License overview

A simplified summary of our licenses and terms.

Last updated March 24, 2024


Free for personal and non-profit use

Obsidian is free for personal and non-profit use. However, if you use Obsidian for work-related activities that generate revenue in an organization with two or more people, you must purchase a commercial license for each user. Government departments and agencies are considered commercial use. Non-profit organizations do not require a commercial license.

To support our development, you can optionally purchase a Catalyst license. This one-time payment gives you early access to beta versions of Obsidian.

Your personal information is not required

Downloading Obsidian does not require an account, and we do not collect your personal information. You only need an account for payments or add-on services, and you can permanently delete your account at any time.

Your data is local

Your data is saved locally on your device and is not sent to our server. If you use Obsidian Publish or Obsidian Sync, we handle your data only as needed for those services. Publish data is hosted on our servers. Sync data is encrypted and inaccessible to our staff. Learn more about our approach to privacy and security.

Your content is yours

You retain ownership of all content you create in Obsidian. We do not claim any rights to it.

We own and reserve rights to our content, including text, images, and code in the app, which is protected by copyright and other laws.

You agree to our terms and privacy policy by using Obsidian

By using Obsidian, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Please read and understand these documents, as they outline the terms of our relationship, including licensing, fees, security, privacy, liability, and dispute resolution.

License types

You must have a license to use Obsidian, though some users may use a free license. If you aren’t sure which license you need, see our licensing FAQ here.

Personal use and other free license types

Unless you require a Commercial Use License, you can download and use Obsidian for free, forever, under one of our free license types:

  • Personal Use License, for personal use
  • De Minimis Commercial Use License, for sole-proprietorships and single-person organizations
  • Not for Profit License, for registered charitable and not-for-profit organizations

Each allows you to download and use Obsidian without creating an account.

Commercial use license

Commercial Use Licenses are required whenever Obsidian is being used for work for an organization with two or more employees. Government departments and agencies are considered commercial use. Sole proprietorships or other one-person organizations do not require a Commercial Use License. Work for educational purposes does not require a Commercial Use License.

Commercial Use Licenses must be purchased on an annual and per user basis. Commercial users must purchase at least as many licenses as the number of people who will be using Obsidian.

You may use Obsidian commercially for free for 14 days to evaluate the app before purchase.

Catalyst license

Catalyst Licenses are special licenses that can be purchased on top of all other license types. Catalyst Licenses offer additional benefits including early access to insider builds.

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