Unknown location of vault and files (but Obsidian finds them)

Things I have tried

Hi I just started using Obsidian a few days ago - it’s great, but…

I cannot find where the vault and the markdown files are located. I am using a Mac. I found the Obsidian file, the help files but can’t find my own files.

Obsidian opens my vault but I don’t know where my vault is! I tried “Show in system explorer” but that doesn’t work. I tried using finder to find markdown files, that doesn’t work. This is driving me nuts - the vault kind of tells me where to look but when I look there my personal vault is nowhere to be seen.

I have a feeling it’s in iCloud but doesn’t show anywhere, is it possible they’re hidden files?

sorry I am new to this but have spent a couple of hours trying to sort this out to no avail. Any help appreciated.

further to this - I checked my iCloud and obsidian is using 32 MB of storage, but I can’t see any of the folders or files. Any ideas? seems like they’re in that location which is something…just invisible.

On the left-hand edge of the vault, there is an icon towards the bottom of the window that looks like a safe. Click on that, and it will open a window that lets you choose to open or create another vault. On the left side of that window, you will see a list of the current vaults. One will be the Obsidian Help vault. The other (or others) will be any vault you have created. You will see the full path of every vault.

If you only see the Obsidian Help vault, you have probably been saving your files inside that.



Thank you but I saw that path but when I followed it nothing was there. Seems like it’s hidden in iCloud but I can’t work out how to make it visible.

Ahhh, I see what you mean. When you have Finder open, do the shortcut of Cmd+Shift+Period. It’ll begin to show the “Hidden” files and folders like so:

From the  sign → System Preferences → Apple ID → iCloud Drive → Options …

… is Obsidian listed as an app and does it have a tick in the selection box?


If you open macOS Finder, do you see an icon for iCloud Drive in the sidebar?

Finder → Preferences → Sidebar → iCloud → iCloud Drive

If you do see the icon and select it, is Obsidian visible as a folder nested in iCloud Drive?


thanks for your replies, to answer your questions

yes, iCloud was listed on the side bar in Finder
I tried unhiding all files in iCloud but the files didn’t show up
Obsidian is listed as an app in iCloud settings and was ticked, but I unticked and reticked a couple of times to see if that fixed the problem…it didn’t

anyway I spent a couple of hours rebuilding a new vault, somewhere visible and I can see all the files. It was probably the least worst option and less frustrating than trying to find it. I had to copy and paste the files manually as there was no way to export, but at least the content was there to be copied.

PS I just tried to find a file from the new vault in “Show in system explorer” and it works perfectly. If only that had happened with the old vault.

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Good you have a solution that works for you. A bit of a faff, but you’re on a winner now.


As long as you got it working, that’s what matters :slight_smile:

Happy to hear you’ve sorted it out.

That all sounds really weird. Glad you got it working sort of, but I’m still curious what happened. If you’re willing:

What version of Obsidian are you using?
Can you share what the invisible path was? (if it doesn’t have any sensitive info in it.)

unfortunately I closed the ‘invisible’ vault once I had copied all the files to the new one, but the link was abbreviated and went something like this

/Users/acb/Library/mobiledocuments/~(can’t remember this but was between squiggly lines~/

anyway when I followed that path I ended up in iCloud and it couldn’t be found even when I showed hidden files…

I am using Obsidian v.0.12.15 and Mac Monterey 12.0 Beta (21A5543b)

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