Extra column of Plugin Toggles for Mobile & Desktop

Use case or problem

Let’s face it, most of us have lots of plugins and many use both the desktop & mobile app.

But when it comes to cross-device plugin support not all plugins are supported on mobile and tend to get disabled on desktop while syncing, turning it into a plugin management nightmare when having many plugins.

Wouldn’t it be nice to just have an Extra Column of Plugin Toggles for mobile as well?

This would result in a mobile performance boost as well, considering that many plugins that we use on Desktop aren’t always needed on Mobile.

Example: right now out of 90 plugins I have around 40 that I use only on Desktop, which are of no use to me on mobile where I only read and not edit, and the app takes 30 seconds to load.

Proposed solution

The solution is quite simple and it’s a design pattern implemented in other apps as well.

Just add an extra column of plugin toggles so that there’s a column for Desktop and another for Mobile. This way we get to choose what plugin is enabled/disabled on desktop vs. mobile.

The implementation could possibly be that simple, too: detect platform and simply ignore the desktop column toggles on mobile, and ignore the mobile column toggles on desktop.

[edit: for those who think it clutters the UI, an option can be added “Do you want selective plugin toggling across devices?" that, when turned on, would insert the extra toggles, otherwise nothing changes in the UI for those who wouldn’t want this feature]

Below is a mockup I made in 5 minutes UI-wise (I reckon the implementation won’t be that fast)

Current workaround (optional)

Still haven’t found a workaround.

Related feature requests (optional)

Somehow related regarding the cross-device plugin management problem:
Syncing .obsidian with mobile shouldn’t turn off the plugins that are unsupported on mobile

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As a workaround, there is a community plugin that is a bit hard to configure, but seems to work mostly fine. Plugin groups is called

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Thank you for the plugin info - however, after reading through the plugin’s README & Issues page, when you have many plugins it will turn into a bigger nightmare (plugins throwing errors due to dependencies, plugins reloading themselves for no reason, devices not respecting the config)

While I agree to this request, I don’t like the proposed solution; adding another toggle is just messy.
Sync’s task should be to figure out what needs to be synced and what not. A manual toggle isn’t necessary.

The problem is, not everyone affords paying for Sync, and they use all sorts of free alternatives to it, hence the request for toggles - to cover all users of Obsidian.

I see.
Even if you don’t use Obsidians sync, there isn’t any need to add all this toggles but technically you’d need only one toggle to manage the correct syncing of your plugins. Each plug-in specifies if it can or can’t run on mobile too. Maybe a good plugin request

As mentioned in the OP scenario, if you have many plugins then the mobile app takes forever to open.

So, given that many of those plugins are only needed on Desktop where most of the heavy-lifting & editing takes place, there is no reason to keep those plugins enabled on mobile (even if they can run there), so turning off those specific plugins used only on Desktop would skyrocket mobile performance.

Example: right now out of 90 plugins I have around 40 that I use only on Desktop, which are of no use to me on mobile where I only read and not edit, and the app takes 30 seconds to load.

P.S. I did find a “quick plugin switch” plugin that allows me to group various plugins and disable/enable them selectively, but I have to do this every time I stop using the desktop app and start using the mobile app, and in reverse as well.

And this can also be solved by giving users an option like: “Do you want selective plugin toggling across devices?”, and turning that option on would insert the extra toggles, otherwise nothing changes in the UI.

Well in this case Obsidian would have to check both device preferences and sync only those plugins activated on both devices and exclude all other plugins.

This would be much more comfortable, straight-forward and automatic as well, without additional toggles.
A well developed code builds on intuitive design choices. Badly designed interfaces are confusing, a waste of time and hard to learn because they’re so bothersome to use.

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That is indeed true - when I was learning to use Obsidian I thought this was implemented by default and was disappointed seeing it wasn’t, so I thought to myself “that must probably be hard to implement so they just didn’t implement it”, hence this alternative solution that I came up with, which I’ve seen implemented in other apps.

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How would you scale that to other sync alternatives? It’s not that I am not willing to pay, I don’t want to have another closed source thing in my pipeline to depend on. I am almost at my limit by using obsidian, I only do because the format is open and I can develop plugins for it easily.

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Usually sync apps provide filters, so you can specify what data is synced and what data filtered. in this case you’d have to create 2 distinct profiles ( computer / mobile)
Of course this is a bit more laborious process but after this setup, sharing should work smoothly.

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There is some confusion in this thread.
First, if a plugin is not supported on mobile it disabled on mobile but it remains enabled on desktop.

Second, if you want a separate set of plugin you can:

  1. Disable syncing of plugins in Obsidian Sync and manage the installed plugins on each device separately

  2. Whether you use Ob Sync or not, you can have multiple different configuration directories (the .obsidian) for the same vault (Settings>About>Advanced). Make one for desktop (.obsidian-desktop) and one for mobile (.obsidian-mobile)

This FR is not gonna get implemented, moving this discussion to help.

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The problem with this approach is that if I change the settings of plugins that I use in both desktop & mobile app (but each reside in different configs), those changes will not be shared.

So if I change a plugin setting on desktop, that setting will not be reflected on mobile and vice-versa because they live in different config folders (and manually synching each plugin or identifying what I’ve changed and editing the settings is even more laborious)

This, however, fixes the above problem since I’d sync the whole config folder including all plugins & all their settings (even if I won’t use them all on mobile), but then I’d have to create separate versions of the community-plugins.json to tell Obsidian what plugins to load on desktop vs. mobile.

I guess that’d be the only file to filter in this case? :thinking: It can’t be that easy… I smell something :fish: but can’t put my hands on it.

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