Nested Vaults (vault within a vault)

The wonderful thing about nested vaults is that they can wear two hats at the same time.
Vault and sub-folder.

An odd thing for me to like really, since conceptually I’m a fan of large flat collections with minimal use of folders. But OSs grant folders functionality that isn’t shared with anything else, so I will use them when they reduce friction rather than increase it.

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The three tools I always use are:

  • vim
  • spacemacs
  • atom

So far I havn’t had any problems either.

I only use simple Windows utilities. Bulk Rename etc. And EditPad Pro. Grep if I have to. But I only do words, not code.

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Got you, for bulk rename I tend to use ranger (terminal file manager) with vim bulkrename, but I wasn’t sure if renaming outside of obsidian messes up links, I tried it a couple versions ago, I havn’t tried it in 0.9.6

That’s perfectly said, the double function as vault and sub-folder is exactly the reason to use nested vaults

I’m extremely careful about renaming. I would expect links to be messed up. Obsidian reads the current file state so links from a file should be fine, but links to a file would be lost - except where those links are themselves renamed (which is easy enough to do in any text editor).

And why shortest path is safest for moving. And wikilinks.


got you, that makes sense! Yeah for highly linked files I always rename them inside obsidian

but yeah for flies without links bulrenaming with other tools works great!

+1 really want this feature implemented!
It’ll be seamless in switching between vault <-> sub vault (sub folder), rather than making/opening a new vault for sub folder.

Another feature requests that related to this :


Hoisting and focus are really quite separate requests. Simpler and can be done without nesting and some people would use them even if they had nesting. Probably best for nesting not to be conflated with these.

+1 for Nested Vaults or similar functionality

This would also address the need to synchronize and collaborate with others on one vault, but keep a personal vault of notes one-way linked to the collaborative vault in a separate, local-only vault. (For example, think of a knowledgebase collaboratively built by a team, and personal notes on the projects, people, etc. in that vault that should not be included in the knowledgebase, but that need to link to it.)

I am interested in a similar solution: could Obsidian load more than one vault concurrently? Thus, rather than nesting a vault, multiple vaults could be used in parallel. There are definite downsides to this (e.g., interlinking only works when the same vaults are open), and it might not be a superior solution to nesting, but perhaps it could overcome some of the risks of nested vaults.


Yes. Separate instances, separate windows.

To achieve this the personal vault would have to be a higher level vault with the collaborative vault nested. Or they could both be nested in a higher level vault that you control.

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I would say the current possiblities (I’m in version 0.9.6) are good enough. Having the ability to have a root vault with sub-vaults / sub-folders that can be opened separetly works alright, and allow for most of the benefits of nested vaults.

Most of this this is already possible without breaking things.

The idea would be to keep in mind this use case, so that future versions of Obsidian don’t break nested vaults.


That would be the fear. It feels as if the present benefits emerged serendipitously without being part of the plan.

I think the only threat would come from an attempt to have centralised settings, but that wouldn’t fit well with the idea of everything based on markdown files. Plugin developers could see this differently.

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Adding my thumbs-up for this. What I really want is to be able to have a messy inbox with an ordered deep structure. Access to the deep structure from the inbox is important, for moving things in that are ready to be integrated. But freedom from the mess is important when working in the deep structure.


So to clarify: Is it safe to have Level 1 Vault open, which contains Level 2 Folder/Vault, at the same time the Level 2 Vault is open? And is it safe to do work in Level 2 from both open instances of Obsidian?


@joeshirley I do exactly that with both vaults open and havn’t had issues at all. (I modify text freely from any of the levels and it updates on the other level)
Just keep in mind that future updates might create conflicts, but for now that’s what I’ve been doing without any trouble so far.

Yes and yes.
But be aware of what you are doing. I’ve not tried to find a way of breaking things, so I can’t be sure it’s impossible. Pretty sure it could be done tbh.

That said, it’s something I do routinely. All my vaults are under a top vault (with a few intermediate tiers set up purely for the nesting advantages), and I will usually have more than one open. Even sometimes on the same file.

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Great, thanks. Also looking over the post from @Dor on “usage and risks”

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Good to hear! Also, your advice for robust backup routines seems important.

yep @joeshirley I found that if you keep @Dor’s advice in mind you should be fine at least with the current versions of obsidian.

I keep version control of my vaults with git, highly recommend doing so, I use gitlab for my private vaults. That way if you ever break things you have a history of back ups.

+1 on this feature request.

I suggest devs read what is going on here and in the threads linked in the OP so they can formalize nested vaults and don’t break this possibility of workflow with future updates.

I also agree with @santi - there is no need to change anything as it is right now, just make sure nested vaults keep working in all future releases!

Love your work, by the way <3