[iPadOS] Global and local graph and other goodies in both sidebars

Papa is back. I have broken my holiday (…unpaid leave…?) to bring you this much needed functionality today.
I am pretty sure some people applied this hack but I don’t remember this being publicly shown.

Mostly I broke my silence because I felt a little guilty – I stated somewhere (actually, I was more like concurring with someone) that one was not able to put stuff like the local graph on sidebars on iPad.
I was led on and, consequently, leading you on.
You can.

How I did it

  1. Have one note open in workspace.
  2. Open sidebar, long-press on Backlinks, for instance. Hover Editor will give you the option to Open or Convert. Open it.
  3. Dock Hover Editor to Workspace.
  4. Pin the left sidebar.
  5. Now you can long-press on the leaf-turned-tab (Backlinks, e.g.) and not releasing on the press, you can move it to the left sidebar. Try moving it as if above it until a filled square shape appears, then release. (Getting a hold of the tab takes some getting used to, though. Basically, you need to push to the left side of the screen in the upper left hand corner. When wanting to put something to the right sidebar, you may not need to pin the right sidebar)
  • NB: On the sidebar it’s called a leaf, when it’s in the main workspace/editor area, it’s called a tab.

By default, some items are populated on the left sidebar, others on the right. You can

  1. Play around with the Hover Editor trick;
  2. Edit the json file manually (copied some stuff to the left sidebar, then duplicated all items and renamed the second left right) with Obsidian closed.

I did it with 1, then 2 to make it faster.

Test environment

iPad mini 15.8, Obsidian version 1.4.16 (I didn’t update to 1.5.12 yet).

  • I actually did update but reverted on a jailbroken device because of an issue I was experiencing. Not sure if this is going to be fixed with 1.6 coming out soon.

Probably this won’t work on iOS but you can try. If it breaks the workspace, you can go back to your backup.

Requirements and explanation

Optionally, you can install the plugins I am showing in the video. The Recent Files plugin is handy, the Trash Explorer only makes sense if the setting is to move the trash in the Obsidian .trash folder.

Hover Editor and Floating Search are especially useful on tablets and phones and are needed to remove the unwanted elements from the sidebars.

Video explanation

IMG_0513-ezgif.com-speed 2

I am showing how you can access your sidebar elements on both sides. It goes without saying that for all of the items to be seen there, you need to enable the core plugins and the Recent Files and Trash Explorer community plugins.

The Hover Editor plugin is useful to Open a hovering instance of the element and with Convert you can remove the unwanted element. If you don’t need 3 search modals on either side, you can remove some of them with Convert, provided you installed and enabled the Floating Search plugin as well.

  • Because there’s no Search History on mobile, it’s good to have more modals and switch between them, so I recommend not to convert anything or disable the Hover Editor if you fear you accidentally remove a sidebar item.

EDIT. Seems like the latter part of the gif was gone during online conversion/editing.
I was showing how to remove the search modals with Hover Convert, but you get the idea. And as I said, those modals are good to keep on board.


I am uploading my json file which has both sidebars populated with all the items. (Well, json is not allowed to be uploaded so I zipped it.)

workspace-mobile.zip (1.5 KB)

Unzip this and copy the json to your vault’s config folder (.obsidian or whatever).

Of course the recent files or the graph details etc. won’t be the same in your vault but adding my json instance will not break anything in your vault.

You’ll need to overwrite your workspace-mobile.json file with this one.
If you are doing this on your desktop, it’s easy. If you only have an iPad, you’ll need an app which will enable you to access the hidden config folder (.obsidian or .mobile if you relaunched with a dedicated config folder). Taio on iOS can be used as a free app to access the dot folders (add your Obsidian vault first as an external folder).

It’s not that difficult to edit the workspace-mobile.json file if things go wrong (you remove something by mistake), because after a few minutes you can take in where you need to add or how you need to juggle the extra elements (do this with Obsidian closed), but for newbies it’s better to use what I uploaded and make backups.

Make backups

First of all, make a backup of your currently used json file.

Make copies, e.g. workspace-mobile.json.bak or workspace-mobile.json.backup of this uploaded file as well and keep it in the config folder. You can rename it or an instance of it back to workspace-mobile.json if you muck things up (remove something you liked).


If you have the Workspaces core plugin enabled, save a workspace with both sidebars fully populated or any other variations you want. This then can be used as another way to back up.

Local and global graphs

Unfortunately, Obsidian doesn’t make a distinction between the two so both have the same name in the json file (as well as on the sidebars). I didn’t even try renaming them in the json because I was sure I’d break the workspace.
So you must remember that the upper “Graph view” is local and the lower one is global.

  • If you have a huge vault, the global graph might quit Obsidian so if be careful or Close it (this doesn’t need converting for you to be able to close it).