Option for pop-out windows to have panes as main window like file explorer and outline

+1 to this feature request. It’s really weird to have seemingly identical windows, including support for multiple tab groups, but only one of the windows allows left and right sidebars. If you want to use the file explorer to open an existing note in a non-primary window, you have to track down your primary Obsidian window (which may or may not have any sidebars open), open the note there, then drag-and-drop it to the appropriate tab pane in the non-primary window.

I’d imagine that implementing this capability may cause some hard trade-offs to be made regarding how this should work with the Workspaces feature. Should each app window behave as an independent Workspace container, should Workspaces support multi-window configurations (including per-window sidebar state), or should users be able to choose between global and per-window Workspaces on a per-Workspace basis? Hmm. I lean towards Workspaces being scoped only to individual app windows, but I could totally see valid arguments for the global multi-window workspace scenario too.


Agreed on this, for those using virtual desktops this is a big problem. I need a full instance of obsidian in each of my work contexts, so that I can take notes for each context and navigate my file system for resources


Another agree!

The option of opening the Files sidebar on satellite windows would greatly improve my workflow. Using multiple workspaces I must jump back/forth to the Obsidian’s mothership window for many common actions.


As a stopgap while we wait for this, I just found out you can do Ctrl+P “Outline: Open outline of current file” and it opens a linked pane of the outline in your current window. I wish I knew about this earlier, as it solves a major pain point of using multiple windows, and thinking that only documents in the main window can use the outline panel.

and it works more as expected if you unlink it so it shows the outline of whichever tab/pane you’ve focused. I can move it to it’s own window even and just make it always on top

Would one solution to this FR be to make all the panel widgets able to open in a regular panel or their own tab in the same way? Might also be practical, e.g. have multiple search tabs open


I made a proof of concept as a plugin:


It works by manually overriding the electron code that prevents a vault from being open twice. So these are full application windows.

This probably breaks some things, and it would prevent opening multiple vaults at once, but it seems to work.

Since this is still proof of concept stage it’s unpublished with some cleanup I can release it.


So it didn’t take long to turn it into a plugin. There’s a good chance this will lead to bugs.
Install it with the BRAT plugin: GitHub - ibash/obsidian-new-window


  1. Install the BRAT plugin (GitHub - TfTHacker/obsidian42-brat: BRAT - Beta Reviewer's Auto-update Tool for Obsidian.)
  2. Within BRAT settings you can add a plugin with “ibash/obsidian-new-window” to install my plugin
  3. Then Cmd-P → “New Window” to get new windows

Interesting. What happens to workspace.json? Last instance to close overwrites it?

Good question from looking at the code it’s probably whatever window was changed last wins. Since it looks like workspace is saved anytime the layout changes.

We could probably inject some javascript to handle that (via a preload or wrapping the code that saves the layout).

+1 for this future. I cannot wait for it to became built in.

+1 too!
It would be nice to have without creating subVaults :pray:

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+1 from me as well!

Yes please!

Use case:
I use of one vault for everything (second brain).
I work on different topics in different virtual desktops (e.g. one for coding, one for PhD related stuff).
I need to be able to browse the different windows the same way and I can’t.


+1 very needed, right now I have to windows+tab and move obsidian between desktops like a peasant… :sweat_smile:


+1,This feature is very useful to me

+1 I use four virtual desktops and I’m often looking for the one with the left pane.

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Probably some moderators should merge those two feature requests.

+1 for Obsidian fixing this issue.

Not only are new windows less functional than the original window (the first-opened Obsidian window), but it also causes some plugins to break across windows/virtual desktops. Eg: there’s a plugin called Typewriter Mode which can’t work across virtual desktops (on MacOS at least) because of this weird Obsidian window design. It can only work in 1 virtual desktop.

This seems like an issue that really needs to be fixed by the core Obsidian team since it can potentially affect any plugin.

Use case or problem

Many of Obsidian’s main features & functions are facilitated by the sidebars. By these sidebars not being present in “new windows” I often find that my ability to work in my vault is limited when using multiple windows

Proposed solution

New windows look & function identical to the current “main window”.

Current workaround (optional)

Related feature requests (optional)


This is really driving me nuts. Maybe I’m missing something, but I live and breathe in the sidebar/s. Why are they only present in the first window?

You can have multiple tabs in a new window, but not see the Outline view of any document unless it’s opened in the ‘main’ window? I find it really confusing and hard to use.