"Waiting for iCloud to synchronise Obsidian configuration files…" - very slow every time you switch to Obsidian on iPhone

We would love to have that problem fixed, but unfortunately, it’s not something we can influence.
This is something that Apple has to fix.

@joethei can you elaborate a bit on what are the impediments you’re facing in addressing this sync issue? I could be wrong, but I am doubting that this is related to iCloud removing files to optimize device storage.

There is, e.g., a quick google search yields: ios - Get the names of files in an iCloud Drive folder that haven't been downloaded yet - Stack Overflow.

That is exactly what is happening.
iCloud will regularly remove the local copy of files, with no way to influence that behavior.

Why doesn’t any other app show the downloading config screen upon startup?

Are they doing it in the background? If so I suggest the Obsidian iPhone app might benefit from doing this too.

Obsidian is the only iPhone app I have that does this. My 2do app will tell me it’s syncing but only via a cogwheel in the top corner.

Perhaps the UX could be rethought?


Because they don’t need the files to be local but we do.
Obsidian doesn’t work one file at time. Obsidian manages your vault. For example, if you change the name of a note, all the other notes that contain a link to the renamed note must be updated at once (to maintain integrity).

There is a toggle on mac desktop to tell iCloud not remove your notes from your device. That setting doesn’t exist on mobile.

Have you considered using a local cache to speed up iCloud Sync? Caching most recently used files will allow working around the ‘waiting for everything to sync’ problem, assume local cache file is latest, once iCloud syncs in background, consider the update as a new file change. You can give users toggle on the amount of cache and so on. Especially for smaller vaults, local vault cache will be extremely useful.

That’s one idea in a direction to make boot faster given the limitations of iCloud sync on iOS. 10sec or more for taking simple quick notes is a huge cognitive load/context switch.

Having fast boot time must be directly correlated with retention.

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What I don’t get is why as I mentioned when I skip the “Waiting for iCloud to synchronize Obsidian configuration files” screen I still get newly updated text that I created in the meantime with another client.
How I understand you I should be missing the updates, as that’s what the loading screen is waiting on. So based on my tests iCloud sync really does seem to work for Obsidian, same as it does for the many apps I use cross platform that use iCloud to sync data in real or near realtime.

From my behavior, without having further insight into the technicalities behind it, seems it could be reduced to just waiting for the logo and then for the workspace to load. That’s already slow enough. But I guess I don’t get it and you would have removed one of the 3 loading sequences if you could.

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I came here looking to see how to make Obsidian update files in the background.

Is that an impossibility? I know I’m the third person to bring this up in this thread, but I didn’t see an answer.

I expected to see this permission for Obsidian, but it doesn’t do anything in the background I guess:

With no fix from Apple in sight, I decided to subscribe to Obsidian Publish. Everything is great now, and I enjoy using Obsidian on my phone daily!

My only wish would have been for them to allow syncing via Dropbox to iOS. As it is, I’m living dangerously and storing my vault in Dropbox. No issues whatsoever, as I’m only pointing one of my devices to update the Dropbox vault directly. Every other device syncs via the Obsidian Sync service only.