Local File Encryption of Obsidian mark down files


I would like advice on wether it is possible to encrypt the my local folder that obsidian markdown files are stored in.
My notes are quite personal, and I’m just concerned someone can still read them if my computer is left open.

I have the paid online sync plan - so encrypted cloud sync is taken care of

I have mac with icloud. have tried going through the forum, and I’ve seen some people mention Verasync. Just want to check - is it possible to encrypt the Obsidian folder using Verasync, and still continue to update the notes? Or does the encryption mean that Obsidian can no longer update the notes?

Ideally, I would like to encrypt locally. But if this is not possible, is there an option to use only encrypted cloud sync so that no local files are stored?

Thanks very much

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There is a community plugin called Meld Encrypt which lets you selectively encrypt files. Because of the way it seems to work, it would interfere with search and graph view. Also, anytime you decrypt and encrypt the note, Sync will transmit those changes which will pollute your Sync version history. I suspect the file name would not be obfuscated on the local disk either, so keep that in mind as well. Try it out yourself to confirm.

Personally, I would either use full disk encryption (it seems MacOS has a built in tool called File Vault) or create an encrypted container using VeraCrypt or a similar tool.

I’m not sure what your specific threat model is, but keep in mind that these tools don’t guruantee security if you don’t have physical security of your device, e.g. evil maid attacks. For the average user, these tools prevent a thief who steals their laptop from getting their data and raise the bar for snoopy roommates/family members.


That’s really informative. Thank you. I think File Vault is probably the best option, but doesn’t safeguard against evil maid attacks (lol!)

What I’m concerned about is everything is stored onto Files on Mac/ iPhone / iPad. Even if I turn off iCloud sync, iPhone and iPad will still create new searchable files. So someone using search function on Files app can easily view all of these notes on iPad/ Mac/ iPhone. I tried hiding the folder on Mac, but its still a regular visible file on iPad/ iphone. I suppose I need to make a decision on accessibility on all devices vs security.

Is there anyway of using obsidian without creating local files, and using only the obsidian paid cloud service?

Obsidian doesn’t have a web app. The sync service works by keeping the local files sync’d with the files on the server. I’m not sure whether a web app is planned in the future.

On the MacOS desktop VeraCrypt could work as long as you dismount the encrypted container whenever you are not using it (especially if you use VeraCrypt’s auto-dismount features). You would need to make sure Spotlight doesn’t index the encrypted drive when it is mounted by VeraCrypt. I’m not sure how well this translates to iOS devices.

You may want to take a look at Standard Notes, Notesnook, and other privacy centric note taking tools. It looks like Standard Notes and Notesnook encrypt files before they save it to your computer, but I have not personally used either to verify. I’ve been burned by other note taking tools in the past, so I would encourage you to test them out, make sure you can easily export your data in the future if you ever want to, etc.


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