File Loss with iCloud/iPad/Mac Sync

Thanks,

macOS in this instance, and my notes are on iCloud. But I use every platform: iPhone, Windows, iPad. Wondering if this might be part of the problem.

I think it might be the iclound-windows combo.

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If anybody can provide exact reproducible steps of this happening on macos or ios only, that would be awesome.

Any updates on this topic? I have been experiencing syncing issues between the iOS app and the macOS desktop app- using iCloud. I have not noticed missing any files (!!) but I have lost many edits to files, I have a daily file with timestamped entries and I can see missing entries.

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iCloud continues to be slow and unreliable in my experience – not just with Obsidian, but in general. So much so that I often resort to using Cirrus to “unstick” iCloud. It is a very useful utility:

https://eclecticlight.co/cirrus-bailiff/

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Hey what is the verdict here? I’m also experiencing this and losing major data all the time. Not cool.

Is Obsidian going to look into this? I know this isn’t just iCloud Drive being janky as I use it all the time for other things and have never had files just self-delete.

This is the worst possible bug.

This is not a common issue and the people affected haven’t been able to provide enough info or details for us to reproduce the problem.

We are aware that iCloud doesn’t work well on Windows machines and that you also must make sure that the files are presented locally (optimized storage turned off).

iCloud doesn’t work well on macOS either. Anyone using iCloud + Obsidian, on any platform, should expect (and plan for) serious sync problems. I use iCloud strictly in read-only mode.

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@luckman212 I’ve had no issues with iCloud outside of Obsidian. I actually had data loss with Obsidian Sync on iOS as well (not this bug, a different one). Moving to iCloud has been MUCH more reliable than obsidian sync until this bug showed up.

@WhiteNoise a few more details about my test case / use case in case this helps you debug:

  1. This only started happening recently (a few weeks ago). Before this iCloud sync was rock solid.
  2. This happens to me exclusively on iPad. It doesn’t happen on the Mac and I don’t have an iPhone.
  3. Test case is extremely simple. Open ANY file and start writing and editing it. Within a few minutes (1-10 minutes) of constant editing / writing, the file is guaranteed to self-delete. Every time. It seems like this happens faster with larger files, but I can’t confirm.
  4. Often if I stop editing that file and start editing another one (but stay inside Obsidian), the other deleted file will come back. That’s been my only way of getting the files back. It’s really scary and unreliable, and of course should not be necessary.
  5. I can 100% confirm this is a bug with Obsidian, NOT iCloud. Editing the exact same file (inside the Obsidian folder on iCloud drive) with a different editor (eg. Paper) works perfectly fine and the file never gets self-deleted. I can do everything in Paper without a hitch, still all on iCloud Drive. This is my current workaround, simply don’t use obsidian to edit my files on iPad but rather another app.
  6. This is not a sync issue due to concurrent editing. In none of these use cases is there any editing of the file on the Mac side. All this just happens on the iPad all by itself.

If there’s any other info I can give to help you debug, please let me know. It’s really the worst kind of data loss bug, so I hope we can get this resolved.

Thanks!

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We haven’t changed anything recently.

How much free disk space do you have on that device? iCloud may decide to remove the local copy of the note to save you space. On mobile, there’s no toggle to tell iCloud not to do that

Unfortunately I cannot reproduce this — I’m looking at a note I’ve been editing in an iCloud-based vault on an iPad for the past few minutes.

This makes no sense to me.

My guess is that other apps/tools are doing something with your files.

Are you using iCloud Drive on any Windows machines?

I have around 10GB free.

I don’t think it’s a purge thing though. When there’s an iCloud file that doesn’t have a local version, I can still see the file in the Files app, but it just has a “download from cloud” icon next to it.

But when a file disappears due to this bug, I can go into the Files app and the file is entirely gone.

There’s no other apps running and no other devices accessing these files while I am editing them. I don’t own a Windows machine.

I have the same issue on macOS using iCloud sync. I have Obsidian installed on iOS as well, but nearly never used.

Problem started a few weeks ago and at first I thought I did something weird with keybinds or whatever because it’s only content(text) that disappears, not the file itself. I was in most cases able to recover content by pressing Cmd+Z. When irritation reached a medium-sized level I started to troubleshoot a bit and it seems to me that it is iCloud doing something funky.

I’m not quite sure what happens under the hood, but I have a screen video of me reproducing the issue if any mods are interesting in having a look. If so, please let me know where you want me to send it.

@WhiteNoise @ryanjamurphy

Any chance you can upload it somewhere and paste it here?

We haven’t had issue with iCloud recently. The only one that I recall is that Sonoma resets some iCloud options, specifically the “optimize storage” should be off.

I am gonna close this thread in a couple of weeks. I am afraid it has become a mix of old problems. If anybody has issues, I invite you to open a new bug report and follow the template.

did you set “optimize storage” off in iCloud settings and download the whole vault?

Also does this happen in restricted mode?

I’m sorry, oversight from my part. Optimise storage was turned back on after macOS update, but I still feel iCloud is doing something weird as it doesn’t always download what I tell it to.

Anyways, looks like the problem has cooled down for now so I won’t spend more time on it. I’ll consider Obsidian Publish if the problem starts up again :wink:

Thank you replying :slight_smile:

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I have the same symtom but i use Mega sync and Android 14.

There is some platform support we’re not utilising here. For example, I open an .md file in my Vault in Obsidian and it only shows the “local” version; open in TextEdit.app and it shows conflict resolution (critically, the version on “flathead” has extra data I would have lost)

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