Full File System Access For The iOS App (Open Existing Vault)

Use case or problem

I am using Obsidian on macOS, Linux and Android - and today I installed it on my iPad as well. On iOS the only place where I can store my Vault is the “Obsidian” folder. I am aware that iOS has restrictions in the way apps can use the file system. But some apps allow creating and editing files outside of their “own” folder.

My use case: I want to be able to freely interact with the Obsidian markdown files from other apps. That would be best possible if I could store the vault anywhere on the accessible file system.

Proposed solution

Offer a new option “Open Existing Vault” and use the iOS system file picker to get the location the user choose.


This is my most desired feature and I would pay for it as an in-app purchase if needed. Cryptomator just released their app with native Files integration and if Obsidian launched this feature it would enable fully encrypted cross-platform usage.


This is the one thing missing from the iOS app for me as well.

It’s not a deal-breaker, but I really just want to be able to move my notes folder out of the iCloud/Obsidian folder and into my iCloud/Writing folder with all my other stuff.

1 Like

This is my use case, too :+1:. Being able to open an existing vault by selecting the folder where Cryptomator places the vault’s unencrypted files would essentially allow me to encrypt/decrypt the vault’s files on demand. It would make my data be encrypted at rest when I don’t actively use them :slight_smile:.


+1 for this request!

I have two vaults, one of which is somewhere else on the iCloud Drive and there’s no way to open that vault in Obsidian on iOS.

Things I have tried

go to the files app on iOS, choose a file of the vault and open it via share – that just leads me to the Obsidian vault option screen with creating a new vault, etc.

What I’m trying to do


Apparently there are several users having this problem: how do I open an existing vault in the iOS version of Obsidian?

I have seen this question numerous times, but no answer yet. All I get in the iOS version is the option to create a new vault or to open already known ones, but not to look for an existing one and open that.

I guess the iOS and iPadOS Obsidian will lookup/create/delete vaults in a specific root path in the iCloud.

I don’t know how to change it.

And if you want to use Obsidian on iOS or iPadOS and based on iCloud, you can put the vault file under that specific root path.

And I think you cannot open any file as a vault on iOS/iPadOS Obsidian. But this can be done in the desktop version of Obsidian.

Well, I am not using iCloud – I am using my own private Cloud Server … I really like Obsidian, but that’s a breaker. :frowning:

Read this in full

I am not quite sure why this should be the solution!
The provided link speaks about syncing, I am talking about opening a vault. Apparently, I cannot go to a network drive via the Obsidian iOS App and open a vault.
I am using the tool in an environment in which due to security reasons the use of public clouds is a no-go, I therefore want to use a simple internal network drive to open a vault.
If it is not possible, OK - but the description in the link is not the solution, as far as understand - but I am happy to be corrected.

Ok let me be more precise

No, you cannot pick an arbitrary location. This limitation is due to iOS sandboxing and the way Obsidian access files (a whole vault at time).

That’s what I understand - which basically means that Obsidian cannot be used in a restricted data environment, if to be used with iOS.