ICloud sync only goes one way


[X] iOS
[ ] Android

Obsidian Mobile version: 1.4.1 (83)

I use iCloud sync. When I type something in Obsidian on my iPhone 12, it will sync and update on my M1 iMac. When I do it the other way around, it doesn’t work. I type something on my iMac and it won’t sync to the iPhone. Very frustrating.

Does anyone know why? What can I do to fix this issue? Is it an iCloud issue?

I’m on macOS Monterey 12.1 and iOS 16.0.

Any help is highly appreciated!


Maybe you have iOS Background Sync turned off, or Low Data Mode turned on? Or maybe Low Power Mode is on but probably not since it turns off when you charge over 80%.

I removed “[Bug]” from the title because it’s probably not an Obsidian bug, and added “iCloud” for clarity.

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I think it’s an issue on my Mac and not my iPhone? If I type something on my iPhone it will sync to my Mac, but not the other way around.

The strange thing is that if I add files or rename files inside the Obsidian iCloud folder on my Mac it will update to my iCloud Drive on my iPhone. I can see the changes real time. So why won’t it sync in the app?

Did a little investigation…

I backed up my Obsidian folder and deleted it on my iPhone and Mac.

I then created a brand new vault on my iPhone and re-added the old vault files to the new vault on my Mac.

It works fine on my Mac.

In Obsidian on my iPhone, I only see the folders. No files.

In the iCloud drive on my iPhone, I can see the folders, but they are empty. The files have not been synced.


The features I asked about prevent background processing on iPhone, which could prevent the phone from pulling the files down from iCloud. Did you check the settings?

I thought I’d send another post about empty folders like this, but I can’t find it now.

@pookeyblow @CawlinTeffid

I have the same issue as ppkeyblow except in the opposite direction. Notes I take on my iphone do not appear on my imac (or at least not in a timely fashion). And then the imac wins and the note disappears on my iphone. I looked into your suggestions Cawlin but my IOS background sync is on and my low data mode is off.

Any other suggestions out there? Is there a manual button in obsidian on the mobile that I can push to force a sync? I am new to obsidian. It would be helpful/welcome if I could push a sync button and know that my devices were syncing in real time.

On my imac I can see the cloud and it syncs but - it’s not actually syncing everything in real time from my mobile and I can’t seem to force it to sync. For instance, I can see xnumber of bytes that are not syncing but there is no way for me to initiate its synching.

I think I solved it by going in to the subfolders in my Obsidian folder and started moving files and folders around and renaming them. I also did the “killall bird” command in the Terminal to force restart iCloud. It works now.

Yes. I did not have iOS Background Sync turned off, or Low Data Mode turned on. It was 100% an issue with iCloud on my Mac because iCloud in Finder displayed the dotted cloud icon constantly, which means it’s still uploading/syncing. I renamed and moved folders and files in the Obsidian folder and did the “killall bird” command in Terminal. It works now. Not sure what fixed it.

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