Recover data after Vault deletion

Hi Obsidian community,

macOS user here.

I’m not sure exactly what happened, but my obsidian vault disappeared from my iCloud Drive folder.

I created another vault, on a different location, but no snapshot available.

It seems, all I have left is the ~/Library/Application Support/obsidian folder. I can see numerous files within Cache/Cache Data, some of them up to 11Mo.

Do you know if data recovery is doable from those files ?


Odd. What happened between when you last had it, and when it was? List anything to do with your Mac or iCloud you can think of.

As for recovery, perhaps check, which offers some ability to recover files… I might have more ideas once you respond to the question above.

Hello @ryanjamurphy,

Thank you for your answer, really appreciate it !

Yeah, pretty bad situation. I already did all can possibly done by iCloud services. Nothing to recover there.

Nothing special happened by my side, at least, nothing related to iCloud, i.e no password change or file move.

If I use the cmd+option+i (chromium developer tools), in the Application tab, among all IndexedDB I can see the list of all my notes in my lost vault.

Is it something that can be of some help to me ?

Does this mean you still have your vault open somewhere?

Did you add a device to iCloud? Reboot the Mac? Create a new vault? Open your notes in a different app? There are no ghosts here… something caused the new behavior.

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Do I have my vault open somewhere ? I don’t think so since my vault was only on my current workstation and sync subscription was unfortunately not an option at this time.

I created a new vault after realizing my data was lost, in order to try the recover snapshots, with no luck. This operation also allowed me to access Obsidian menus which are not available if you don’t setup first a Vault.

By using the DevTools built in an electron app, I can see all the file (their names and associated metadata at least), but it seems to be located in the cache folder inside ~/Library/Application Support/obsidian folder as stated here How Obsidian stores data and if I understand well the docs, it seems to be only data needed by the application to run, not the .md files.

Device add to iCloud: Nope
Reboot the mac: Yes but only after loosing access to my notes in Obsidian
Open the notes in a different app: Nope too.

I understand and fully agree to your point that something caused this weird behaviour, but i can’t legit find (or remember) what happened.

Nonetheless, since I can list files of approx. 12Mb in ~/Library/Application Support/obsidian/Cache/Cache_Data, I’m just wondering if those file can help me recover my .md content.

You can certainly look in there via Finder. I have not tried this.

Do you have another backup solution? It might be best to check Backblaze/Time Machine/an external drive at this point.

No other backup solution which is more than lame, I know…

Finder is of no help unfortunately, and all I can know is that it is seen as data:

 ~/Library/Application Support/obsidian/Cache/Cache_Data 
> file 7ab0dcd712158018_0
7ab0dcd712158018_0: data

Right. I don’t think that’s going to be a productive path for data recovery.

So in iCloud Drive/Obsidian, there are currently 0 folders?

Hi Ryan,

I’ve been able to recover my data on another computer, so all my .md files are now secured (as many weeks of note taking).

Meanwhile something happened with iCloud, and I still don’t understand what.

Obsidian folder present on a computer, and not on the other one… Same icloud account.

I think I better have to move those file outside this piece of garbage :smile:

Anyway thank you for your time !

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On the offending computer, go to System Preferences → Apple ID → iCloud → iCloud Drive. Is Obsidian enabled?

Following your direction, I can see a checked check box for Obsidian.

Super weird.

If you disable that, reboot, then re-enable it, then reboot, maybe it’ll come back. But yes, this sounds like an iCloud bug (or at least, a weird iCloud behaviour) that I cannot figure out.

No pb Ryan.

Thank you again for your time. Since I was able to recover my content on another computer, data recovery is no more an issue by my side.

Anyhow, I will strongly discourage anyone from using iCloud storage feature as it seems today a bugged feature, with inconsistency in its behaviour and a more than suboptimal logging feature :slight_smile:

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