Full file data loss after Obsidian crash

I ended up with a 0 bytes file after Obsidian crashed.
No Sync and, iCloud doesn’t save file history, so this would have been a total loss. I ended up recovering an older version from another device.

Sync is not an option. I can see other issues with Sync overriding file causing similar loss.

I love Obsidian, but this type of failure is not acceptable for any software that manages data and denotes lack of competency on what’s, arguably, the most important part of the code.

There is an internal file recovery system. Look for the file recovery plugin in the settings.

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It is sad to hear that that happened to you.

It would be interesting to know what caused Obsidian to crash:

  • What did you do at that exact moment?
  • Which plugins were installed and active?
  • Where there some external factors to consider, e.g., power failure? Do you work with Obsidian on a desktop, laptop or mobile device?

Obsidian Sync is not a backup solution or replacement and depends on the underlying file system. In addition, it should not be used together with another sync service like iCloud, Google Drive, OneDrive etc.

Obsidian is a frontend. It adheres to the Crash-only software - Wikipedia philosophy as much as possible by saving all changes – be it the settings, layout (read workspace) or content of a note – within approximately 2 seconds. So, there might be some rare race conditions which can lead to an inconsistent data state. But as WhiteNoise did point out, Obsidian offers file recovery to minimise any losses.

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more details on File Recovery: Help Retrieve content - #2 by rigmarole

Thank you all for the advice.
I was able to fully recover from snapshots which I had previously set at 5m, an forgot about.

@stef.rausch the crashes are out of nowhere and very frequent (several times per day). I previously tried to enable the Conosole logging (on MacOS) but wasn’t able to figure out what causes them. My main suspicion is the size of the file (~600KB).
If there’s any logging I can review, I’m happy to take a closer look and provide any details.


  • tikzjax
  • text snippets
  • templater
  • style settings
  • quick latex
  • Latex suite
  • obisdian 42 SNW
  • janitor
  • hotkeys for templates
  • excalidraw
  • automatically reveal active file

I can probably do another cleanup and disable some, but it would be easier if I could capture crash logs.

The file size and possibly a combination of layout-intensive markup could be a factor. My biggest text file has 256 KB and all is good.

the crashes are out of nowhere and very frequent (several times per day)

So they don’t happen when you exclusively work on the 600 KB file?

What about when you are working with Latex-related notes? I see that you have installed (and activated?) three plugins to handle those files.

You can try the following strategies to narrow down the cause of the crashes:

I am not on MacOS and can’t give any advice regarding crash logs.

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They do - I primarily work on that file and the rest are “sattelites”, hence likely only on that file.

I always work in source.
Regarding diabling plugins and binary search. I thought about it but, without reproduction steps, it would take too long. However, I’ll try to find a pattern.

I’m guessing there should be an error logged somewhere and, perhaps, I can get to that as well?

Not sure if this would be helpful :innocent: but, something I do when I want to look at previous versions of a note, with my vaults being stored in iCloud (and accessed from there on my Mac, in Obsidian Desktop) is opening the concerned note in TextEdit and then go to: FileRevert toBrowse all versions … I don’t do that often, but it has been useful :blush:

That’s a cool hack - thanks for the tip! I do notice “modifications are not in sync, choose which one to keep messaging at opening” (related https://discussions.apple.com/thread/250757096). Will have to fiddle more, I guess.

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