First sync - quicker via cloud or local file transfer?

What I’m trying to do

I have 2 computers I use regularly. Work and Personal. (Both PC’s, running Windows 11, in case it’s relevant) I have Obsidian synced between them both using Obsidian Sync.

I recently imported all my Evernote and Notion archives into Obsidian, with the plan of clearing them out and integrating into my Obsidian vault properly over the next few months. This means that my vault size has jumped from under 1GB to just around 5GB. I did the imports on my personal computer. Thereafter, it took a few days, but now shows that it has finished syncing everything to the cloud.

However, on my work computer, it’s been downloading through sync for about 3 days at this point and the vault is still less than 1.8GB in size. There’s no progress bar to show how long sync is going to take, so file-size is the only metric I can really go on.

If I just need to sit it out for a week or so until it’s done, I will but it seems like things would be much quicker if I just copied all the files manually via usb thumb drive. My worry then though is that Obsidian Sync would not recognise them as being the same files and create duplicates of everything instead. Does anyone know how this is likely to behave?

Things I have tried

I tried searching “manually copy sync files” and “copying vault then syncing” but maybe there’s a better way of framing my search query that I’m missing. Either way, none of the results were relevant to my question.

It sounds like something may be stuck or perhaps there are network problems. Have you checked the Sync Log? (Found by clicking the Sync status icon in the lower right of the app; also found in Sync’s settings page.)

Copy over locally should be fine. The files will all be in the same locations, so duplicates shouldn’t happen. (Sync isn’t very prone to making duplicates — it generally handles conflicts by merging.)

Thanks for the reply. When I check sync status, it does show that it’s constantly copying files down into my local vault rather than being stuck on a specific file, so it may be a network issue like you say, but since you’ve confirmed my suspicion that copying over manually should be fine, I’ll try that now and report back.

It looks like you were right about something being stuck. Through a combination of nested folders and, in some cases exceptionally long note titles (thanks to Evernote’s web clipper making the note title the full page title) a handful of files in my Evernote import had too long a filepath for Windows to handle.

I ended up copying everything manually via a WSL terminal (to get round the file-path length issue) and the sync is now complete.

Thanks for your help!

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