iCloud sync issues

Things I have tried

What I’m trying to do

I’ve followed the instructions and setup a vault from the iOs mobile app and then opened that vault on the Windows desktop app using iCloud drive.
It’s nice to have the vault synced but it’s not very smooth.

I often have copies of notes created with a …(1) at the end. Haven’t made out any patterns yet and only seen one other post here.

Today I moved my attachments and Daily notes to separate folders and it synced up ok to the mobile app.
Then I moved another set of notes to a new folder on the windows app but it doesn’t sync at all. In the windows file explorer it just shows the blue circles (waiting to get synced). The iCloud status in the windows system tray shows files waiting to get synced for the past 2 hours.

Is there a manual way to force a sync?
Are others using iCloud sync reliably?


I had something similar happen to me yesterday (same setup—windows desktop, iPhone). I am a long ways from understanding what is happening, however I may have a solution for the stalled sync.

Check your vault directory and the .obsidian directory within your fault for any files that are not syncing. I had a number of workplace files in my .obsidian folder. If they are duplicate files i.e. workplace22 or file_name(1) then you should be able to safely delete them.

While this was happening to me, I was not able to access iCloud drive files on my iPhone. Once I deleted those ever-syncing files, life was back to normal. :man_shrugging:

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today it duplicated a bunch of folders, had sync progress for files at 100% but nothing updated to the iCloud and the mobile app. Restarting computer didn’t make a difference.
I finally disabled the “iCloud Drive” in the "iCloud settings (made a backup first). Disabling the icloud drive deletes all data. Once I enabled it again it downloaded the “old” copy from the cloud. Then I manually copied back the newer files and they synced to the cloud right away.
I had to manually reinstall the community plugins.
Let’s hope it keeps working, otherwise I’ll have to find another solution.

I also noticed that when using the “daily notes” on the iOs with “open daily note on startup” enabled it will create duplicate notes. That’s probably because the app creates the file on startup right away before it has time for the iCloud note to arrive.
Disabling the setting seems to fix it.
Also, when I have updated content on the PC and then use the app I force close it first (swipe up), then open it again to force a refresh of the data.

the .obsidian/workspace file gets duplicated often and I just delete those manually.
When the sync is hanging up I just end the “icloud Drive” task and restart the iCloud program. That restarts the sync

Looking at the iCloud log might also help with troubleshooting.
For reference, the log files for iCloud for Windows can be found at


there is also a iCloud sync issue with the “recent files” plugin. Especially when renaming files on a PC this can cause issues because the old file still shows up in the “recent file” list on the mobile app and then gets recreated.
Otherwise not a big issue in my opinion.


I had the same problem with the iCloud sync. I managed to solve it by uninstalling the Microsoft store version of iCloud app… instead I installed a desktop iCloud app. It’s been working great so far, no duplicates are appearing.

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do you have a link for where to download the “desktop iCloud app”?

You have to download iCloud on the Microsoft store.

I went to the official website, Download iCloud for Windows - Apple Support, and there I used the link for a non-store version of the app designed for Windows 8 and above (I have windows 10 and had no problem installing it). This way you install iCloud version outside of the Microsoft store.


Just adding a few more observations for future reference:
I use the “homepage” plugin to open my home note every time I launch obsidian. The home note has a couple of embedded graphics on top.
On the iPhone and iPad app I sometimes get an error “file note created” for one of the graphics. When I do a command/reload it shows the graphic.

So it seems it’s not a “syncing issue” with new or updated files, more of an issue locating existing files. Is there a developer option to display all the files obsidian has indexed?

Another issue I had on the iphone where the contents of the daily note disappeared before my eyes, the screen just went blank. I checked the iCloud drive and confirmed that the iphone had created an emtpy …(1).md version of that note. But when clicking “copy Obsidian URL” it was showing the original .md file without the (1).

So the app tries to read a .md file but can’t find or access it? Then it tries to create that file but the iCloud drive knows it’s there an creates a …(1) copy.
Maybe the app should check for the file location of any newly created file and if it contains a (1), etc it should show a warning to the user because this should never occur.

