Obsidian will break when switching files and cause a system freeze

Steps to reproduce

While a can consistently cause Obsidian to crash and take Windows with it I can’t seem to find an exact reproducible pattern. I seems to happen most often when I am switching between a file in file explorer that has a lot of images in it. After a while, images will stop displaying and the explorer will stop switching between two files. At this point the system stops responding. Close Obsidian. The Obsidian process is still running and the system doesn’t respond until the process dies (manual termination doesn’t work) or the system is restarted.

Also see video below.

Expected result

Obsidian doesn’t crash and does not make Windows stop responding.

Actual result

Features in Obsidian stop working (outline, explorer, opening files) and then after Obsidian is closed the process will not terminate and the Windows system becomes unresponsive.


Operating system: Windows 10 Pro
Obsidian version: v0.13.19
Installer version: v0.12.19
Login status: not logged in
Insider build toggle: off
Live preview: on
Legacy editor: on
Base theme: dark
Community theme: none
Snippets enabled: 0
Safe mode: on


The only plugins I have turned on are Outline and Tags.

Additional information

In task manager I notice an orphaned Obsidian process and some Microsoft Edge WebView2 processes (not sure if related, does Electron use WebView2?). The Obsidian process will not terminate from Task Manager.

Something else that is odd is that the CPU utilization is low (9%). Is Electron firing system interrupts? or is something happening at the Kernel level to interfere with scheduling? Idk, just noting that it is odd from a typical process crash.

Video of crash

Video of Crash

Thanks, we’ll look into this.
If you could zip your vault and DM a link to either me or licat what would be great.

It’s highly likely that this is windows or an electron issue.

tldr; I figured it out. :man_facepalming: It was my own fault. I had my vault sitting in a Google Drive folder and I did not have the folder set to always available offline.

Thank you @WhiteNoise for your time and sorry if I wasted it.

Speculation as to why… (skip to save time)

I think the Google Drive service was offloading the images and then loading them on demand when the request is made to the file system. Since I had a lot of images this caused a delay and Obsidian to either appear to not be working (still waiting on the file request of the OS) or to time out.

I think the Windows hang is because the Google service must have some kernel/OS level hook to intercept and respond to the file request and when a lot of files are requested immediately all file system requests are getting scheduled behind those requests? This would explain the inability to open new applications but why open ones stayed responsive until the needed IO (explorer would always crash). Idk, just speculating. If I had to place blame I would say it is with the Google Drive service but it may be the nature of the beast. Either way, reading the contents of your Google Drive directory should not cause a system crash.

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