Can I create a desktop shortcut to a specific Obsidian vault?

I use the default application shortcut, but it always takes me to the most recent vault used. I bounce between vaults quite a bit and almost always want a different one on startup, so it’d be nice to just choose the one I want and go straight there.

If not - is there a way to open Obsidian on the “choose vault” screen (rather than defaulting to the most recent vault)?

(I’m a Windows user, if that makes a difference.)

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Have you tried using a short cut with the appropriate uri? See


Ah! Yes, that’s just what I was looking for. Thanks @dknight212 !

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I found this post when checking if this neat trick had been mentioned on these forums yet.

These Shortcuts work on both Windows and Mac. On Mac they are an old undocumented feature, and I explain how to make them here: Mac & Win desktop/file system "deeplinks", "bookmarks", "shortcuts" into Obsidian…


Using the solution from dknight212, I can create some bookmarks in my browser, though I have to click open obsidian each time.

But what I really want is a way to launch a specific vault from the dock on macos. Anyone know how to do that?

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I’m looking for the same thing. I found this article, which I don’t think is a full solution, but maybe is on its way there. I didn’t properly read it yet, but maybe is worth a look: Automating Your Obsidian Workspace | ThoughtAsylum

In any case, I think maybe macros are the way to go. I will definitely look into this when I have more time, but I don’t know when that will be, if I figure it out, I’ll post here :slight_smile:

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I run Linux, more specifically Linux Mint with the Cinnamon desktop environment.

The command that works for me:

/home/YourName/Path/Obsidian-0.15.9.AppImage obsidian://open?vault=MyVault

In Linux you can install Obsidian in a few different ways: as an AppImage, a flatpak, a snap, and there may be, for all I know, a deb-package as well.

It shouldn’t make any difference:

  1. Identify what the command is for your Linux distribution and Obsidian version
  2. Add the second part:

These instructions are specific to Linux Mint Cinnamon:

  • The lazy/easy way to identify which command your Obsidian installation uses is to
    • check the menu
    • right-click Obsidian
    • click “Add to desktop”
    • right-click on the icon on the desktop
    • click “Properties”

In this stage you can either copy the command, or add the second part.

  • You can also copy the command, and

    • Right-click on the desktop
    • Click “+Create new launcher here…”
    • In the dialog you can specify “name,” “command,” and “description” and add an icon
    • When you click OK, you will be offered the opportunity to automatically create a menu item
  • Repeat for each vault.

The principle should be the same for other Linux distributions and desktop environments.

Windows and Mac

I never worked with Mac OS, and I left Windows in 2005 (Ah, Windows XP, how I loved to hate you.), but the principle should be the same. Identify how the main program is launched and how you can add additional parameters. Since the second part is an Obsidian call, it should be OS agnostic.

I hope this helps.

Don’t hesitate to ask additional questions, but take into account that I’m not a very technical guy and only started using Obsidian about a week ago.

In windows, it’s actually simple.

Create a text folder, then add this:


Adjust the path, making sure that “forward slash characters / must be encoded as %2F and space characters must be encoded as %20”.

Save the text file, then change the extension from .txt to .url


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