Mac-based Obsidian Very Slow to Load

Things I have tried

Closed all open apps
In Help searched for slow, slow loading, troubleshoot, best practices, optimize/optimise, max note size, optimal note size, impact of links on performance, recommended configuration

What I’m trying to do

Tweak performance to speed up substantially. Vault loading takes over thirty minutes currently but eventually loads.

Latency in typed letters appearing and selected other apps loading. May be related to background syncing of which I have several.

Stay safe, and any insights appreciated. First post of Obsidian novice.

What kind of computer are you using?

What does your vault contain? (E.g., on which folder did you create the vault?)

Also check your file system in case it’s a file system issue. No problems with performance with my Vault with just now 4000+ entries.

Now it could also be a specific feature used, so the more info, the better.

Thank you, gents. Apologies for the delay, apparently my notification button toggled off. Anyway, I appreciate your interest in helping.

I’m running a 2015 refurbished MacBook Pro as follows:

Model Name: MacBook Pro
Model Identifier: MacBookPro12,1
Processor Name: Dual-Core Intel Core i7
Processor Speed: 3.1 GHz
Number of Processors: 1
Total Number of Cores: 2
L2 Cache (per Core): 256 KB
L3 Cache: 4 MB
Hyper-Threading Technology: Enabled
Memory: 16 GB
System Firmware Version: 184.0.0.0.0
SMC Version (system): 2.28f7

MacOS 11.2.3
ECC: Disabled
Upgradeable Memory: No

BANK 0/DIMM0:

Size: 8 GB
Type: DDR3
Speed: 1867 MHz
Status: OK
Manufacturer: 0x80CE
Part Number: 0x4B3445424533303445422D45474346202020

BANK 1/DIMM0:

Size: 8 GB
Type: DDR3
Speed: 1867 MHz
Status: OK
Manufacturer: 0x80CE
Part Number: 0x4B3445424533303445422D45474346202020

Macintosh HD:

Free: 987.96 GB (987,960,672,256 bytes)
Capacity: 1.92 TB (1,920,140,099,584 bytes)
Mount Point: /
File System: APFS
Writable: No
Ignore Ownership: No
BSD Name: disk1s5s1
Volume UUID: 9FD9CEA7-54A7-4C99-82A1-094657DFF586
Physical Drive:
Device Name: Aura Pro X2
Media Name: AppleAPFSMedia
Medium Type: SSD
Protocol: PCI-Express
Internal: Yes
Partition Map Type: Unknown
S.M.A.R.T. Status: Verified

Macintosh HD - Data:

Free: 987.96 GB (987,960,672,256 bytes)
Capacity: 1.92 TB (1,920,140,099,584 bytes)
Mount Point: /System/Volumes/Data
File System: APFS
Writable: Yes
Ignore Ownership: No
BSD Name: disk1s1
Volume UUID: FD121B8F-3FEB-49C7-947A-B5629AACCC21
Physical Drive:
Device Name: Aura Pro X2
Media Name: AppleAPFSMedia
Medium Type: SSD
Protocol: PCI-Express
Internal: Yes
Partition Map Type: Unknown
S.M.A.R.T. Status: Verified

One Touch XHD:

Free: 1.45 TB (1,447,443,353,600 bytes)
Capacity: 4 TB (4,000,575,389,696 bytes)
Mount Point: /Volumes/One Touch XHD
File System: Case-sensitive APFS
Writable: Yes
Ignore Ownership: No
BSD Name: disk3s2
Volume UUID: 088863CD-5453-40CD-8352-7DFD964EF326
Physical Drive:
Device Name: One Touch HDD
Media Name: AppleAPFSMedia
Protocol: USB
Internal: No
Partition Map Type: Unknown

Apps running in background [which I suspect may be a possible problem because after throwing out the life preserver for help, my system sped up on a load time of slightly over a minute:

DropBox
BackBlaze (incremental backups)
Maybe pictures to iCloud which is a mystery to me.

Ryan asked where the vault is located. Please excuse a newbie question as I’m not clear where it is or how to answer.

I normally try to open my install to a new vault as it boots to the homescreen currently. I’ve searched the vaults that I can see for a couple of non-English words hoping they would generate a hit because they are probably to in the Apps dictionary w/o luck. Also check my history log back to last Monday, again with no luck.

