Obsidian native sync is slow on iPhone and iPad

What I’m trying to do

Sync the iPhone and iPad with Obsidian using the native Obsidian sync.

Things I have tried

Sync is just plain slow. I primarily use Obsidian on my Mac, but occasionally I want to check something or write something on my iPhone or iPad. I open the app on the mobile device and find the vault is days, weeks or months out of date. And it takes several minutes to update.

Other apps, such as Drafts and Things, don’t seem to have this problem. They update effectively instantaneously. As soon as I open the app, it’s up-to-date. That is far from being the case with Obsidian.

Is there a way to get Obsidian to sync faster on the iPhone and iPad?

Alternately, is there a way to quickly find out whether the vault is current? Right now, I open Preferences, then open sync, then the sync log and look for the message at the end that says it’s up-to-date. That’s enough time and effort that I’m likely to forget why I opened the app in the first place!

Drafts uses iCloud, which is able to sync in the background and download files on demand. Obsidian Sync only gets to sync when Obsidian is open. It might be worth trying iCloud if you haven’t already. (I’m not totally sure it would be faster for you, because it likes to offload files from the device, which Obsidian then has to ask it to download when the app opens.)

To quickly see Sync’s status on mobile you can use the snippet from this feature request to make it always visible: [Mobile] Make Sync icon always visible


I was not aware of the swipe-left gesture. That solves as much of my problem as I expect is going to be solved for now. Thanks!

Oh, I glossed right over the fact that you weren’t even using the sidebar!

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To clarify, you mean it’s an iOS-wide limitation preventing apps to conduct any data transfer in the background/when closed?
Reverting to iCloud is definitely a no-go given the wide known issues with it since Sonoma.

Is there any workaround to this like setting up an automation to periodically launch the Obsidian iOS app or have a widget that would perform those syncs?
I’m a heavy macOS user switching frequently between 2 user profiles. I use Obsidian iOS once every 10–20 days and it definitely affects my experience to have to wait for a few minutes to get it to sync.

When you leave an iOS app, iOS gives it a brief time to finish what it’s doing and then “freezes” the app. (I believe apps can request to join an hourly background sync or something, but it may require iCloud and I think Obsidian can’t do it anyway because iOS considers it a kind of web app; I may be garbling the details).

Yes, I think you could set an automation to open the app periodically (using the “automations” section of the built-in Shortcuts app). I believe it won’t work if the phone is asleep and/or locked, tho. You could perhaps set it to trigger when you plug the phone in, if you remember to have the phone unlocked when you do it.