Help getting Obsidian to work with Dropbox on my laptop and desktop

I am using Obsidian v.1.5.3 on two Macs. One is the laptop version of a 2015 MacBook Pro with 16 GB RAM. The other is a desktop version of an M2 Mac Mini Pro with 32 GB RAM. The vault both versions use is located on Dropbox. Previously, this arrangement worked to use Obsidian on both machines. Circumstances required me to reformat the M2MMP and now the desktop does not see the community plugins with the expected corresponding effect on excalidraw diagrams, graphics files, templater info, etc. Fortunately, I see the markdown files without problems. Since Obsidian sees the md files, it knows the path to the vault.

To troubleshoot this, I installed new themes and community plugins for Obsidian from the desktop. I observed the following…

  1. The invisible .obsidian folder on Dropbox

    a. The laptop and desktop see installations in the Dropbox invisible directory containing plugins and themes.
    b. Has a folder that lists all the community plugins regardless of whether installed by laptop or desktop
    c. Has a folder that lists all the themes regardless of whether installed by laptop or desktop
    d. Has a file -" community-plugins.json" that surprisingly, doesn’t have a full list of plugins installed.

  2. The laptop Obsidian version

    a. Registers all the plugins, including those installed using the desktop.
    b. sees the themes installed by the desktop version
    c. Both are usable and active.

  3. The desktop version
    a. can install plugins that the laptop can see.
    b. sees the plugins installed by desktop version and plugins are active.
    c. doesn’t see themes or plugins installed by the laptop.

Double checking, the plugins/themes are in the .obsidian folders on the laptop & desktop Dropbox folders and website.
Since, the desktop and the laptop appear to both see the vault in its location, but the desktop can’t see what was installed by the laptop, I suspect there is some small change somewhere that will enable the desktop to see the plugins and allow them to work properly.

I looked into the invisible .dropbox_cache folder on the desktop and the laptop for files present on the laptop but absent on the desktop. A folder called “old files” on the desktop & laptop has multiple different obsidian-related files. I removed those from the desktop, restarted and nothing changed. I then looked in hidden Dropbox and Obsidian folders and found nothing suspicious. I looked into the Dropbox sync status and nothing changed. I even checked if iCloud is touching the respective directories and it isn’t.

I am stumped as to what to do next. Any help will be very appreciated!


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