Very slooooow sync-to-mobile-device performance

Steps to reproduce

  1. Enable sync on your desktop and mobile versions of Obsidian.
  2. Make sure both are referencing the same vault.
  3. Make changes — perhaps a lot of changes — to your vault from the desktop.
  4. Open the mobile version of Obsidian (I’m using an iPhone), and view the sync activity.
  5. You will see many files and folders fly by (not unexpected). However, sometimes the activity will stop for long periods of time and then resume only to continue at a slower pace. Ultimately, the sync is not completed before the mobile device goes to sleep. The net effect is that the mobile device’s vault is never fully synced.

Expected result

  1. I expect to see the sync activity proceed at a continuously high rate, not stop and start.
  2. I expect that sync will run to completion before my phone times out. At least that it will continue in the background for a period of time — 10 minutes or so — until it has completed.

Actual result

  • As I stated, above, sync never completed. The net result is that I cannot use Obsidian on my mobile devices — at least not with the same vault I use on my Mac.
  • Incidentally, when I observe the sync activity I initially see the file and folder count ticking down. It never reaches 0. Then it starts to tick back up again. I’m not sure if this is expected behavior.
  • Also, if I unload Obsidian on my iPhone and then relaunch it, the syncing seems to resume at a good clip but then ultimately slows down again.


  • Operating system: macOS 11.6.1
  • Obsidian version: 0.13.7

Additional information

  • (none)

sync doesn’t work in background.

That’s fair, but is it normal behavior for the sync activity to start and stop (i.e., “sputter”) like I describe?

Do I need to keep the app alive for potentially hours until it has fully synced?

And, why not use a background task — at least on iOS. (I’m not sure how Android handles this.) Is this a limitation of the cross-platform dev environment that is being used?

This is not possible on iOS due to sandboxing. At least, as far as I understand it.

I’m experiencing similar slow syncing on my iPhone and iPad Pro with Obsidian Sync. It does eventually sync, but I need to wait for it to do so.

Maybe this is normal behavior? I’ve only just started using Obsidian Mobile so I’m not sure.

Follow-up: I was able to get sync to finish but I had to disable my iOS devices from going to sleep, and the process took well over an hour. It appears the process can be quite long if you have an active vault and have not synced in a while. Now that my devices are synced, the process seems to be much faster. I guess the take-away is to sync regularly.

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Mobile Obsidian app sync performance is quite slow for me as well. I’m back to using 1Writer which was my solution before the Obsidian iOS app was released. This also limits my ability to use Obsidian as a go to app for all my notes across devices. The critical notes and attachments are now in Craft as the mobile performance is much better.