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You can get a better idea of what went wrong by checking out the logs. At that point, you should be able to narrow down the root cause to one of the issues below. If not, please bring it up on the discord or file a bug report


Check the version numbers of your dependencies. You can get version numbers by running the following commands

npm info @dendronhq/dendron-cli
npm info @dendronhq/dendron-11ty

Common Errors

Engine not Initialized

Notes from the graph/tree view show wrong results

Preview not Rendering Correctly

Lookup Shortcut is not working

  • causes:
    • you have the vim extension installed and its overriding the default dendron shortcut
  • fix:
    1. open command palette and run Open Keyboard Shortcuts (JSON)
    2. add the following shortcut override
    • NOTE: replace cmd+l with ctrl+l if you are on windows
      "key": "cmd+l",
      "command": "-expandLineSelection",
      "when": "textInputFocus"

Cannot read property 'name' of undefined

This is an issue with upgrading to 0.47.0. If you are encountering this, you'll want to copy the following into dendron.yml

    dailyDomain: daily
    name: journal
    dateFormat: y.MM.dd
    addBehavior: childOfDomainNamespace
    firstDayOfWeek: 1

Common Fixes

Uninstall Conflicting Extensions

Markdown Notes, Markdown Preview Enhanced, and Markdown All in One are known to interfere with Dendron

Use Dendron Markdown Preview

The VSCode default markdown preview has the same icon as Dendron's Markdown Preview. It is currently not possible to disable the builtin preview (we are looking into fixing this here).

Meanwhile, you can open Dendron's markdown preview by clicking the preview button on the left of the menu bar or by using the > Markdown Preview Enhanced: Open Preview to the Side command

Markdown preview

Reload Dendron

Sometimes Dendron views can get out of sync with notes. To fix, run Dendron: Reload Index to manually sync. If that doesn't work, you can also try Developer: Reload Window to restart VSCode.

Remove notes that extend from root

We currently don't support creating children of This note is special. While the contents can be edited, creating a hierarchy off root is not officially supported

Run Dendron inside a Workspace

Dendron requires a VSCode workspace file to operate. Make sure to open the dendron.code-workspace file by following the instructions here

Clear the cache

Delete dendron cache files.

Whitelisting localhost

Dendron starts a local server in the background and the plugin connects to it to index notes. Check that you don't have anything that is running or blocking localhost.

Correctly Format the Note

Dendron can sometimes fail to load due to a malformed note. Common issues:


Error upgrading

Dendron will update keybindings/settings/etc to the latest defaults if not currently set on upgrade. If you see the above error, it means that Dendron had trouble parsing one of your settings files. This doesn't stop dendron from starting but it does mean that the latest settings aren't being applied.

The most likely culprit of this error is a bad snippets file. To fix, bring up the command prompt, type >Configure User Snippets, open dendron.code-snippets and see if there's anything funky with the json on the line mentioned by the error. You can also use tools like jsonlint to validate your JSON.


I'm getting a you cannot define a mapping item when in a sequence when trying to define a schema

That means there's an issue with your yaml. You can paste it in yaml lint to check that you are using the correct yaml syntax.

Schema Templates aren't working

Schema templates are defined as YAML objects. The most common mistake is putting them down as a list

For example, this is a valid schema.

- id: journal
  title: journal
  desc: ""
  parent: root
    - daily
- id : daily
  namespace: true
    id: journal.template.daily
    type: note

This is not a valid schema.

- id: journal
  title: journal
  desc: ""
  parent: root
    - daily
- id : daily
  namespace: true
    - id: journal.template.daily
      type: note

Markdown Preview

Why can't I click the checkbox?

It could be that you are using the VSCode default markdown instead of Dendron's Markdown Preview.

Start anchor using-the-wrong-preview not found

Still initializing. Please close this window and try again after Dendron has been initialized.

When Dendron starts up, it initializes a local server which is responsible for indexing notes and fetching note metadata. Plugins like the preview depend on the server being initialized before activating. You'll know the server is initialized after you see a Dendron is activated notification.

Get the logs

Open the output view and use the dropdown menu to find the log titled DENDRON.


Reference to Another Note on Ubuntu

If Ctrl+Shift+R (reference to another note) doesn't work on Ubuntu, do sudo apt install xsel.


Can't open local preview

Dendron runs the preview on port 8080. Make sure you don't have something already running there.

  • windows
# get ids of processes
Get-Process -Id (Get-NetTCPConnection -LocalPort 8080).OwningProcess

# if you see any result, you can stop them using the following command
Stop-process -Id {IDS_FROM_ABOVE}
  • linux
# get ids
lsof -l -n -P -i tcp:8080 

# kill
kill -9 {IDS}


Error: spawn git ENOENT

Check if you have git installed. You can find more details here

This is likely due to other extensions that you have installed that provide conflicting definitions for wiki links.

The most likely culprits are foam or markdown-notes. Uninstalling them will fix this issue.

You can see your installed

Dendron fails to initialize

  • check if you have a file with two consecutive dots: eg.

Multiple Vaults with the same name

You will get this if you have multiple vaults that have the same name. This is an error with Dendron since Dendron requires all vault names be unique. You can fix this by removing the duplicate vaults or setting a unique name property for the vault.

Send a support request

If none of the troubleshooting methods work, you can ping kevin on Discord or submit a github issue.

When doing either of these things, please include the following information: