Obsidian and onedrive

So I’ve drank the Kool-Aid and I am diving into Obsidian. I have installed it on my Mac and set up my first vault. So far (after four day), I’m loving it. But I’ve run into a problem. The folder that is linked to my vault is on my OneDrive. This is a OneDrive that is connected to my university and all university related files need to be on it for as they say security reasons. My research notes, which is what I’m using Obsidian for right now, do not need to be on OneDrive and had I known that there was an issue with sinking I would have simply stored them locally on my Mac.

So now I have a vault that points to Files on OneDrive , my question is firstly do I need to move it onto my local Mac storage if I want to sync with my iPad (which I do: about half my work is done on my iPad)? suspect the answer to that question is yes. Secondly, how do I do that without losing data or starting from scratch? I have heard some pretty bad stories about relocating vaults.

This is probably not what you want to hear but on iOS/iPadOS, due to the design of the OS and what Apple allows (or doesn’t), you really only have two choices for syncing Obsidian:

  1. iCloud
  2. Obsidian Sync.

There’s technically a third option as well, which is using Working Copy to sync to a private git repository.

Obsidian needs to have access to the full folder of files so that it can index all the files, and iOS/iPadOS does allow that only for any app’s native home folder in iCloud Drive.

This will not work via the Files app for OneDrive or any other cloud provider as Obsidian will not be able to have folder-level access.

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You may be able to use the Remotely Save plugin to sync via OneDrive. I use Obsidian Sync, but a lot of people who use Remotely Save seem to like it.

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Besides the Remotely Save plugin that I just mentioned, there’s also the Self-Hosted LiveSync plugin.

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I tried lots of different options for syncing, but settled on Obsidian sync. As well as being very reliable, and end to end encrypted, it also allows granular syncing between devices. So, for example, on my iPhone I don’t sync active plugins from my Mac, but I do sync the plugins themselves. That means I don’t need to load plugins I never use on mobile, but they’re just one switch away. Obsidian sync also offers granular restore.

All this is possible using other options, but with OS it’s very easy.

I relocated my vault from iCloud to my Documents folder by creating the new vault then dragging files across.

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Even though it means that my PDFs are going to be in iCloud (for Bookends), my finished writing on OneDrive (because I have to format in Microsoft Word), and my research notes locally on my Mac, it’s probably best to use Obsidian sync. A bit disappointing.

I use Microsoft Word to edit .docx files synced with Obsidian Sync on both my Mac and my iPhone. (Sync has to be set to sync all file types.)

I just have to remember to make sure I’ve opened Obsidian and allowed syncing to complete on that device before opening the file in Word each time.

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Do you really need the full Obsidian power on your iPad? My middle ground is syncing my vault through iCloud Drive and then simply use the Files app and a standalone markdown editor given the case, but on my iPad I basically read and annotate PDFs. I believe you can set up OneDrive as a file provider for Files on iPad.

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That might be an option. In that case I can dispense with the sync service, right?