Lost files and can't permanently restore them, after capitalising a folder name

Things I have tried

Tl;dr I use Obsidian Sync. I renamed a folder twice in order to capitalise the name. The files in that folder were deleted. I restored them, and Obsidian deleted them again.

How do I get them back and keep them safe?

What I’m trying to do

I’ve searched help docs and forum for restoring and recovery and deleted files, but I think this is an unusual case.

(This is the rough history – I wasn’t taking notes so the exact order might be out.)

Tried capitalising folder name by renaming twice.

I decided to capitalise the name of my “Business” folder to “BUSINESS”. This is the folder I use most frequently, and I wanted to make it stand out from the other folders.
I tried to rename it, but it failed. (Error: already exists – i.e. Obsidian considers “Business” and “BUSINESS” to be the same.)
So, I thought, I’ll just change it twice. So I renamed it to “Business 2”, then waited for it to sync between my 3 devices.
It took a while (maybe even hours?) to completely sync, to the point of the original folder name being gone on all devices.
Then I renamed it to “BUSINESS”. I saw the old name “Business 2” reappear alongside “BUSINESS”, so I just waited for it to sync. I waited until much later (maybe the following morning), and “Business 2” was still there. I confirmed that it contained no files (I think it just had two subfolders) before deleting it.

Most of the files are gone – but I restore them, with difficulty.

I expected the move to be complete at this point. However, I discovered that the “BUSINESS” folder was missing some subfolders, and almost all of the files. (Panic. I hadn’t backed up recently.)
I discovered that I have File Recovery in Obsidian. Phew.
I have to select each file by mouse, then click the previous version before clicking restore. And I have to do this for maybe 70 files. Oh well, I do it.
Because it’s a difficult UI (have to visually and mentally track which file I am up to) I do it on my laptop but also have Obsidian open on my Android phone, so I can watch the files reappearing there.

The files disappear again!

I’m almost finished when I see the files disappearing in my Android app. This continues until the folder is completely empty.
I see they are still listed in deleted files.
Now each file is listed twice, with both the “Business” path (deleted on my phone) and the “BUSINESS” path (deleted on my laptop).

How do I restore and keep them restored?

My idea is to rename the current folder to “another name” before trying again to restore the files (and delete the “another name” folder later if it’s completely safe and I’m backed up). And then restore just the files with the “Business” path.

Would that work? It takes so long to restore them, and they delete so quickly, so I want to be sure.

Alternatively, would it help to restore files from the same device they were deleted on?

This is my first problem in Obsidian. Other than this it’s been wonderful. Thanks!


I tried restoring a small number of files in the way I proposed above. I waited a couple of hours and they weren’t deleted.

I then moved all the files to a new folder, "“BUSINESS”.

So far so good.

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