Obsidian Sync: Add a warning when Sync Merge with conflicts happens

Use case or problem

What’s happening now is that I’ll sit down at my computer after, say, having had Obsidian Sync turned off, and didn’t realize it, and I’ll work for awhile… and then realize sync was turned off (because I was messing around with folders names or whatever and shut down all of my sync services to avoid race conditions). I turn it on, and a bunch of files merge. Which, yay, no data loss! But those files get kind of borked visually (for example, “cssclass” goes in the middle now, a bunch of duplicated data), and I’d like to fix them all at once instead of stumbling across them later when I’m in work-mode.

Proposed solution

I would find it helpful if there was a way to filter the Sync log so that I could see merged files — or better yet, get a popup that a merge is happening so I’m aware of it and not surprised when I go and look at a file that got merged in this way. They currently don’t show up as an “error” but I want to be able to see them so I can resolve any conflicts while they’re still likely to be fresh in my mind.

So that end, I would love to see a popup a la obsidian sync’s “pushed x number of files” thing that says “merged 6 files, see log for details” and then the log lets me filter by “merged” (& maybe “not accepted” or whatever, but I mostly care about merged) and not just “errors.”

Current workaround (optional)

Right now, every time I sit down at my computer and open Obsidian, I monitor the entire sync process to ensure there aren’t any problems — and it can take awhile.

Related feature requests (optional)

I think @luckman212 requested something similar in Discord.


Hey @EleanorKonik :wave: Yes I was discussing a related (but not identical) situation with @Licat yesterday on Discord, as well as in these 2 threads:

Right now, there are edge cases with sync no matter what system you use (Obsidian’s native Sync, Dropbox, GoogleDrive, iCloud, git etc). In general I don’t think this is a “solved problem” in computing; even giants like Google and MongoDB still struggle with sync and concurrency.

So, I was requesting more control over this auto-merge process. I’d like to see an on/off toggle for the auto-merge feature so we can choose what happens. But maybe instead of just on/off, some additional options would address your needs too:

  • Silently Auto Merge (current behavior/default)
  • Auto Merge with notification/log of changed files
  • Prompt user (“sync conflict — keep file on left or right?”)
  • Always Keep Both files (rename older one “Foo (conflict 2021-03-19_HHMMSS.ms)”)

I like the merge log idea you’ve got here, that would be helpful for sure. :+1:


Ah! Thanks for digging up the related feature requests — I searched but couldn’t find them.

I’m open to whatever solution is easiest but I agree that right now the “silent” merges are sort of disorienting.


Could this be handled like normal GIT merge conflict UI’s?

It shows the right & left conflict. Lets you select which lines you wish to keep, and also displays the output below, allowing you to edit the final result.


Hi, I had an issue where Obsidian sync automatically merged two versions of my notes. For some reason, it kept the earlier version and deleted everything in the later version. Is there any way to recover this information? It should at least put in the the trash. As far as I can tell, that automatic merge deleted my data, and there’s no way I can get it back.


My merge doesn’t work and Im emailing support about it now.

Im guessing this comment is too late but do you use the core plug-in “file recovery”? That has saved me a bunch


I am putting in my vote for the solution that Eleanor proposed as well, though I would also vote for a pop-up warning that is easy for non-techies to understand, with a solution for what they should do next. I was hoping to use Obsidian as my main writing tool, but I tend to have to switch devices quite often (Mac desktop, iPad Pro, MacBook Air, iPhone) and will sometimes lack the time to have to launch Obsidian in advance, then wait and monitor to make sure the sync goes smoothly and is complete. Fingers crossed!



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I am having an issue similar to Herr_Kerl. I am finding on a nearly daily basis that a note I have typed content into is suddenly blank. And I go back into the File Recovery and I find the previous version, which has all my content in it. I am concerned that this is happening more than I know. The File Recovery history only stays around for so long… So if I don’t catch one of these instances before the file recoveries are gone, then my data is totally gone. I’ve been using Obsidian to keep track of phone numbers among other things, and there are instances where I know I put something in, and now it’s gone.

These aspects of Obsidian sync are troubling:

  1. Obsidian silently syncs in the background and doesn’t warn me if it is merging a file.
  2. The merge algorithm is apparently naive and destructive, just grabbing whatever it considers to be the “newer” or “correct” version.
  3. There’s no special handling of merge conflicts in File Recovery. No way to find them. No way to preserve them as a special case.

The consequences of this are pretty damning, and are motivating me to consider moving away from Obsidian Sync. I was previously using SyncThing, which would create “conflict” files and refuse to merge anything that was simultaneously changed on two devices. That was annoying, but at least did not result in data loss. At least I could identify and solve the conflicts as a part of my workflow.

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Maybe related: Data loss! - #22 by ryanjamurphy

In my case it’s not exclusively the daily notes, so it doesn’t appear to be an interaction of a particular plugin, but it may be the timing of turning on sync vs when the note is added locally.

the help docs explain that newly created notes (I believe on the order of minutes) don’t merge, they just pick one version to be the winner, whereas older ones do.

will be implemented in v1.5. no ETAs.

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