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it happened again, I was appending text to my daily notes/2021-12-24.md file on the iphone app. Then the note suddenly closed. I checked the iphone “files app” and the file was not in the iCloud drive.
On the PC the file showed fine with a green checkmark and it includes the last word I typed on the iphone just before it closed. Timestamp of file is 11:20am

iCloud log for that file:

[11584 @ Fri Dec 24 2021 07:48:08.940]	12972	ERROR	BRC::DocDownloadOp::DoMove	Error 5 moving file C:\Users\uwe\AppData\Local\Packages\AppleInc.iCloud_nzyj5cx40ttqa\LocalCache\Local\Apple Inc\iCloudDrive\Staging\03B62F90-2FB2-43A8-8A4C-6D564B584B84.bin to C:\Users\uwe\iCloudDrive\iCloud~md~obsidian\Obsidian\Daily Notes\2021-12-24.md

[11584 @ Fri Dec 24 2021 09:10:11.275]	12832	ERROR	SetPlaceholderSyncState	Failed to mark 'C:\Users\uwe\iCloudDrive\iCloud~md~obsidian\Obsidian\Daily Notes\2021-12-24.md' sync state: 0x80070178: The file is not a cloud file.

(C:\Users\uwe\iCloudDrive\iCloud~md~obsidian\Obsidian\Daily Notes\2021-12-24.md): Signature changed after upload: (17,3002)
[11584 @ Fri Dec 24 2021 09:09:50.671]	12624	ERROR	CKW::ModifyRecordsOperation::UploadAssets	Failed to upload asset |fileContent|2021-12-24.md for record 

At the same time the obsidian on my PC froze for the top 4 buttons, not sure if that’s related.
Screenshot 2021-12-24 114120

command/reload fixed the issue with frozen nav.
When editing that note on the PC it synced again and showed up on the iphone app …

I do have automated backups from the iCloud to dropbox with the dropbox plugin and it ran 5 minutes before the issue started …

I also discovered that a 2021-12-14.md file is in the iCloud Drive/.trash folder with the same 11:20 timestamp and a “blue cloud” (the file is stored in iCloud drive and hasn’t been downloaded to your computer). When opening the file it shows one more word that I typed before the iphone app closed the note.
That .trash folder is 2 levels higher than my obsidian iCloud vault (which is at iCloud Drive/Obsidian/Obsidian)

Not sure what that all means, just documenting for future reference, maybe a core developer can use it to find the issue.

Obsidian requires all the files in its open vaults to be local and available.
afaics, your iCloud setup may not sustain that.

Users using problem-free Google Drive systems found problems start when Drive switched to streaming from the cloud; and disappeared again when they kept the vaults local.

not sure if I understand. Are you saying that there are different ways to setup the vault in an iCloud drive?

I too am dying in the land of iCloud syncing. Mined stopped working yesterday. Ironically just as I was committing to go all in on Obsidian.

I’ve rebooted, deleted Obsidian out of my cloud drive. Reenabled it and copied the data back. …

What magic is there left to invoke? I can tell deleting from the iCloud worked since both my phone and iPad have lost access to the vault.

idk, having avoided iCloud for a long time. Some users appear to have no problems with Obsidian but others have recurrent issues. If it shifts files to cloud expecting to stream them fast enough on demand, then that might not always work with Obsidian; but I don’t know enough to know that’s what is going on.

You can try to check by having a purely local vault, only syncing when Obsidian has closed the vault. Maybe your Dropbox backup clashes with Obsidian (or with iCloud).

I think it’s most likely to be an iCloud issue rather than an Obsidian one though. I doubt Obsidian works the way iCloud expects.

I’m too starting to get really tired of this issue with iCloud. In my case, it works fine for everything else except Obsidian files!

Once every week I have to try a few times of enable/disable the service, reboot, force kill…etc to get things back to work.

I was experiencing this issue on Windows 11 where iCloud would create multiple copies instead of updating the original copy. I followed @erik1131 post and installed the non-Microsoft version of iCloud. And that seemed to have solved the issue.


Hi, there. I’m also tyring this win7/8 version iCloud.

May I know can you still see the update status of files in the “iCloud Drive” folder?
It seems to take forever to upload any file from windows :cry: