Serious link tracing bug for same picture name separated at different folders

If there are several files with the same name (e.g. both called apple.jpg) separated at different folders, and if we embed some of them into our notes (i.e. .md files), then the linking mechanism is rather problematic and have a bug.

For example, if we delete any of such apple.jpg s in the file explorer in Obsidian, the alert message window may sometimes give a wrong number of the current files that link to it; if we delete any of such apple.jpg, then all the notes having embedded whichever apple.jpg will still be displayable. Such behavior is incorrect. After experiment, it seems that only when the “last” apple.jpg is being deleted, then all of the md files will begin fail to display the image.

Steps to reproduce

1.Prepared apple.jpg in, say C:\ (outside your Obsidian working directory, say D:\)
2.Launch Obsidian and drag and drop C:\apple.jpg into a new note named Note1. Now a clone version of apple.jpg should occur in the working directory.
3. Create a new folder named fruit in the file explorer of Obsidian, and move apple.jpg (which is in the working directory) into it by drag and drog. There will be a warning message box, click “update link” as usual.
4.Now repeat step 2, namely create another new note named Note2, and drag-and-drop C:\apple.jpg into the note.
5. Now delete the new apple.jpg (NOT fruit/apple.jpg) by the file explorer in Obsidain.

Expected result

Note2 can no longer see the image.

Actual result

In Note2, we still can see the image being displayed (which is not reasonable).

Now delete fruit/apple.jpg by the file explorer of Obsidian, an alert message box say there are two notes refer to it (which the number is incorrect); and only after removing this, Note2 then start to fail to display the image.

Things will become even stranger if you prepared actually an orange picture (but still named C:\apple.jpg) in steps 4. Try it!

Further comment: if we repeat step 3 and 4 again, moving the latest apple.jpg to a new folder food, and creating the third new note named Note3 and drag-and-drop C:\apple.jpg into it again. Then when we delete some apple.jpg by the file explorer in Obsidian, sometimes the number of notes refer to the the picture alerted by Obsidian will be wrong.


  • Operating system: Windows
  • Obsidian version: 0.12.15

Additional information

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I can’t reproduce exactly what you are reporting because you didn’t say what’s in your your settings>files.

Anyway, I have an idea of what is going on.

This is not bug but a feature.
Obsidian always tries to fix/resolve broken links.

I suggest you open a feature request asking having this feature being togglable (user selectable).

Thanks for your reply.

I just changed some settings in settings>files, and the phenomenon seemed disappear. I think I might have a clue how the “bug” I reported happened, but I need some time to check and experiment carefully. I will record a video or add some details maybe at tomorrow. (I think I can reproduce such “bug” again.)

By the way, do you know where can find the further explanation on the behavior of
Obsidian to try to fix/resolve broken links? What is the algorithm or determine logic?

I added the FR

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While I was trying to reproduce your BR, I discovered a similar problem here: