Obisidan Sync + iPad low storage = Cache issue = deleted files?

Steps to reproduce

  1. Open iPad, usually with less storage (currently 29gbs/32)
  2. Ensure Sync is enabled, as well as all the sync features, including syncing audio & other files

Expected result

iPad will sync all files, or stop syncing and give an alert that there is no storage space

Actual result

iPad when syncing will delete files, which are visible on the recovery log:


  • Operating system: MacOS 12.4
  • Debug info:
    Obsidian version: v0.15.2
    Installer version: v0.13.14
    Operating system: Darwin Kernel Version 21.5.0: Tue Apr 26 21:08:22 PDT 2022; root:xnu-8020.121.3~4/RELEASE_X86_64 21.5.0
    Login status: logged in
    Catalyst license: insider
    Insider build toggle: on
    Live preview: on
    Legacy editor: off
    Base theme: dark
    Community theme: Blue Topaz
    Snippets enabled: 0
    Safe mode: off
    Plugins installed: 3
    Plugins enabled: 3
    1: Minimal Theme Settings
    2: Style Settings
    3: Calendar

Additional information

Forums I checked before posting

Files deleted for no apparent reason

We’ve heard of reports of suspiciously similar issues using the iOS app with Obsidian Sync + iCloud. If that’s your setup then you may want to re-setup your vault without iCloud.

Willing to do this next, but want to also gain clarity on my existing setup.

Delete attachments during synchronization

What you describe doesn’t necessarily sound like a sync problem. Maybe the files were deleted in your first laptop by obsidian or some other external process and sync was just doing its job of propagating the changes.

In my case, I did not delete these files from my iPad. iCloud does not store offline files, so I suspect that whenwhen I first start Obsidian on my iPad and the iPad has cleared the iCloud Drive cache, Obsidian Sync considers anything not in the iOS cache deleted, and removes them from the vault.

This sync issue has happened at least 4 times that I am aware of, perhaps more because several screenshots are missing. Most times I’ve recovered all the files through Sync > File Recovery.

I’m willing to message my sync log to a trustworthy location as opposed to posting it publicly, as it has a lot of descriptive file names.

Thank you for your help!

Let’s start with the basic. You can’t use icloud and obsidian sync together.

Make a copy of your vault off of icloud in your Mac.

Delete the vault on icloud on both your Mac and iPad.

Create new vaults not on icloud and setup obsidian sync.

Have a backup and if data integrity is critical don’t run the insider build.

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Just letting you know I’m implementing these changes now, and will test to see how it goes. I have a feeling that these steps will cause my iPad to dedicate storage space to Obsidian to prevent accidental deletion.

This is a long-term play; if I see no issues in a few weeks, I will mark as solved. I do have questions about iCloud and Obsidian Sync, but I value your time so this is enough.

Thank you @WhiteNoise !

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