I may have too many links as the main note I entered was probably two plus 8.5 x 11 inch printed bibliography of sources. Each entry could have as many as say 6 links, so it may be punishing me for being greedy, dunno.

If there is a way to display the whole variable file structure I’m unaware of it but assume that would help.

Anything else you can think of?

BTW since I upgraded to Big Sur I am usually, but not always, unable to tweak my System Preferences and Apple techs just suggesting installing the last stable version on MacOS which I’d do but time machine backups can only be reinstalled to the same OS so can go back to Catalina and load my Big Sur-generation Time Machine snapshots.

Happy Easter to all that observe it and stay safe,

Boathead

A 2015 MBP should be fine.

Ryan asked where the vault is located. Please excuse a newbie question as I’m not clear where it is or how to answer.

When you first set up Obsidian, you’re asked to create a Vault by selecting a folder on your machine.

I’m guessing your issue is that you selected e.g., your user directory or your hard drive itself—something with a great many files in it, many of which aren’t really supposed to be indexed by Obsidian.

Does this sound right?

It sounds likely. Let me play with the data files on my MPB. The OWC 4T SSD I stuck in it has lots of nooks and crannies for things to hide. I’m tied up this evening but will take a look in the morning and see if anything looks promising.

Would I be right in my present impression that searches from within Obsidian are limited to the data in the current Vault vs. In all Vaults? If so is there a way to expand the scope of the search to include all vaults on the computer?

Obsidian isn’t designed to run on your entire computer—rather, the idea is to create vaults based on a directory of notes files. I’d recommend you try to follow that pattern!

You can’t search across vaults, no. Feel free to file a #feature-requests for that—I haven’t seen one.

Got it.

And while I may well be overthinking it, it seems to me that if vaults are intended to be a collection of siloed subject-matter notes (say birds, and appliance specs, and genealogy in three silos) the user won’t be able to find notes on related topics which use a slightly different vocabulary to document more closely-closely related subjects than the three mentioned above… That’s actually one of the features I’m beginning to cherish in DEVPNThink’s AI implimentation that finds long-forgotten notes from a search. Very likely that is too much to ask for in an open-source project vs. DEVONthink’s licensing for example.

Global Search Feature Request - There are currently a number of feature requests that include term global, so I plan to wait on make that suggestion until I understand more about what it is these requests are asking for. But appreciate both your support and suggestions.

Paz,

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I mean, you can still create a vault that contains all of those subjects. I only use one vault. But just don’t point it at, like, your whole computer. A subfolder of e.g., user/Documents/ is typical.

And, by the way, there’s a plugin that provides an integration with DEVONthink if you use indexing to put your Obsi notes in DEVONthink. It’s called DEVONlink.

Ryan, thanks so much for your time and concern. Most appreciated. My slow obsidian loading is much better for some reason. Maybe it’s afraid of you. That’s my guess. The only thing I can think of is that my auto-backup running in the background is mostly caught up, so I’ll look more carefully in their settings and see if I can lower their priority. I wish Obsidian would load faster (I’m down to a couple of minutes now) but that and a nickel…

Thanks too for the lead to DEVONlink I’ll look into it.

And as to how you organize your Vault, seems to me your suggestions of kludging it all together into one ginormous Vault is the way to go. Unless specifically directed to save a folder in my Root, I place the vast majority of my files in a subfolder of User, more often than not in Documents. That’s part of what puzzles me with my AWOL Vaults.

I use a cloud-indexing program called DOKKIO to manage my cloud-based files which I’ve found very useful. While working on another problem I learned that they’ve received multiple requests to integrate with Obsidian. Like Obsidian itself they have more suggestions than resources to evaluate and possibly implement, but doing so with Obsidian is definitely on their radar FWIW.

Let’s close this issue now with my appreciation. I’ve already taken much more of your time than warranted.

I’m telling Santa. Stay safe, you’ve been a great help.

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It’s not clear if this is your case, but if an SSD drive is close to full, i.e. less than 15% space left, they will get extremely low due to the file system implementation. I also assume if your main drive or drive used is SSD that you use the APFS file system. For SSD drives that’s what should be used and all new Macs with internal SSDs use that, but for external SSD drives you need to format it yourself.

As for spinning disks, the opposite is true, you need to use HFS+ as APFS file systems with hard drives is much slower.