Open Settings in a new window by default

This would be wonderful. It’s terribly frustrating tweaking fonts/colors/spacing/etc (Style Settings: I’m looking at you… but in general) and you need to close the settings window to see if you like the change or not. Rinse and repeat.

At least for the Style Settings, you have a solution already. You can open Style settings from the quick switcher directly instead of the settings so that it will open in its own pane. You can then stack that pane or open it in new window.


Always learning. Great tip, thanks!

OMG, THANK YOU. I did not know this!

I’ll echo my desire for this; I want to be able to open Obsidian settings within a new window, or a pane, so that I can make changes as I am using other panes and testing settings.

Devs, is this possible at all? Via a plugin or CSS perhaps?

would love this too

This would indeed be really useful for:

  • When settings affect note style and one want to see the changes effect in another tab while playing with them.
  • When we want to document our settings as we set/change them. Having the settings in one tab and one note in another tab would be really awesome.

Since pop-out windows became a thing (“Open in new window”), I’ve been opening a new window and then opening Settings in that. Here I can adjust settings and see the effects in the main window.

This is mostly OK, but sometimes I forget to close Settings in the pop-out window, and with the modal still open, no Obsidian hotkeys will work in the main window until Settings is closed.

I still hope that Settings can be opened in a tab group (a la Style Settings) one day. It would also be nice, even if Settings is open in a pop-out window, that hotkeys still worked in the main window (this actually worked for a little bit a while ago in one of the builds, but you could get dueling modals and other weird behavior so it was fixed).


Use case or problem

When activating plugins or CSS snippets I always have to get out of the Settings window to be able to see the results while the settings are activated right away (I can see changes behind the settings window).

Proposed solution

My preferred solution would be a floating Settings window that I can place outside/besides the main Obsidian window so that I can see changes right away.


I would like to second this request. I’m sure the dev work wouldn’t be the simplest task but hopefully some of the groundwork has been laid now that Obsidian has pop out windows.


You could:

  1. Use the “Move to a new window” command to open a note in a floating window.
  2. Open settings in one of the windows.

Now you have two Obsidian windows. One can be the settings window where you can make changes and the other can be where you see those changes immediately.

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A couple of issues I discovered with this workaround:

It seems like Obsidian only allows one “overlay” window in itʻs interface at a time. (By overlay window, I mean one of the windows that is in the Obsidian Electron interface, not a Windows or Mac window. For example, the settings window, or the “Quick Switcher” window, or the “Command Palette” window.)

In other words, if you keep your settings window working in a floating popout window (that is, another macOS window) then you wonʻt be able to use the “Quick Switcher” window or the “Command Palette” window until you first close the “Settings” window.

Hope thatʻs not too confusing. Point is this workaround will allow you to do what youʻre looking to do, but there are some trade-offs.

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I really wondered how im the only one this issue is bothering, seems like no, it seems like Obsidian is the only program i know of that have a window locked on top without ability to move it. Would be really great if it would be fixed.
Thanks for all your valuable work!


Use case or problem

Learning by doing/trying what you see could be much easier. I did not find a question/answer like this one.

Proposed solution

Hi, I just signed up for VIP and am happy to support you guys. I am not sure where to submit a feature request/issue - but after going through a super-newbie learning stage - I think this is a good one.

As I’ve learned the product I’ve been doing a lot of copying: copying what I see in youtube videos, copying what I see in other users’ vaults that I purchased, etc.

It required a lot of granular back-n-forth.

One thing I found unnecessarily challenging was the popup modal for settings. I kept needing to learn by viewing what I had seen, and then I tried to implement. However, when the settings modal popped up I could not navigate the program to implement what I saw, so I had to close it. And then I had to renavigate to that area (almost always plugins) and try it.

It was more difficult than needed and while this is not a “cool” suggested feature, it would really help new users (like I have been for the last month) and, I think, users in general, particular with so much value coming in the way of plugins and community plugins.

I would encourage - particularly for future new users - that the settings window could both (1) be moved, and (2) operate independently of the program. In other words, while the settings window may be the “top” window, you could still independently operate the Obsidian program - so much easier for learning by doing.

Night night!

Current workaround (optional)

The workaround is to go back-n-forth. Close out the setting window often. I’ve loaded enough plugins that I find myself writing them down in Notepad to revisit them when I reopen settings.

Related feature requests (optional)

A related feature request would be a sort (and potentially filter) function when viewing plugins/community plugins.

I think you should strongly prioritize ease-of-use for plugin learning, browsing, navigation - those plugins SEEM to be your killer value-add; at least they have been for me. Right now there are nearly 800. Tracking which are new, recent, update, etc. - is note easy.

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Workaround: use the Hotkey Helper plugin and set some keyboard shortcuts.
You will be flying…

What I’m trying to do.
Make the Settings menu more dynamic/flexible to use.

It is very intrusive on the screen when trying to see the changes in real time.

Feature request.
To have it like any other screen capabilities that are typical outside of Obsidian. i.e., Grab a corner and resize to see changes. Move to a second monitor to see the item[s] being changed.


Agreed! I came here to post this same request but yours came up, so I’ll just upvote it.

Much like Vivaldi browser, I’d like to have the option for settings to open in a tab or a floating window. So many times I tweak a setting, close the settings window to see it, and then cannot find my place again in the settings. So, yeah, this feature would greatly reduce frustration with settings.

Yes, please! It’s almost unbelievable that the way you navigate settings is such a pain in an app that many developers and advanced users love.

Use case or problem

The overall experience with thh settings menu is quite strange and feels hindering, especially when you are like me trying out everything Obsidian and the comunity plug ins have to offer.

When trying out new themes or plugins or settings, I brows them, install them and then I want to be able to quickly navigate through my files to explore the new looks/features. I’d have to close the settings to do that

And this problem in my opionion interrupts the flow of the sandbox like character of obsidian.

  1. Activate new setting
  2. close settings menu
  3. look for whats changed
  4. Want to adapt the setting?
  5. search for the setting again
  6. adapt it
  7. repeat from point 3

That workflow is just not encouraging users to try out everything Obsidian has to offer. I want to have a look at the plugin descriptions/hotkey settings/theme browser completely seperate from working environment.

Proposed solution

Make the settings a seperate window
If it is a seperate window, you could tab out of it and quickly tab into it again. No interruption whatsoever.
Whats also possible (but it’s just a workarround) the sidebars and panes for second window so you could try out the settings in the second Obsidian window. This is already requested a while ago.

Current workaround (optional)

Opening a new window would be currently the best workaroound. However, the problem with the latter is, that a second Obsidian window is only an editor view without the sidebars and tehrefore another hassle to try everything out as many plugins have pane options for example.

Related feature requests (optional)

The option for pop out windows to have panes as a main window was already suggested in 2022. Why is it still only an editor with tabs?

Not sure if there is way to vote for this so I’m piling on here. Currently, it is very cumbersome to onboard new plugins, tweak settings, etc. without being able to see what they do.