Why does Obsidian allow plugins to so easily screw with core settings (example screenshot)?

I’m a new user trying to wade through the wonderful plethora of options Obsidian has. But I’m disconcerted that I evidently can’t experiment with plugins without fear that they won’t make major core changes without even prompting the user. Here is just one example. I installed Make.MD when I first started. Yesterday when some of the forward slash note commands would not work, after some troubleshooting I determined it was the Make.md plugin.

But what really blew my mind is I realized there were countless slash commands I was not seeing since starting with Obsidian that Make.md appears to obliterate upon activation. Here is a screenshot. Why in the world would it even be possible for a plugin to completely overwrite core functionality like this? Especially when it’s as simple as using a different non-assigned character to open the Flow menu?

I am not a programmer. But is there not some way to better protect plugins from overwriting things, or at a minimum forcing a pop-up so the user understand huge changes are about to be made that they may not want?


I’m not trying to diminish your frustration. But that is what a plugin does. It changes the core functionality. And Make.MD is a particularly complex plugin.

It’s a user’s responsibility to read the documentation of a plugin before installing it. And it’s highly recommended to make a backup of your data before installing a plugin. (And to generally make backups always.) That’s the guideline you agree to when you turn Restricted Mode off.

You can also consider making a test vault, so you can test what the plugin does before installing it on your actual vault.

Also if you use a version control software, such as Git, then you can make snapshots of your vault, so you can roll back to a previous version relatively easily.


Thank You. Yes, I have created a test vault. And to clarify I am not objecting to core changes being made - I am just surprised it’s so easy for them to be made with little to no warning. I am definitely still learning!

1 Like

I completely empathize with what you’re describing @ENLeaver! Probably the 2 most “powerful” yet “terrifying” plugins I use on a regular basis are MetaData Menu (similar to MAKE.md) and Linter. Both can be extremely powerful and helpful, but if you don’t fully understand what changes you are making or what other possible outcomes those changes might have, then they can possibly cause serious “damage” to your notes. And I say “damage” because I don’t consider it actual damage like deleting your entire vault. I mean more like a YAML field might get duplicated in the frontmatter and now I have to spend hours deleting that duplicated field from every single note in my vault. Needless to say, I learned my lesson. haha And in those situations, it’s been a life saver having a recurring backup that automatically backups my notes such as GitHub or Obsidian Sync.

Bottom line: Approach plugins slowly and cautiously. That’s my new motto. haha Try making changes to one note, then one subfolder, then one folder, etc. I also would suggest when using a test vault, use a blank test vault. Don’t just copy your current vault (at least not the settings). It’s much simpler to diagnose an issue you’re having with a plugin when you don’t need to take into consideration how a particular change might affect other plugins you have installed, as well.

Good luck and godspeed! :vulcan_salute:t2:


Haha, yes I have already had some similar things happen. The funniest one,(funny only because I caught it :rofl:) was that after I imported all notes and files from my previous programs, I somehow ended up with thousands of unreferenced resources (jpg, pdf etc). However I am sure many of them should not be deleted and intend to clean them up when I can.

I had two plugins installed, one searched for all unreferenced resources and created a note with a link to every single one of them. So that note references thousands of them.

The other plugin allows you to select “delete note and all attachments” whenever you delete a note, so you don’t end up with tons of orphaned attachments over time. Well guess what would happen if I used that plugins feature to deleted that note the other plugin created ;-)?