Error Code 36 Mac, How to fix It?

MacOS is a famous Unix operating system, developed by Apple Inc Error code 36 Mac is one of the common errors that users face and they try to find the solution for this error. Here is the article, which tells What is Error code 36 Mac and How to fix it?  

by Janani Durga Perumal | Updated Mar 18, 2023

Error Code 36 Mac, How to fix It?
Source: Fresherlive


MacOS is a Unix operating system. It has been developed and marketed by Apple Inc. since 2001. MacOS is the primary operating system for Apple's Mac computers. Within the market for desktop and laptop computers, Mac OS is the second most widely used desktop OS, following Microsoft Windows and ahead of ChromeOS. It succeeded the classic Mac OS, a Mac operating system with many releases from 1984 to 1999. At that time, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs exited Apple and began another company, NeXT, creating the NeXTSTEP platform that would later be received by Apple and form the basis of macOS.

What is Error Code 36 MAC?

Error code 36 on a Mac is an I/O (Input/Output) error that occurs when the Finder is unable to read or write to a file or folder. This error message typically appears when you're trying to copy or transfer files between two different locations, such as from your Mac's hard drive to an external hard drive or USB flash drive.

Error code 36 can be caused by a variety of issues, such as file permission problems, a corrupted file system, or a failing or damaged drive. It can also be caused by specific files that are corrupted or damaged, preventing them from being copied or transferred.

When you encounter error code 36 on a Mac, you may see an error message that says "The Finder can’t complete the operation because some data in "filename" can’t be read or written. (Error code -36)." The error may occur in the middle of a file transfer, causing the transfer to fail and the file to be incomplete or corrupted.

Cause of Error code 36 on Mac

Error code 36 on a Mac can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  • File permission problems: If the file or folder you're trying to copy or transfer has incorrect permissions set, you may encounter error code 36. Make sure you have the necessary permissions to read and write to the file or folder.

  • Drive issues: Error code 36 can also be caused by issues with the drive, such as a failing or corrupted drive, or issues with the file system format of the drive.

  • Large files: Sometimes error code 36 occurs when trying to copy or transfer large files. The file may be too large for the destination file system or the file may be corrupted or damaged.

  • Special characters in file names: If the file or folder you're trying to copy or transfer contains special characters or symbols in the file name, it may cause the error code 36 to occur.

  • Unsupported file system format: If you're trying to copy or transfer files to a drive that has an unsupported file system format, such as NTFS or FAT32, error code 36 may occur.

How to fix Error Code 36 on Mac

There are many methods available to fix the error code 36 on MAC. Here are some of the methods you could follow to solve the error code.

1) Run the dot_clean command in the Terminal

  • First, open Launchpad, choose Other, and then Terminal.

  • Next, tap it to open up the Terminal app.

  • On the Terminal app, type or enter the below command. Then, tap the Return key to perform a dot_clean command:


  • Now, pull the folder that you failed to move or copy into the Terminal window.

  • After it's successfully loaded and a file address appears, tap the Return key.

  • Once the operation finishes, repeat the action that you took earlier and see if the error code 36 is now resolved.

2) Unlock Folder/File

If you are the Mac owner, log in with your administrator account and change the file property. This enables full access to those files. Then, go ahead with the instructions below:

  • First, right-click the folder or file in which you saw the Mac error code 36.

  • Next, tap the "Get Info" option.

  • Now, ensure the Locked option is unchecked below the General tab.

  • After that, find out the sharing and permissions information below the file information.

  • Then, ensure that your account has read and write privileges to this folder or file.

3) Check the file permissions you try to copy

On Mac systems, if you copy from a foreign device, the file permissions may be mismatched.

  • Initially, with the help of the Finder, identify the file(s) that you attempt to copy from (the source).

  • Now, tap on Get Info.

  • Next, search for the Locked Files option and ensure it is unchecked.

  • After that, identify the Sharing and Permissions tab and choose Everyone (making sure read and write permissions are enabled).

This fix will provide full system access to your file; hence, use caution if you use a business and you don’t wish to share files with other users.

4) Run First Aid in Disk Utility

The hard drive issues could be easily solved by running First Aid in Disk Utility.

  • Initially, launch Finder.

  • Next, navigate to Applications and then Utilities.

  • After that, double-click on Disk Utility to run it on your Mac system.

  • Then, from Disk Utility's sidebar, choose the storage drive in which the error code 36 occurred.

  • Now, tap First Aid from the top and wait until the repair process is over.

After that, check if the Mac Finder error 36 has been resolved.

5) Copy the files through the command line

You could copy the files via the command line. There exists an option to copy the files or folders from Terminal or iTerm.

  • First, open the terminal.

  • Next, go to the source folder (e.g cd /media/usb).

  • After that, copy the file(s) to your local disk (e.g cp myfile.txt /tmp)

6) Update macOS

In order to update your Mac, you can check the steps below.

  • First, tap the Apple logo, which appears on the top left corner of the menu bar.

  • Next, choose the About this Mac option, and then tap Software Update.

  • After the new window appears, tap Upgrade now to download and update macOS to the most recent version.

7) Delete the.DS_Store files

You could delete the.DS_Store files and check if the error code 36 on MAC has been rectified.

  • For that, initially launch the Finder app on your Mac and choose Applications > Utilities.

  • Next, open Terminal.

  • Now, type the following command in the Terminal.

            sudo find / -name ".DS_Store" -depth -exec rm {}

  • Then, just delete the DS store files.

  • Next, tap the Return key to allow the process of clearing the.DS_Store files to start.

  • Now, type or enter your administrator password, and then tap the Return key when triggered.

  • Once the deleting process gets completed, restart your Mac computer and check if the issue is fixed.

Disclaimer: The above information is for general informational purposes only. All information on the Site is provided in good faith, however we make no representation or warranty of any kind, express or implied, regarding the accuracy, adequacy, validity, reliability, availability or completeness of any information on the Site.

Error Code 36 Mac - FAQ

1. What is MacOS? 

MacOS is a Unix operating system developed and marketed by Apple Inc. since 2001.

2. Who developed MacOS?

MacOS was developed and marketed by Apple Inc.

3. When was Mac OS released?

Mac OS was released on March 24, 2001. 

4. What is the kernel type of Mac OS?

Hybrid (XNU) is the kernel type of Mac OS. 

5. Define Mac OS in a line. 

Mac OS is the primary operating system for Apple's Mac computers.

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