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What is Error Code 36 on Mac? 7 Ways to Fix

MacOS is known for its ultimate CPU performance and smart configuration when it comes to desktops and laptops. Everything is a cakewalk on Mac until you encounter error 36 in the process of moving files. It usually indicates a problem with the file system or the way the files are being read or written. Let us understand what exactly is error code 36 on mac, why it occurs and how to fix it.

What is Error Code 36 on Mac

What is Error Code 36 on Mac? Reasons and Fixes

Error code 36 is usually encountered by Mac users when they try to move, copy, or delete files when performed in the Finder. The error prompt provides information about the file causing the issue and indicates that it cannot be read or written at the time.

The reasons that are commonly related to the error are:

  • Location of the file
  • File has an extension with a dot or underscore
  • Outdated macOS
  • Malware or virus attack
  • Corrupt files

Now that you are aware of the culprits that might be causing the error on your Mac, it is time to fix the issue.

Method 1: Update macOS

First things first, it is important that you update your system if you are wondering how do I fix error 36 on Mac. It has been reported that error code 36 is caused due to older versions of Mac servers. Hence, updating the system to the latest version is a quick fix for the issue.

1. Open System Preferences by clicking on the apple icon on your Desktop.

Open System Preferences

2. Now, click on the Software Update icon from the list in the System Preferences screen.

Click on Software Update. What is Error Code 36 on Mac

3. In case there is one available, click on Update Now.

Click on Update Now

Once the update is successfully installed, restart your system and repeat the process of moving or copying the file to check if the issue has been resolved.

Method 2: Run First Aid from Disk Utility

In case the SD card is incompatible or the internal drive is not readable by your system, it can result in error 36. The First Aid tool in Disk Utility can fix any errors, including error 36.

1. Go to Applications and select Utilities. Then, open Disk Utility, as depicted.

open disk utility. | How to Fix Kernel Panic Mac Error

2. Select the Startup Disk of your Mac which is usually represented as Macintosh HD

3. Lastly, click on First Aid and let it scan your computer for errors and apply automatic repairs, wherever needed. 

Most amazing tool within Disk Utility is First Aid.

Also Read: How to Use Utilities Folder on Mac

Method 3: Allow File Permissions

The error code 36 can also appear on your macOS if the file that you are trying to process, move, or copy does not have the required permissions for the same. Hence, ensure that the file permissions are not mismatched.

1. Click on the Finder app at the bottom bar.

2. Locate and click on the file that you are trying to process.

Applications in Finder mac

3. Click on Get Info.

4. Uncheck the Locked Files option.

5. Locate Sharing and Permissions tab and select Everyone.

Method 4: Copy Files Through Command Line

Another way to make sure that you don’t encounter error code 36 is by copying files using the command line. This can be done with the help of the following steps:

1. Open Terminal from the Utilities folder.

click on Terminal in Mac Utilities menu

2. Use the ‘cd’ command to navigate to the directory where the problematic folder or drive is located

3. Once you’re in the correct directory, type dot_clean . and press Enter.

The process might take a little time, especially if you have a large number of files in that directory

Method 5: Uninstall Third-party Antivirus Software

Third-party antivirus software on your Mac can also be a reason for the issue and a way to fix error 36 on Mac is to uninstall this software. Antivirus software tends to interfere with the processes of Mac and other operations and here are the steps that can help you uninstall it:

1. Click on Finder from the action bar at the bottom of your screen.

select Finder icon in Mac

2. Now, click on the Go bar present at the top.

3. Select Utilities from the menu.

4. Next, locate the antivirus software and double-click on it to Uninstall.

When the uninstall process is complete, restart your system and check if the error persists.

Also Read: How To Fix Mac Camera Not Working

Method 6: Delete Hidden Cache Files

Hidden cache files are one of the prominent reasons why the error code 36 is encountered on Mac. Desktop Services Store, also known as DS Store keeps these hidden cache files containing information about settings and system configuration. Therefore, if you want to know how do I fix error 36 on Mac, then deleting the DS Store files is the solution for you.

1. Click on the Finder icon from the bottom of the screen.

2. Next, click on the Applications and select Utilities from the list.

Select Utilities

3. Locate and open Terminal utility from the list.

click on Terminal in Mac Utilities menu

4. Type the following command and press Return.

sudo find / -name “.DS_Store” -depth -exec rm {} \;

5. Enter your administrator password and select OK to initiate the process.

Once the process is complete, reboot your Mac and check if the issue has been resolved. To know more about the reboot process, check our guide How to Boot Mac in Safe Mode.

Method 7: Format SD Drive

If you are looking for answers for what is error code 36 on Mac, then your SD card might have answers for it. It is most likely that your SD card is corrupt or not compatible with your macOS system resulting in error 36 which stops you from moving your files. In such a scenario, you can make use of Disk Utility in your system to get rid of the SD card contents or simply format it to rule out the error possibility.

Note: Back up your data on the SD card before performing the steps below.

1. Click on Finder in the action bar at the bottom.

2. In Applications, click on Utilities.

Select Utilities. What is Error Code 36 on Mac

3. Select Disk Utility in it.

Click on Disk Utility

4. Select the SD card from the side menu.

5. Click on the Erase option at the top.

Click on Erase. What is Error Code 36 on Mac

6. Confirm it by clicking on Erase.

Once the process of formatting the SD card is complete, repeat the process of moving or copying the file and check if the error code 36 is resolved.

Also Read: Fix macOS Big Sur Problems

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. What can I do if dot_clean does not work on my Mac?

Ans. Dot_clean won’t work on your Mac if you don’t add a path next to the dot_clean command. Also, it does not work if the path mentioned is incorrect. To rule out this error, you can simply drag and drop the file next to the dot_clean command.

Q2. What does the DS Store file mean?

Ans. DS Store files stand for Desktop Services files that are automatically created by Finder on your Mac. These files contain attributes of the folders in them including icon positions and background images.

Q3. How can I fix error codes on Mac?

Ans. Error codes on the Mac system can be fixed simply by running the checks on disks, rebooting the system, or updating an outdated version of macOS.

Q4. What are error codes?

Ans. Error codes specify errors, explain causes that are behind them, and help to fix them. There are many error codes encountered by Windows and Mac users due to technical or software issues.

Q5. How can I find hidden files on Mac?

Ans. Hidden files on Mac can be found using the Finder application. Locate your hard drive in it and open the Macintosh HD folder. You can also find hidden folders in documents, applications, and desktop folders.

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Error code 36 is indeed a rare issue that Mac users face when it comes to moving, deleting, or copying their files. We hope that our guide helped you solve this issue and provided you with all the answers regarding what is error code 36 on Mac and how to fix it. Let us know which one of the methods helped you the most in resolving this problem. For more queries or valuable suggestions, contact us by leaving a comment below.

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