Iterate through files in the file sidebar with keyboard

Hey! It would be really useful if we could iterate through files in the sidebar with just the keyboard and have them open without touching the mouse.

I often want to flick through my files but it is not easy if I have to click on each one.


Yeah that’d be a nice option. Not sure what the command would be, but it for quickly exploring/navigating it’d be nice. Especially if you have the file explorer filtered/sorted or you’re viewing a particular folder.

I described it on the discord as like working in powerpoint. You can navigate the slides on the left side via arrows and the window views them instantly.


I second this. The table layout windows (file explorer and tag list) should be navigable using e.g. arrow keys ‘up’ and ´’down’.


I would state this point even stronger…

The current handling of scrolling through the “File Explorer” with the keyboard is not intuituve in that it does not behave like a File Explorer in terms of previewing the highlighted file!

I would really prefer it if the file with focus via the keyboard up/down arrows got displayed in the main window pane to the right of the File Explorer in preview mode.


Definitely necessary - its very slow to browse your files without this.


Yes, please! There should be a way to move keyboard focus to File Explorer (and other panes: Tags and Search results, for example)!

I think this would be a HUGE addition to the app. Literally my first impression of the app was being put off that I could not click on a note in the sidebar and then move between notes with the arrow keys. This is such a common paradigm for interacting with tree views that it gives a poor impression right off the bat.


Bumping this…

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Same thoughts and feelings here. My first experience was trying to keyboard nav through my existing notes and it not working. I thought it was broken or buggy and was hesitant to invest more time. I’m glad I did because it has so much going for it!

Please add this feature, Thanks!


Nice and necessary to navigate around between panes , filelists, tags etc.
Please add this in future version of Obsidian.

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this is a great idea!
I think the best inspiration for this is neo tree for spacemacs which uses vim keybindings for navigation.

Being able to also use the arrows for non-vim users would also be a good idea

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OneNote had Ctrl+PageUp/PageDown

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Jumping in to say this would be an amazing feature. I thought it might be found in the hotkey section of the app, but to no avail.

I think that would actually be the best implementation, if it was a hotkey that could be mapped like toggling the sidebar. Especially if it was purely navigation.

For instance if I do a search (ctrl, shift, F) I could use the same control to move through the search results.


+1 for this feature. I think this is a pretty normal and expected feature of an in app file explorer.

2021-01-29 Update: I have been using Obsidian for a few weeks now. Love the work done on this so far. Very impressive. However, the inability to navigate the interface via keyboard forces me to keep reaching for the mouse. An annoyance that I hope is addressed in a forthcoming update. This is my main feature request at present.


There are similar feature requests to use keyboard shortcuts to quickly jump through search results, which is actually what I came here looking for. I think this is feature request is the more important one and it should be applied to whatever is in the file browser and impact whatever is the active window.

Expected behaviors:

If there is an active search, the keyboard shortcuts should navigate up/down within that active search

If no search is active, the keyboard shortcuts should move up/down within the current file sort rules around that currently open file. It should respect whether the file is in the main vault or a subfolder.

The implementation details around an active search and also whatever the active search order is are absolutely critical.

Last little comment… THANK YOU to the developers and the community. I’ve been using the app now for like 6 months and it is wonderful and I love where it is headed. I’m going to become a insider/support/vip or something later this afternoon to show my appreciation.


Agreeing with everything said above, it would also be helpful to support page-up/down keys for faster scrolling, and also to have a scrollbar to indicate roughly where in the list you are. Thanks in anticipation.

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Same from me

yes. want.

Please. I want to navigate my files using keyboard.

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+1 here. This is one of the most important features for me. Also being able to collapse/expand levels in the file explorer with keys. Having to do this with a mouse is a real workflow killer for us keyboard geeks.

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