Freezes, deletes note content, file sync history empty

Steps to reproduce

Open note, write.

Expected result

Sync history is updated with new content. App keeps working without freezing. Note content doesn’t get deleted.

Actual result

App freezes. The content of the new note is deleted. Filesync history for that note is empty.

Happens 4 or 5 times a day.


  • Operating system:
    Big Sur
  • Debug info:
    Obsidian version: v0.13.23
    Installer version: v0.13.23
    Operating system: Darwin Kernel Version 20.6.0: Wed Jan 12 22:22:45 PST 2022; root:xnu-7195.141.19~2/RELEASE_ARM64_T8101 20.6.0
    Login status: logged in
    Catalyst license: none
    Insider build toggle: off
    Live preview: off
    Legacy editor: on
    Base theme: light
    Community theme: themes
    Snippets enabled: 2
    Safe mode: off
    Plugins installed: 23
    Plugins enabled: 0

Oh, and some of the times when this happens, all community plugins are turned off.

Anyone have any ideas on how to fix this?

Did you get a notice saying that the note cannot be saved?

If not, and because the app froze, it’s probably a different issue to this: [MacOS]: Obsidian does not save and get stuck in a limbo state (failed to save)

Is your vault in icloud or any other cloud drive?

Yes, I usually see a “file system timed out” error when the problem occurs.

I have my Vault on the Desktop (Big Sur, Macbook Air M1).

Is that not an appropriate location?

It is an appropriate location.

Follow the bug report linked by @koala. It’s likely you have that problem.

I’ve read that thread twice, but I don’t see any solution.

Yes it looks like we have the same problem… but how do I fix it - what am I meant to do with that bug report?

FWIW: the problem occurs also when safe mode is on and all community plugins are disabled.

It is an open report, there is no solution at the moment. When you see the can’t write error message you need to copy your work and restart obsidian. Nothing that you do after that message appears will be saved.

It is same what a rare occurrence, so if it happens to you frequently, I wonder if you have the same issue.

Okay, understood.

If this is a bug that hasn’t been fixed yet, perhaps it’s useful to make the error message persist:

If I’m at my machine when the error happens, and I’m inside Obsidian, it’s annoying, but not a big deal. Copy, restart, paste - good to go.

I’m not always able to see the message though, which means I can lose a lot of work and only find out after it’s too late.

A good temporary solution could be a message that stays visible, so that when a user gets back to the app, they’re warned on what action to take to prevent data loss.

Meanwhile, hoping for a permanent fix, of course :slight_smile:

This change has been made in 0.13.24 (insider build)

Ah, that’s good to hear. Any dates on when that build goes public?

So, is there any ETA for a fix to this?

The more I use Obsidian, which I absolutely love, the bigger the risk that I’ll lose significant amounts of work…

I pay for sync… but some bug in the system actually deletes the sync history.

Surely that can’t be the idea…?

We don’t provide ETAs.

Are you referring to this bug ([MacOS]: Obsidian does not save and get stuck in a limbo state (failed to save)) or to some other bug? Because in this bug the sync history is not deleted, it is not recorded in the first place.

I don’t know if it’s the same bug causing it, but it does look like @wmbenedetto is dealing with the same problem.

Understood re ETA, thank you.

While waiting for a proper fix, would you advise against placing my vault in Dropbox?

(Not for multi-device access - I know that’s a no-no… it’s only to have a backup copy of the file history outside of my local machine…)

Bad idea? :slightly_smiling_face:

You can put your vault in dropbox on one device. Don’t let use both dropbox and obsidian sync your notes.

One correction. The persistent error dialog will be in 0.13.25

Yep, I know - thanks for the reminder though.

I just realised something, maybe it helps fix the bug:

It’s not only that some note content doesn’t get written to disk - some notes that had content before, as well as sync history… sometimes they later end up empty, with no sync history recorded.

So this has me wonder:

A number of my notes have emojis in the filename.

Could that be a reason why this problem occurs?

Well this seems to have been completely fixed - many thanks to the Obsidian team for doing such a great job!