Data loss due to an error message: "Failed to save file"

The Situation

I was writing in a file and then saw a message that said: “Failed to save file.” Afterwards, I was unable to click out of my current file into any of the other files. I could click on the name of another file in the sidebar, but nothing happened.

I copied and pasted the current file, quit out of Obsidian and re-opened Obsidian. The copy + paste apparently did not take because the file did not save to my clipboard.

As a result, I have lost the contents on the file I was working on.

The Question

What can I do to prevent this moving forward? Specifically, what was the reason that Obsidian showed the “Failed to Save” message?

Additionally, is there anything I can do to recover the lost file?

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This happened to me too the other day. Except for the copy-paste bit, which I did not try. I’ve only typed about 3 lines when the “Failed to save” message popped up, so there wasn’t much lost, and I moved on after the restart.

As far as I cal tell, there were no special circumstances, I was editing a note as usual. The note was in a vault on my iCloud drive. Oh… and I have probably used the insert template function slightly before it happened. I’m on macOS Big Sur and Obsidian version 0.13.19. Hope this helps track it down, it seems like a bug.

I doubt its Obsidian. It sounds like an OS or Network issue. “iCloud” seems like a clue.

Personally, I always click on another note before exiting Obsidian to prove to myself that the previous note was saved before I closed the app.

Thanks for your reply @Obsidandnancy! To clarify two points:

  1. The problem might be related to iCloud, even though the OP did not specifically say it was on iCloud, that’s only my experience. FWIW the iCloud drive is a local machine folder, which gets asynchronously pushed to the cloud, so it should work like any other folder.

  2. Both the OP and I ended up in a situation where Obsidian was unresponsive after the error popup, so clicking another note, hitting ⌘S (as I did), using ⌘C (as @Udon did) were completely ignored.

Even if the writing error happened outside of Obsidian, it should be handled more gracefully IMO.

I could not find a way to move this topic into the bug reports category, any help with that would be appreciated.

In my case, I did not save this particular file to the iCloud folder. It was stored locally.

Let’s close this thread and move the conversation to #bug-reports here: Failure to save bug that causes data loss

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