Obsidian Sync and iCloud Documents

Obsidian Sync

Just started using Obsidian and love it! First installed on MacBook Air. Then purchased Obsidian Sync and created remote vault. Then installed on iPhone and both devices are in sync. Then installed on Mac Studio and all three devices are in sync.

But while reading through Obsidian Help, saw the following statement:

“…using a third-party service together with Obsidian Sync may result in data corruption or data loss.”

And while reading the online article Everything You Need to Know about Obsidian Sync saw the following statement:

“If you try to keep your Obsidian Sync vault in another file sync service like iCloud you can expect issues as the two services compete to sync files.”

My local Obsidian vault on macOS is located within the Documents folder, which is backed up on iCloud.

When I opened macOS System Settings and selected iCloud > iCloud Drive > Apps Syncing to iCloud Drive > Options > Documents:

I discovered that Obsidian is listed under “Apps that store documents and data in iCloud”

So I assume this is going to create the issues described in Obsidian Help and the article about Obsidian Sync.

Can someone confirm this is true and offer a solution?

Should I un-select Obsidian listed under “Apps that store documents and data in iCloud”?

Should I re-locate the local Obsidian vault on macOS, so that it is not inside iCloud Drive/Documents?

Although I’m not sure what that location would be, since everything is being backed up to iCloud.

Or is the solution to stop using iCloud entirely? Which means I then lose the convenience of all three devices being in sync with all the other documents and applications using iCloud.

Thanks for any feedback!

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Or should I stop using Obsidian Sync, and use iCloud to sync Obsidian on the three devices?

I’m not sure that iCloud Sync is very reliable. Lots of anecdotes of unreliability. I would disable iCloud Sync for Obsidian if I were you. But that’s just my opinion.

I did some research to educate myself and find a solution. The recommendation is to relocate the macOS Obsidian vault outside of iCloud Drive. But at first I wasn’t sure what that location could be, since almost everything on my three devices (MacBook Air, Mac Studio, iPhone) are being synced by iCloud.

Unfortunately, it’s not possible to exclude a single folder from this process. And iCloud has an all-or-nothing approach, because inside System Preferences > iCloud Drive “Desktop & Documents Folders” is a single choice – it’s either selected or it’s not, with no options in between.

So I briefly considered placing the Obsidian vault inside one of these folders – Downloads, Movies, Music, Pictures. But being somewhat of a perfectionist, didn’t like that idea. Then I remembered that those folders are located inside the home folder, accessible under /Users/username. And that the Obsidian vault could be dragged from the home folder to the “Favorites” section in Finder’s sidebar, if you needed to have quick access to it’s contents.

So that’s what I’ll try next. Relocating the Obsidian vault from the Documents folder to the home folder, and then set up a new Obsidian sync vault.

Yeah, my Vaults are outside of iCloud Drive, Google Drive, and Dropbox. I have a ~/Notes folder that’s independent of everything.

Then I create a symbolic inside of ~/Documents so you can still quickly find the vaults.