Nested Vaults (vault within a vault)

Some ideas for features that can help to enforce best practices:

  • If Obsidian detects a .obsidian folder in a sub-folder, it should present a warning if you try to link to a parent vault note from a nested vault note.
  • It should also do this if you try to move a parent vault note into a nested vault note, where the parent vault note contains links to other parent vault notes.
  • Unlinked references pane should not present options from outside of the nested vault, even when viewing from the parent vault.

And some quality of life features:

  • Enable us to target points on the graph based on the folder they’re in, so that we can give different vaults different colors (not sure if this is already possible with current CSS)

+1 or similar (maybe clos to what @timj wrote)

I think this could be achieved with nested vaults, but I think it’d be great if it could be achieved otherwise as well:
I’d like to be able to link to notes from different vaults.

For that I think it’d be cool if I could:
Add external folders to a vault/link them to a vault.

That way I’d be able to put notes that I want to share between vaults inside of it and then reference/edit it from mutliple vaults.
For Example my personal and uni Vault, or another vault which I collaborate on with other people.


Another huge reason for nested vaults, is for times you want to only allow “downlinking” (basically allow linking to nested directories).

Here’s a few of reasons why you may want this:

  • You want to implement some strict rules for parts of your system
  • You want to create a exportable/stand alone part of your system (this is a huge feature for Obsidian Publish. For instance, I may want to make my programming knowledge or my folder of checklists available to my team, but I still want it accessible in my main “second brain”)
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Now that it so easy to link to notes outside of a vault, I thought it might be cool if Obsidian would be able to intelligently update note names and paths within multiple vaults in cases where you are linking to a file within another vault.

This idea probably should be a separate request, but is very relevant in this discussion so I started here.


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that’s very well explained.

That’s the exact use I have for nested vaults when it comes to Obsidian Publish

Great points


it’s an interesting request, I don’t ever link from one vault to another, in this case I just create nested vaults, but I assume you mean using paths with URI to link from different notes.

I havn’t had the need to linking between vaults, but it’s definitely interesting

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I hope this suggestion is considered seriously by the dev.

Nesting vaults seems to be the best solution for those common problems:

I want my “at work” vault to be part of my notes, but I don’t want to see my other notes at work.

I want to share some part of my vault with other peoples.

Great thread everybody.

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If this were to be supported then perhaps nested vaults should be made a first-class feature in the app.

For example, clicking a button in the file browser (New vault alongside New folder with a globe icon or safe icon perhaps) to create a new named vault, then creating files and folders underneath it. Notes inside a vault can only reference notes within the same vault, while notes in a parent vault can reference down to notes in a child vault. It creates a sense of direction in links. Encryption could be added as a feature on a per-vault basis, so you can right-click the vault name in the sidebar and configure it. Etc.

Vaults then become essentially “named groups of folders” from the app view.

And it keeps app configurations (themes, CSS, plugins, etc) consistent across sets of notes. (although I am currently finding a benefit in having a vault for zettelkasten and one for project management, with the same themes/CSS but different plugins to meet the needs of each – so perhaps workspaces can help out here?)


Agreed. I would love this feature.

I think you are onto something here, especially with the encryption part. I may have been onto a similar something in this request: Internal vaults

As usual, I think my description could have been clearer, but the idea of the internal vaults being separate comes through.


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Ah ok cool. So that’s essentially an ability to “zoom in” on a single vault.

This is also a feature of Omnifocus and its quite powerful, letting you “zoom in” on a given perspective to focus and then “zoom out” to see the larger picture.


happy to see you also look value into this @davecan @I-d-as and @davecan

I agree that’d be awesome

I think it captures the same concept! :smiley:

That’s a great way to put it, that’d be even better than what I described

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I will confess to being conflicted on this though. Right now I’m in the process of setting up a second vault, separate from my main notes/zettelkasten, specifically to track daily work activities, projects etc. These are two very different concerns and are resulting in not only different layouts but different plugins active in each vault.

For example, in my zettelkasten I have no use for daily notes and am extremely spare in how I use tags. Meanwhile in my projects vault I expect to use tags and backlinks quite heavily.

