Excluded Folders in Sync Cannot be Unexcluded

Steps to reproduce

  1. Setup sync on Machine A.
  2. Sync from Machine B.
  3. Exclude a specific folder from sync.
  4. Delete the now empty folder that you excluded
  5. Change your mind! Now you want that folder, or one of it’s subfolders, to be synced. Look for the button to unexclude it, and find none.

Expected result

Be able to unexclude a specific folder, and have it be pulled down from the cloud.

Actual result

There is no button.


  • Operating system: Windows (Machine B, but Ubuntu on Machine A)

  • Obsidian version: v0.12.15

Additional information

The setup of excluding a folder is also rather unfriendly. First I must sync it then exclude it. But I did not wish for lots of my folders to exist on another computer, as it was more personal information.

If the folder must exist on the machine in order to have it be available to exclude, then it would be great to have a “Sync Scaffolding Only” option which would only sync the folders but not their contents. Then users can sync all of the folders, exclude what they do not want, and then disable “Sync Scaffolding Only”.

Just an idea.

I have no idea what I did, I just opened the Excluded Folders menu to double check I wasn’t crazy and there was no way to remove them.

Don’t think I touched Obsidian much after that. Then the next day I open up the app (that’s been running in the background) and low and behold I have all my files! I no longer had any excluded folders, and all of them got resynced in the background. This is not what I desired, as I excluded them on purpose on this computer. I simply wished to unexclude one of them.

My best guess as to what I did was to tick and then untick one of the existing folders that I could see, and hit Done rather than exit out of the menu. The folders I had excluded were not showing in the Exclusion menu, as I had also deleted them afterwards, so perhaps they need to exist in order to either add or remove them? :man_facepalming:

Either way, this is very unintuitive. I simply wish to get rid of some folders entirely on certain machines, due to them containing more sensitive information.

Any help? :slightly_frowning_face:

Thanks for the report Jordan. We’ll look into this.

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Furthermore: When pulling a pre-existing encrypted vault from the cloud it gives you the popup asking to either start sync or first select excluded folders. However the excluded folder list is empty, I assume because Obsidian Sync cannot see the folders until they get pulled down to your local machine. So the entire popup is pointless and misleading, but also just a bad user experience to have to sync then exclude then delete :slightly_frowning_face:

will be implemented in 0.14.4

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