This goes over diagnosing issues in Dendron. Troubleshooting issues are grouped by feature area.


Dendron is stuck on loading

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 it's 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": "ctrl+l",
      "command": "-expandLineSelection",
      "when": "textInputFocus"
    • You may need also add the following shortcut override, the above doesn't work by itself
      "key": "ctrl+l",
      "command": "-extension.vim_navigateCtrlL",
      "when": "editorTextFocus && && vim.use<C-l> && !inDebugRepl"

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

Can't autocomplete snippets inline

To get snippets to autocomplete, make sure you don't have snippets disabled

  1. go to > workspace: open user settings (JSON)
  2. change the following line to true
"editor.suggest.snippetsPreventQuickSuggestions": false,
"editor.suggest.showSnippets": true,
"editor.tabCompletion": "on",


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?

Clicking on the checkbox was a feature of the Legacy Dendron Preview

The current preview doesn't currently allow clicking the checkboxes while in preview

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.

Common Diagnostics

Check Dendron CLI Version

dendron --version

Launch a new workspace

To check if there is something wrong with Dendron vs your particular workspace setup, launch Dendron in a new workspace by running Initialize Workspace.

Check the logs

Run Dendron: Open Logs and search for "level":50 (these are lines with errors in them). The logs provide a more detailed description of what went wrong and can point what is happening.

If Dendron has crashed and you need to access logs from the previous session, click on "dendron.logs" in the bread crumb and choose dendron.logs.old to get logs from a previous session. See screenshot here

  • NOTE: Dendron only has logs for current session or previous session (a session being defined as when you last ran "Initialize Workspace")

Check if its a conflicting extension

Sometimes existing extensions will not play nicely with Dendron. To see if a problem is a Dendron specific issue and not another extension, you can do the following:

  • do a clean install of a VS Code flavor you do not currently have (eg. VSCodium if you have VS Code or vice versa, see instructions here)
  • install only the Dendron extension
  • see if your issue reproduces

Another way of finding the problematic extension is using VSCode's built-in extension bisect capability

Set Dendron to debug mode

Go into your workspace settings. Set dendron.logLevel to DEBUG. Restart Dendron. All logs should now be printed in debug mode.

Keyboard Diagnostics

  1. Run >toggle keyboard shortcuts troubleshooting
  2. Run a keyboard shortcut and see the output

See installed extensions

Common Fixes

Uninstall Conflicting Extensions

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

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 VS Code.

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 VS Code workspace file to operate. Make sure to open the dendron.code-workspace file by following the instructions here

You can have Dendron create one if you hold down "Cmd+Shift+P" (CTRL+SHIFT+P on windows) and use the Launch Tutorial Command

Clear the cache

Delete Dendron cache files.

Whitelisting localhost

Dendron starts a local server (Private) 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. If you happen to have Cloudflare WARP VPN on a Mac, then your localhost might be broken. To fix that, update your version of the VPN (a recent update fixed it).

Correctly Format the Note

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

Look for large files

Dendron currently has trouble parsing notes larger than 1MB in size. Check if you have any notes like this and move them out of your workspace.

Upgrade your CLI

  • upgrading local version
    • run inside the root of your workspace
npm install --save @dendronhq/dendron-cli@latest
  • upgrading global
npm -g install @dendronhq/dendron-cli@latest

If upgrading doesn't work, run the following first

npm uninstall -g @dendronhq/dendron-cli

Book a one on one

If all else fails, schedule a diagnostic session.

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:

  1. Incompatible Extensions
  2. Keyboard Shortcut Change
  3. Manual Migration