My projects vault is a knowledge management system where I need to mostly reference and strategize and plan. Meanwhile, my zettelkasten is a knowledge development system where I need to zone in and think deeply without being distracted.

Two different concerns. Two different needs. Perhaps it is correct to keep them as completely standalone independently-configurable instances, so I’m not wrestling with the app configuration each time I switch contexts? :thinking:

Why is that a conflict? I have most vaults nested, but others separate.

My nested vaults tend to have different settings depending on their need. No reason they have to share a configuration.

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Hey @davecan I agree with @Dor Nested vaults (and potential implementation of features to facilitate it) wouldn’t remove the ability to create separate unlined vaults. It’s an additional process rather than a replacement of how things already are

My point is that there is a tradeoff. Remember my point was that if this is to be officially supported then perhaps nested vaults should be made a first class feature, with a section in the sidebar showing the “tree” of nested vaults as a superset of the folder browser. You could expand/collapse vaults from the parent, and (for example) double click a vault to “zoom in” so it appears to be the only open vault. (with presumably a “back” button to “zoom out” back to the parent)

Assume you have one parent vault P and two child vaults C1 and C2. Assume there is a component in the sidebar that allows you to switch views between P, C1, and C2. When in P you can see all content for C1 and C2, but when “zoomed in” to C1 you can only see C1, and same for C2.

When you are in P and install a plugin, is it installed in only P, or is it installed in C1 and C2 also? If it is in P only and then you “zoom in” on either C1 or C2 (e.g. by double-clicking one of them in the sidebar) then you lose access to that plugin because it isn’t installed in C1 or C2. This creates inconsistent behavior – imagine the UX complaints if you have different themes and “I double clicked a vault and Obsidian lost all my colors!” etc.

But if it is also installed in C1 or C2 then you lose the ability to operate them independently as I described before, because every plugin you install in P is forcibly installed in both C1 and C2.


The whole principle of vaults is that they are shut off from each other. And those barriers produce much of the value of nesting, otherwise they may as well simply be folders. Having nesting allows access with different settings without changing settings.


I see at least 2 different problems:

  1. sometimes it is cool to have different settings for different vaults
  2. sometimes it is cool to be able “switch off” some folders or zoom in some folders.

I think the solution is outside the nested vaults feature.

The first problem can be solved by making profiles of settings. Probably profiles idea can be unified with workspaces.

The second problem is about isolation of the area with which I am currently working on. And it can be solved by idea about folder settings from here:

The only thing remaining is to understand how to make it convenient for user to switch between different profiles / workspaces / modes etc.

My current suggestion is to let user make profiles, which contain preferences:

  • workspace settings
  • probably plugin settings
  • appearance of folders settings etc

And let user switch between profiles with hotkeys like cmd+1, cmd+2, cmd+3.

thus if I want to zoom in specific folder, I user profile 2 (in which only specified folders appear everywhere: in link suggestions, quick open dialog, graph view etc.) and isolate it. If I want to see whole picture, I switch to profile 1 (all folders appear everywhere).

So you work in the only vault and do not have problems of nested vaults.

Please correct me if I missed something.

Well, I’ve never experienced any problems.
And your suggestions don’t address other advantages of nested vaults.

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I think this would be a helpful feature.

Bumping this request because I would benefit greatly from a less risky way of partitioning my vault. I currently have all my notes in one vault. Personal notes, all kinds of studies and then a great part of them are directly related to my work. At home, I synchronize all my notes between a laptop and a stationary via Nextcloud and it works relatively well.

Now, at my workplace I have a work computer. I often need to access information from my knowledge base and add to it, but I don’t want to synchronize my whole vault with that computer. Only part of it is relevant to my work and I don’t want to risk the rest of my second brain leaking into an office computer, or even worse, the office cloud server. I only want to synchronize notes relevant to work.

The solution I’m trying now is to make a sub-folder in my vault with all work related notes. Then at work, I synchronize that folder only via Nextcloud (sharing the folder with a second user I’ve made specifically for this). Then I point Obsidian to use that subfolder as a vault, effectively nesting a vault inside a vault from the perspective of my home computer / main vault. I understand there are inherent risks to this and I would if it was less risky. I wish I could offer some constructive ideas, but think those are probably outside my competence, so I just offer this as a concrete use example.