Files with question marks (?) on name title aren't being synced on mobile

When using obsidian sync on Android mobile pages that have question marks (?) on the file name aren’t being synced.

I tend to create a lot of pages based on questions such as “What are the best books on…?”. I see that these pages have question mark on its md name files on Mac. I believe that Android can’t have files with question marks in its names.

Steps to reproduce

Create page with question mark in title on Mac and sync it with mobile app.

Expected result

Have all my files imported

Actual result

Pages with ? on their file na és are not imported.


  • Operating system: MAC OS Catalina + Android 10
  • Obsidian version: 1.0.3

Additional information

Print of error message on mobile: Screenshot-20210722-234516-Obsidian — ImgBB

That’s correct, the question mark is a forbidden character on android. That they don’t get synced is therefore not a bug.

Respectfully, that is absolutely a bug. If there is an app for Android it should follow the file name restrictions of Android. This could be achieved by either restricting file naming across all platforms to a common character set or encoding illegal characters when syncing to the Android app.


And unfact we do!

We used to restrict to a common character set. But a sizable fraction of users complained because while using a mac they didn’t want to be restricted by illegal characters on windows. So now the character set is unrestricted and you are responsible for defining a filename that is compliant.

The long term solution this problem is likely this:

1 Like

Do you mean the long-term solution is not to rely on filenames?

Right now, title=filename.
This has some benefits and some limitations.
Maybe in the future, those two concept can be decoupled. There are no short term plans for this. We’ll see.

I also discovered that I can’t create a page with a question mark in its title in the Android app. How is this not a bug?

Because you the character `?’ is not allowed in android filesystem.

Naming a file isn’t necessarily what the user is trying to achieve when creating a New note. So I have to disagree with you on that it’s not a bug.

If a user wants to create a New note on the android app, they should be able to. Not being able to is definitely an unexpected result, aka a bug.

Obsidian works on files. The note name equals the file name, it’s not a name in a database and therefore note names are limited by the file system.
For more, see above.