Sync sometimes overwrites changes when switching between devices

Steps to reproduce

I think the steps are:

  1. Edit a file on one device.
  2. Switch to a second that is not connected to the internet.
  3. Edit the same file.
  4. Connect that device to the internet.

N.B. I have not tested these steps. I’m just fairly sure I’ve seen this issue a couple times during actual use.

Expected result

The edits made at step (1) should be applied before the edits made at step (3). If there is a conflict, Obsidian should report that and invite user to resolve.

Actual result

Edits made at step (3) are synced, and fully overwrite the edits made at step (1).


  • Operating system: Mac, iOS
  • Obsidian version: Latest supporter edition.

Additional information

1 Like

That’s not how obsidian works and this is intentional. Obsidian attempts to merge the changes as best as it can. I think a double addition is more likely than deletions. The version history is there for reference.

If you find a reproducible example of lost changes, let us know.

If find a reproduceble exaple of lost changes, let us know.

Are you asking for an example of changes that cannot be recovered via the version history? I don’t have an example of that.

But the example I screengrabbed is an example of changes being totally lost during the sync process. I lost many paragraphs that I had written on the MacBook when the minor edit from my iPad was synced. If that’s intended behaviour… I think this could do with a re-think. It’ll be especially problematic for longer notes, where users can easily not notice the lost edits for quite a while.

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No I am asking for an example where you write something and it doesn’t appear in the merged document.

You write “this” at time 1
You write “that” at time 2

and this or that never appear in the final document.

Got it. In that case, that’s what I observed today.

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Ok, if anybody can provide reproducible step, that would be great.

I have had the same. I will also try to create a repeatable test.

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Ugh. I just completely lost 5+ paragraphs of text, and I can’t find them in the revision history.

I wrote the paragraphs on my iPad, while disconnected from the internet.

I then wrote a bunch more on my MacBook, with the iPad still disconnected.

I then connected the iPad to the internet.


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I wish it were easy to search the revision history. I know a word that only occurs in my missing paragraphs.

Browsing the revision history on iPad is especially difficult because it doesn’t show which device the version came from.

But I’ve looked pretty hard (I really want these paragraphs back) and I can’t find it.

I know more or less the exact times I wrote the missing paragraphs, and there are no file history entries around that time. I find this rather surprising. I was definitely writing in this file, not some other one.

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Ah, hurrah!! The text is not in the revision history, but I found it in the “File recovery” section.

Phew phew phew. It was creative writing, I fear it would have been forever lost.

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It does.

It does.

Can you elaborate? On Obsidian for Mac, it shows the device on the revision history. On iPad, I just see a list of versions with date and time.

Post a screenshot of a revision history of file. No themes.

ok, we’ll fix this.

1 Like

I am gonna close this thread and open a new one just for machine_id