If Obsidian can make and wait for iCloud to sync config files, can there be an option to make it snyc all iCloud files?

Use case or problem

I have issues with iCloud syncing which I need for my Obsidian vault.

Proposed solution

When starting up Obsidian on iOS, it usually says “waiting for icloud to synchronize configuration files” as it makes iCloud sync Obsidian’s configuration files. There should be a setting in the app to make iCloud sync all the other files. Even if it would take much longer than just syncing config files, I want my vault to be up to date on all devices.

@rigmarole Why did you move it from feature requests to help? I’m not asking for help on something. For Obsidian to give an option to sync all iCloud files instead of just config files is my feature request.

Are you saying you are requesting Obsidian to show that popup until everything is synced?

Or are you saying you have issues because not all your files are syncing through iCloud?

The app can’t function at all until the config files are available. Before the loading screen was introduced, this would cause the app to crash on launch.

iCloud Drive continues to download all of your files in the background once the vault has loaded.

Have you encountered any actual issues in using your vault because data was missing? I never did in over a year of using iCloud Drive with a ~10gb vault.

Are you saying you are requesting Obsidian to show that popup until everything is synced?

I’m requesting to make an setting to opt into, for Obsidian to make iCloud sync all files (not just config ones) before starting up.

@ryanjamurphy I’ve been syncing on Obsidian for a week and a half, with a vault of 150 files (notes & images) and 150MB. I had trouble syncing a bunch of markdown files I imported a few days ago. I turned off iCloud on both iOS devices, restarted them, and turned iCloud back on.

It would be better if I could enable a setting for Obsidian to get all my notes before starting up.

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So can you share more about what exactly the trouble is? This is why it’s moved to Help.

If the files aren’t syncing properly in iCloud, a setting in Obsidian isn’t going to make them sync. It sounds like you’re experiencing a problem with your iCloud account or setup.

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Yes, that’s classic iCloud Drive performance for you. The setting you’re asking for would just prevent your vault from launching until you troubleshooted the iCloud Drive problem.

@rigmarole If Obsidian can make iCloud download the config files, then why wouldn’t it be able to do the same for all the other files?

If you don’t know the technical details, then can you be sure it doesn’t make iCloud do anything? It seems like only the devs would know this, would it fine to @ them?

Alright, I’ll leave the issue at this.

For more info: when Obsidian launches an iCloud Drive-synced vault, it tells iCloud Drive it needs all of the files in the vault.

iCloud Drive then starts to download all of the files that it has offloaded to “optimize local storage.”

Obsidian does have the ability to wait until each config file is downloaded before launching. Theoretically it could also wait until all files are available. However, as you’ve discovered, this could be days. The root of this problem is iCloud Drive’s unpredictable performance.

In my opinion you’d be better served by encouraging Apple to allow users to mark folders on iCloud Drive as “not optimizable”, or whatever. If iCloud Drive’s paternalism could be prevented for Obsidian’s folders, we’d never have to deal with this offloading-reloading foolishness. Alas.


(TIL. My bad. Answers redacted.)

Thanks for the info @ryanjamurphy!

I think we all wish iCloud had a big green go button: “sync all now” and a status board somewhere of what it was actually doing.

I’ve no doubt @Oneechan69 and others have had/have iCloud issues on mobile, but for over a year, I had two iPads and two phones on various iOS versions syncing Obsidian vaults with no issues whatsoever.

Desktop & Document sync and “Optimize Mac Storage” were OFF on the macs; offload unused apps OFF on iOS (no setting for optimize storage on iOS that I know of). iOS/iPadOS will arbitrarily offload data if it’s running low on local storage; I think this is a key point. I’ve not had this happen but there are posts (iCloud Drive: Reliability and keeping files locally | MacRumors Forums) all over about it. I wonder how many people experiencing iCloud issues are getting low on device storage :thinking:

Restarting all devices sometimes gets iCloud unstuck. The nuclear option is signing out and back in to iCloud :fearful:

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It’s not nice, but the terminal command described here is somewhat useful:

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