Migrate From iCloud To Obsidian Sync

I’ve decided to give Obsidian sync a try. What is the best/easiest way to migrate my vault from iCloud Drive to Obsidian sync? Should I create a vault over there and drag and drop the files into Obsidian on my desktop using Finder?

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I would:

On macOS:

  1. Quit Obsidian
  2. make backups
  3. drag (or copy) your vault folder out of iCloud Drive and put it somewhere that isn’t already being synced
  4. Open Obsidian
  5. Open the Vault Picker
  6. Open the old vault in its new location
  7. enable the sync plugin
  8. go to Settings → Sync
  9. Enter your credentials/set up sync, and enable the sync features you’d like to use.

On iOS devices:

  1. Open Obsidian
  2. Open the vault picker
  3. Create a new empty vault with the same name of your moved vault
  4. Enable the sync plugin, log in, and choose the synced vault
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Thanks for the instructions. I’d like to do the same, but I’m confused about where Obsidian would then keep the files on my iOS devices. Can you clarify? I like being able to access my files on iOS via the files app, would I lose that functionality?

They’ll be in On My iPhone/Obsidian and can still be accessed/manipulated through Files and other apps.

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I did this, but I have Obsidian on two Macs and the second one appears to be saving my synced vault someplace on iCloud. Is there a way I can change the local sync location on my second Mac?

How did you first launch the vault on the second Mac?

I opened Obsidian, turned on syncing, and then selected the one vault that I have in Obsidian Sync.

You must have opened the app and set up that vault in iCloud previously on that Mac, or cloned the Mac from one where Obsidian had previously set up.

(On first launch on macOS, Obsidian doesn’t know where your vaults are. You have to create or open a vault by selecting the folder you want from a file system picker.)

You should just be able to move the folder from iCloud to wherever you want to put it. Since you’ve already enabled Sync, I don’t think you need to fiddle with that again.

As ever, make backups.

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Yep, that was it. I copied the vault to a different location, opened it and turns sync on and that appears to have done the trick. My mistake was making the assumption that a vault synced from Obsidian sync would be automatically stored someplace else locally.

I think I expected to select a vault synced through Obsidian sync would be selected like other types of vaults and the app would automatically sync locally to some location that could be changed in preferences.

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Yeah, the mental model of sync is a bit counterintuitive. Glad you got it sorted!

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