Obsidian has trouble creating new notes from "Relative path to file" links

I would if I could, but as of right now they’re the only way of navigating Obsidian links in 1Writer on iOS/iPadOS.

do you still have this 0.8.4?

Thanks for the follow up!

It appears to work IFF you write a new note as [[Test Folder/Test note]]. The “proper” format for relative notes, with a leading ../, still fails.

I have the latest version 0.10.1 and I am having the same issue. The tooltip says to Click to Create, but I get a ENOENT error. The odd thing is the error message displays the path and part of the path is missing. It shows “Path/VaultDirectory/Notes/_Index.md”. The actual path should be Path/VaultDirectory/ActiveProjects/TestProjectA/Notes/_Index.md. The file which contains the created Internal Link resides in the TestProjectA folder. My Link is defined as [[Notes/_Index|Index]]. I reviewed the settings and all looks good. What am I missing? Thanks.


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I’ve got similar issues as Chuckle123.

  • Win 10
  • Obsidian 0.10.1
  • Installer version 0.9.1
  • Relative path link generation

Example structure:

|- a
 |- first.md
|- b
 |- second.md
 |- third.md

If I create a link in first.md for a file that does not yet exist, i.e. [[../b/fourth.md|Fourth]], and try to CTRL-click to create the file I’ll get an ENOENT error.

But, If I create the file first and then create / click on the link it opens the file just fine.

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Same Issue is there with me too. I cannot create a backlink to a file I might want to place in a specific folder. Application is trying to navigate into that file when we click into that but due to the fact that there is no file its giving us an error. Kindly asking developers to fix this issue ASAP as I like everything cleanly under folders for clutter free interface.
Just starting out Obsidian if there are any tips I would be glad to hear them.
Thank you.

It doesn’t look like you have the same problem, what’s the source of that document?

Steps to reproduce

  1. Create a note with this content (a markdown link to a file that doesn’t exist in the vault)
  2. When hovering over the Note link in preview mode, the message "./Note.md" is not created yed. Click to create. is displayed
  3. Click the Note link in preview mode

Expected result

The “Note.md” file is created in the same folder and it is displayed in both panes.

Actual result

When I click the link, the message Folder already exists. is displayed and the file is not created.



  • Operating system: Windows 7
  • Obsidian version: 0.12.5

Additional information

I’m used to this notation because I open my vault with other applications supporting relative markdown links, as well as Obsidian does, but they cannot deal with WikiLinks.

When the md file already exists, the relative link works fine.

Creating the link without the ./ before the name of the md file is working too, as in:


I’m experiencing the same behavior. I get the Folder already exists. error.

I too am getting the super confusing Folder already exists error.

v0.13.14, on the mac desktop app.

If you can’t find a way to solve the issue, can you at least try to replace the error with something more meaningful? The error message provided is pretty much the exact opposite of the problem.

I am getting the same error when trying to click on a node that does not exist to create it. The folder does exist in which the note is intended to “live.”

I am using v0.14.6 on Linux.

I have the same issue with Version 1.1.9(linux). This issue requires making note in advance the file to be backedlinked to.

I know how to work around this issue[1], but I came here to see if it was a known issue because I was just showing somebody Obsidian and they tried it, hit this weird error, and said “nah, not for me”.

I think this is probably a blocking error for at least some significant subset of new users, since for many people this is the main way of making a new note linked from the current document. Type “BlahBlahTitle”, then bracket it to make it a link, and enter “./BlahBlahTitle.md”.

This still doesn’t work in version 1.1.15 (Installer 0.15.8) and the nonsensical error message (“folder already exists”) doesn’t make a good impression. So for new users just testing it out, that might be where they close the app and delete it.

[1]: Workaround is crazier than it seems at first:

  • Right click the tab of the current file, and choose “Reveal file in navigation”
  • Find the parent folder and right click it, then choose “New note”
  • Enter “BlahBlahTitle.md” as the title
  • Go back to the original note
  • Find the new note in the navigation side bar and drag it into the current note
    • or you could just type [BlahBlahTitle](./BlahBlahTitle.md) instead, which might be better because, if you didn’t do that and just dragged it in:
  • note that the link is just BlahBlahTitle.md not ./BlahBlahTitle.md… which works for now, but if you happen to later create a file in the root called BlahBlahTitle.md then suddenly the link jumps to a different file
  • therefore, manually edit the link and add “./” to the beginning of it to prevent this

Whew, now that I typed all that out, it actually looks crazy. Seems like Obsidian really doesn’t work well with relative paths (which admittedly, only some people like, but still).

Hi, it is not only Links within the same Folder that Obsidian has Problems with.

I’m setting up a parallel File Hierarchy to keep (not yet instantiated, on demand/first click) private Notes separate from public Notes, but link them, so my Links go up the tree to the Vault Root and then down a parallel Path in the private Branch like so:


When the private Note exists, Navigation works.

When it does not exist and I press Ctrl+Click, I get this Message Folder already exists and an empty Tab opens.

I’m sharing this Vault with others, so absolute Links are not possible.

I know that upward navigating Links can be a security issue, but you know the root of your vault and can prevent navigation above that.
And the fact that the navigation works as soon as the file exists, demonstrates that it can work.
This is easy to reproduce. If it is hard to fix, please try to provide a Workaround.


Same, opening isn’t the issue creating is and yes absolute links are in most cases better, but sometimes I need relative links for something, especially if it is some sort of dynamic content with something like templater and journal notes.

Thanks, you solved my problem.

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@WhiteNoise I found out what happens if you try to navigate a non-existing relative Link:

Instead of navigating from the current File it navigates from the Vault Root and actually creates the File, but outside of Vault!


This File is created outside of the Vault on the first click:

I have attached the small zipped TestVault for you to reproduce it.
TestVault.zip (2.7 KB)

Please try to give some attention to this.

This issue is the same in Mac Obsidian. Version 1.4.16 (Installer 1.4.13).

[Bug]: Relative path to notes notes issue when clicking. “Folder already exists” error and no file created.

Screenshot 2023-12-13 at 2.40.01 pm


The default behaviour in Obsidian is when there is a link created either in Wikilink or Markdown mode, and the note is still not present, Obsidian will try and create a new note under that name. There is no need to worry about the spaces as spaces are allowed.

This behaviour works fine when there is a

  1. File present in the relative path or
  2. There is a file or not in the absolute path.


However, when there is no file in the relative path, I get an error “Folder already exists” and Obsidian fail to create the file in the specified location.

This issue happens for both the Wikilinks and Markdown links.

Expected behaviour

When there is no file in the relative path that is linked by either Wikilink or Markdown, Obsidian should create the blank file and let the user edit it as it does for the other times.

Hope this can be solved soon. Relative paths are quite important as the notes move between vaults for re-organisation purposes. Please team, fix this. Thank you.

While I agree that relative links aren’t the easiest to maintain, they do feel a bit more neural than paths relative to some core hierarchy. Relative links are independent of hierarchy and solely rely on the relationship between two Notes. Ideally, though, we’d scrap folder hierarchy entirely for a purely unique ID relationship. Luhmann was right to do this because then things are truly independent of their organization.

I can’t seem to reproduce this exactly on Windows or Mac. If I try to make a note at [[../test]] I get a weird “File Names cannot end with a dot or space” error on Windows or the “Folder already exists” error in Mac. However, I think you might be on to something with this, maybe Obsidian is trying to create a Note relative to the Vault root when it doesn’t exist and only correctly pathing relative to the current Note when the linked file already exists…