Can I stop having to re-download iCloud vault files?

I have a large vault in iCloud (about 9000 files and 1.3GB, including attachments). When I download a new app or update, even though I my iPad has a few GB free, iOS often decides to free space by removing hundreds of vault files from my device. The next time I open Obsidian, it freezes shortly after startup, sometimes as it is indexing files it has managed to download. I have to force close it and restart it, even multiple times, in order to get everything downloaded again so I can use Obsidian. Alternatively, I can open the vault in the Files app and scroll up and down until it has re-downloaded everything. In any case, I lose time waiting for Obsidian to be usable.

Things I have tried

I searched the Obsidian help for iCloud and the forum for iCloud and download, but didn’t find anything relevant.

What I want

  • Ideally, I want Obsidian to tell iOS that the vault files should not be flushed from the device, or I want to know how I can tell iOS not to flush them
  • Alternatively, if they have to be re-downloaded, I want Obsidian to not freeze while downloading.

You might be able to stop this optimization. I don’t know how to do this on iPad. Only on Mac:

On Mac, if you go to System Preferences → Apple ID → iCloud, you will see a checkbox for “Optimize Mac Storage”. Unchecking this might prevent iCloud from deleting your files. But it will stop it from optimizing any other folders that you did want optimized.

You might find a similar setting on the iPad.

I’ve looked for a setting on my iPad, but can’t find one. There are “optimize” settings for music and photos, but not for iCloud in general, so far as I can tell.

Every time I open Obsidian on IOS I’m waiting for 31 configuration files to be downloaded. It slows me down and make me use a default app for notes to take notes on the go. It’s so inconvenient. How do people overcome this problem?

I see a similar problem on my older iPad Air 2(iOS 14.4.2) where it often downloads 31 configuration files (not always). It takes a few seconds for those files to download.
I never noticed that download message on my iPhone 7 (iOS 15.1)

This is getting increasingly annoying. Even though I have 4GB free on my iPad, twice within the last week I’ve woken up to find that I have to redownload a couple of thousand files. Is there anything i can do to avoid this?

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I switched to using git to sync.

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Any solution to this folks! Would really appreciate it. Tired of waiting for iCloud to sync


Unfortunately you can’t. This is due to the fact that Icloud on iOS can remove your notes from your device at anytime because it tryes to save your space. This means that we need to check that you notes are still there every time you open Obsidian.