Using the Finder (or other file explorer) with Obsidian files? Problems?

Are there any pitfalls, problems, or dangers to using the Finder (or other file explorer) to move, rename, delete, or create files in an Obsidian vault? Will manipulating files in an Obsidian vault from outside Obsidian create problems?

Thanks!

I haven’t been using Obsidian long, but I use 1Writer (iOS) and nvUltra (Mac) with the same file of Markdown/text documents, including with Obsidian open, and I’ve seen no problems.

2 Likes

Using Finder is fine for moving and creating notes (though I’m not sure how you can create notes in Finder without copying and pasting existing notes), but be cautious when renaming and deleting. Internal links will only be renamed if you rename within Obsidian and have Automatically update internal links turned on (one of Obsidian’s most underrated features in my opinion). There is no difference between deleting in Obsidian versus Finder, but it can be nice to see if there are any backlinks to a note before deleting, so I prefer to delete notes in Obsidian. There is some discussion for features to be added when deleting a note here:

1 Like

One piece of additional information:
the Obsidian may check whether a node name is unique or not within a vault, and then add additional path information to the internal link automatically if necessary.

Therefore, I think it is not very safe to create a note outside the obsidian unless you are pretty sure that the note file being created has a unique file name (such as current_data_time_millisecond+random-number.md).

That’s very important, @GLight. I completely forgot to mention it. Thanks for pointing it out :grinning:

@tf2, @JonathanBuchh, and @GLight are correct – I did some experimentation and confirmed it. Thanks, folks!

And @GLight has already answered the next question I was going to ask: What if I have two documents, in different folders, with the same name? I did an experiment there too; Obsidian automatically changes the target URL to include the folder name.

This is important to me because, for now at least, I’m using Obsidian as part of the larger system, including DevonThink and the Finder, with a lot of folders. My Obsidian usage is not self-contained and I’m still making heavy use of folders.