rather large Vault/Repo (of some 14000 notes and 4000 images) which…

  • takes something like 45 seconds to load (with no plugins other than a Templater plugin that enables other plugins later on);
  • cannot stay in the foreground: it exits and restarts when another app is run on top of it (this freezing/quitting even occurs 1) when another app in Slide-Over mode is being in use, 2) Obsidian app is put in Slide-Over, 3) when you pinch at the screen while loading).

Unfortunately, despite the major overhaul and all the great efforts from the devs, these issues still make Obsidian unusable for me on mobile alas.

I understand this is a fresh start with 1.0.0 but I wonder what changes can be made to make it work for bigger vaults (as the app is designed to cache all the contents of the vault)…

Looking forward to solutions in the future.



Did it perform better prior to v1.4?

For reference, my vault of ~6,500 notes (I don’t know how many images— 100?) with 16 plugins enabled and 5 tabs open takes 5 seconds to load on an iPad Air 4 — longer than I’d like, but it doesn’t reload constantly. It takes 3.5 seconds with 4 tabs open on an iPhone 13.

Two common things to check

  1. is your vault on iCloud or local storage? If the former try copying your vault to local and see if it makes a difference. Sometimes iCloud tries to offload files from the device and re-download them on demand for reasons only Apple knows.

  2. If you have any large HTML files mistakenly given a .md extension, that can also slow your vault down.

You have a large vault, but it’s surprising it’s taking more than 10s to load.

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I complained months ago about performance on mobile but owned up to having some sort of issue on hand making the device slow overall. I factory-reset the iPad and updated to 15.6 had the overheating issues solved but my large Obsidian vault still felt clunky.

With this new update (1.4 apparently and not 1.0 which is the PC version – I keep making the same mistake specifying the proper version; my apologies) things are smoother than before…

…but still the vault feels too large for the mobile app. I may be tempted to delete out the folder structure and dump everything at top folder level and see if that speeds things up but I am not too hopeful.

On the smaller repo, I can switch the screen off and go back to editing instantly (even hours laters)…not with the big vault which is very sensitive…

In my head I did the numbers and calculated something like 300-350 MBs needed for iPad to hold the big vault in memory and I have 2GB on the iPad, so I don’t quite get what is the issue.
It looks definitely RAM related and electron apps are heavy on RAM. I am no programmer, mind you.


  1. I started testing the OnMyiPAD-stored vault/repo.
    I know about the iCloud offload issue (my workarounds for that: 1) run searches on Samurai Search 2) make automated zip archives daily of my A-Z folders of my large repo/vault).

  2. My files are bona fide TXT/MD files but at times rather large (40-350kbs) with some HTML formatting (tags) in them. Do you think there is some sort of rendering in the background that is the issue?

As I mentioned in my other comment, it’s definitely a RAM issue but I should be okay on RAM…

Couple thoughts

  • I wouldn’t eliminate a RAM issue. 2GB isn’t much these days and just adding up the size of your files on disk to know how much ram that will take isn’t a good heuristic. It depends a lot on the app. That and Obsidian doesn’t load your entire vault into memory.
  • Having said that, I still would not expect the behavior you are seeing.
  • Start with eliminating variables. I know you think you’ve mitigated iCloud issues, but try it on local storage, try removing the large files, try cutting your vault in half, etc. Just have to methodically work through possibilities

I was on local (I could still go back) and working on iCloud storage doesn’t seem to add to the woes of losing the app from the foreground.

  • I remember from Android days you could specify which apps you wanted to force to stay in foreground. There is no such thing on iOS alas.

Restructuring my notes would probably take months…

  • I already spents upwards of 2 months making the transition from MS Word which involved many many VBA macros and search&replace Regex clean up work with Notepad++ which I had to familiarise myself with and spend some serious time on forums, which was a blissful enough experience, don’t get me wrong, I like to get out my comfort zone and learn new things…

Right now on Obsidian mobile (I like to stay away from PC at all times and have automations handy from Shortcuts in Slide-Over) all I can do is look around, spruce things up but not do real research work. I like to use a product that becomes a natural extension of myself not a handicap or a distraction. Which unfortunately Obsidian right now for me is.

Thanks for your thoughts, though. I appreciate it.

Well, if for whatever reason you are unable or unwilling to try the suggestions, not much we can do to help other than provide a forum for therapeutic venting. Good luck.

Mr Post Mortem Bauer,

I understand my choices are limited and your suggestions were not up to par either. iCloud has nothing to do with how the app is handled by iOS (and I stated I was on local storage starting out).
As for therapy, God is my therapist. I don’t subscribe to any Western interpretations of it (God or therapy).
Your comment is uncalled for. I take it as an impotent way of masking your inferiority with superiority.

roflcopter; that escalated quickly. I was referring to the other suggestions around large files, divide and conquer vault contents to see what is problematic, etc. No need to be nasty and name call. You came here for help and it’s your right to judge the volunteers here as unhelpful and move on.

As to iCloud, I’m afraid you are just misinformed. Cheers.

Please review the community guidelines, and keep this conversation civil and on topic.


Dumping all MD files at vault level (something the iOS Files app definitely dislikes) and putting all images in a single attachment folder did the trick. App is now behaving what I’d call normal.

What I had before: A-Z folders and in each alphabetical folder with names corresponding with markdown file names and separate attachment folders in sub-subfolder where images were referenced for given notes.
Apparently, nesting folders 2-3 deep is a no-no.
The problem with this set up is obvious: too many files in a single folder: difficult to manage outside Obsidian.

Thank you God for the inspiration.

I still would like the honourable devs (Dev/Div = God in other languages again; if you pardon my obstinance to continue with this) to look into this – subfolders are very much needed for easier file control outside the Obsidian environment.

Mods, will you please edit the title to Obsidian and version 1.4.

I edited the title (and changed the number in the post).

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