Home How-To-Guides Resolving Mac Error Code-36: A Step-by-Step Guide

Resolving Mac Error Code-36: A Step-by-Step Guide

Posted: November 16, 2023

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Understanding Mac Error Code-36

Mac Error Code-36 is a typical issue users may encounter while attempting to copy or transfer files. This error commonly appears in the Finder, an essential part of the macOS responsible for managing files and applications. When you come across this error, it usually indicates that the files you're trying to move might contain unreadable data.

Although Mac Error Code-36 is not a critical issue, it could cause significant inconvenience, especially when securing significant files or information. The error transcription reads, "The Finder can't complete the operation because some data in 'FileName' can't be read or written. (Error code-36)", where 'FileName' is the titular name of the file you were trying to move or copy.

Explanation of the Error and its Effects on Finder

This error typically means there is a problem reading or writing data in Finder. It might occur when attempting to move or copy files from one location to another on your Mac. If you receive Error Code-36, the Finder is having trouble processing the command due to possibly compromised or corrupted data.

The direct impact of the error is that it prevents the successful transfer of files. The operation stalls, and you may lose the data you were transferring. This can be frustrating as it abruptly halts your workflow, especially if the files you're dealing with are crucial for your tasks or operations.

Possibilities of Data Loss During Random Troubleshooting

While troubleshooting the Mac Error Code-36, it's important to proceed cautiously to avoid further data loss. Unplanned or poorly executed troubleshooting might result in the deletion of important files or exacerbate the existing problem. It's recommended to always back up your data before attempting to fix the error. If the error persists, consult professional help or advanced troubleshooting guides to safely resolve the issue.

Troubleshooting Steps to Resolve the Error

Resolving the Mac Error Code-36 involves multiple troubleshooting methods. These approaches aim to locate and fix the underlying corrupt files causing the issue. Proceed with each step carefully to prevent any unintended loss of data.

Utilizing Terminal to Scan and Clear Corrupt Files

Mac's Terminal application provides a streamlined method to handle many issues, including Error Code-36. To clear potentially corrupted files causing the error, you could conduct a dot_clean operation.

Opening Terminal via Launchpad

Browse "Other" in your Launchpad to locate and open the Terminal.

Using 'ls /Volumes' to List all Connected Drives

Type in the 'ls /Volumes' command in Terminal and then press Enter. This command will display all your connected drives and devices.

Using 'sudo dot_clean /Volumes/Macintosh\ HD' to Scan Drives

Type the command 'sudo dot_clean /Volumes/Macintosh\ HD' in Terminal and press Enter. This function scans the drive for corrupted files and attempts to merge them.

Using Disk Utility's First Aid for Correcting Corrupted Data

If the Terminal method doesn't resolve your problem, using Disk Utility's First Aid function may help. This tool checks the disk for errors and tries to fix them.

Opening Disk Utility and Selecting 'Show All Devices'

Open Disk Utility by navigating to Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility. Select 'Show All Devices' from the View option for a comprehensive device listing.

Using the 'First Aid' Function and Repeating it on all Volumes

Click on 'First Aid' and then 'Run.' Repeat this process for each volume and container to detect and fix all potential errors.

Using Time Machine to Restore Damaged Files

If the error persists after the previous steps, some files could have severe corruption. Using Time Machine can restore these files to their previous, undamaged state.

Accessing Time Machine through System Settings

Access Time Machine through the Apple menu > System Preferences Time Machine.

Scrolling through Backed-Up Files and Restoring the Needed Ones

Browse through the backed-up files using the arrows or the timeline along the right edge of your screen. Click 'Restore' to reinstate the selected files.

Additional Troubleshooting Steps in Persistent Situations

Some additional steps may be required if the error persists after applying the standard troubleshooting methods. These steps primarily involve deleting Finder Property List (PLIST) files and performing a system reboot. MacOS uses PLIST files to store a user's settings and information about applications. However, these files can sometimes get corrupted and contribute to errors.

Deleting Finder Property List Files

Deleting Finder Property List Files involves locating these files through Finder, deleting them, and then performing a system reboot.

Locating PLIST files through Finder

PLIST files can be located by using Finder. Press the CommandShift, and keys simultaneously while in Finder. This will open a "Go to the folder" window. Type "~/Library/Preferences/" into the field and click "Go." This will redirect you to the Preferences folder.

Deleting these Files and Performing a System Reboot

Once in the Preferences folder, you should look for files with names that start with "com.apple.finder." Once identified, these can be moved to the trash. It's important to empty the trash to ensure the files have been fully deleted. After doing this, reboot your system. New PLIST files will be created automatically after restarting to replace the deleted ones.

Please note that deleting any system files can be risky. You must ensure that you are deleting only the files related to Finder and that these files are indeed corrupted. If you're unfamiliar with system files, seeking advice from a professional is recommended.

Concluding Steps if Error Persists

Even after adopting multiple troubleshooting methods, certain situations could still result in the persistence of the Mac Error Code-36. In such cases, there are ultimate steps you can opt for to address this issue.

Contacting Apple Support

If the error remains unresolved despite your best troubleshooting efforts, contacting Apple Support should be your next step. The professionals at Apple are fully equipped and specifically trained to handle issues such as Error Code-36. They can provide further guidance, tailored troubleshooting processes, or even remote assistance if necessary.

Backing Up Data to Mitigate Potential Loss

It's critical to prioritize the safety of your data when experiencing persistent errors like this. Regularly back up your data using Time Machine or any third-party backup software to protect your valuable information from potential loss due to ongoing errors. This safeguard can also facilitate recovery if any data becomes compromised during additional troubleshooting or repair attempts.

An even more drastic option would be to format your disk and reinstall macOS. This step is rather extreme and should be only considered as a last resort. Before implementing such a measure, ensure that you have secured all essential data and confirm that you can reinstall your necessary applications.