Obsidian Sync destroys entire vault when moved locally

Steps to reproduce

( Windows )

  • Setup Local Vault
  • Create files
  • Setup Remote Vault
  • Sync Files
  • Move Local vault to a new location without disconnecting Remote Vault

Expected result

It shouldn’t wipe out all files from the Remote Vault when the files are moved to another directory.

Actual result

I found that my android client had less files than it should have.


  • Operating system: Windows, Android, macOS

  • Debug info: This doesn’t seem to work; isn’t really necessary as the bug is not OS specific.

I followed your steps and I can’t reproduce this.
How did you move the local vault to a new location?

What do you mean it doesn’t seem to work? What happens?

At least: what is your Obsidian version and installer version?

Hi @WhiteNoise , @rigmarole ,

macOS: 0.14.15
windows: 0.14.15
android: most recent on google play

I’m not sure what the installer-version is. I downloaded from Download - Obsidian.

I had macOS synced with android, added windows. I decided to change the vault location on windows to a new directory and moved it without disconnecting it from the remote vault. I used File Explorer( windows ) to move the vault from one directory to another.

Debug Info: I couldn’t run the command on windows. Not sure why.

There is a “Move vault…” option in the vault switcher. If you move the files directly from your file explorer, then as far as I know Obsidian would just see that as you having deleted the files.


Installer version is here in the “About”. If you’re older than 0.14.something you should download a fresh copy from the website and reinstall Obsidian.

1 Like

hi @rigmarole ,

macOS Installer Version: 0.12.19
windows Installer Version: 0.14.15
android: Play Store

When reading the process to move the vault, I found documentation which suggested I should just move the folder and setup the vault as new. I’ve moved passed the issue and have successfully set everything up on all three machines. I’m only reporting the bug.

There is an in obsidian way to move the vault (in the vault switcher). You can also use File Explorer to move the vault, in that case, when you open the vault that was moved sync will be disabled.

Is it possible that you moved the vault from file explorer while obsidian was open?

Alternatively, Can you provide a screen recording of this problem happening?

hi @WhiteNoise ,

Is it possible that you moved the vault from file explorer while obsidian was open?

Yes, this happened.

I highly recommend you download and reinstall the Mac app from the website. Otherwise you will experience things that are incompatible and out of date.

Ok so this is user error. From Obsidian POV, you did delete the files.

Hi @WhiteNoise , I don’t disagree. I did search for how to move a vault, and the recommended way was to do what I did. Might want to update documentation?

which documentation are you referring to?

hi @WhiteNoise ,

When searching, here is the documentation which came up first.

Since the post was made May 20th and @death.au is a moderator. I thought the direction to be accurate and safe to perform.

That is not documentation. That’s a forum discussion among users.

Also, that had nothing to do with Obsidian Sync. If it is just a plain local vault, then those instructions are fine.

Also that wasn’t May 20th. That is May 2020. Before Sync even existed, as far as I remember.

Thanks for pointing out how it should have been read. I’ll re-frame from providing feedback in the future. Cheers.