How to Fix Mac Error Code 36?

Some Mac users are encountering the Error Code 36 when they try to copy certain folders from or to an external drive. This is reported to happen with both microSD cards and external SSD and HDD. If you are also fed up with this error and looking for ways to Fix Mac Error Code 36, then read this blog.

The Error Code -36 Mac Catalina indicates that either the SD/µ-SD card is failing/has failed, or there is an incompatibility with the SD/µ-SD reader. Or, in some cases, it can signal that the internal drive is beginning to fail.

In this case, your first attempt to Fix Mac Error Code 36 would be to run the Disk Utility to repair the drives or format it in case the issue persists.

However, several occurrences of Mac Error Code 36 in computers have also been linked to some malware or computer virus. So, by using a Professional Mac Antivirus such as Combo Cleaner, you will be able to fix this issue.

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Methods to Fix Mac Error Code 36

While some users are reporting that the issue only occurs with certain files, other users see this error every time they try to perform a copy-paste operation.

Here, you will get to know about some manual methods to Fix Mac Error Code 36, if you don’t want to install any software in your system.

Method 1: Running ‘dot_clean’ from Terminal

As some affected users have reported, this particular problem can occur due to the Finder’s archive process. Under certain circumstances, it might end up affecting the compression and file transfer operations.

This issue occurs, as explained by Apple engineers when there’s some mismanagement regarding the dot-underscore files. However, it’s said that the problem should no longer occur if you have an OS version newer than Snow Leopard.

Some users that encountered the Error Code 36 issue due to this and have managed to fix the issue by deleting the redundant data using the ‘dot_clean ‘command.

Steps to follow to ‘dot_clean’ command from the Terminal app:

Step 1: Search for Terminal and access the Top Hit result to open up the terminal app.

Step 2: Inside the Terminal app, type the following command and press Return to perform a dot_clean command:


Step 3: Now, simply drag the folder that you are unsuccessfully trying to copy or move into the Terminal window. Once it’s successfully loaded in your terminal, press Return to perform the ‘dot_clean’ command on it.

Step 4: After the operation is complete, repeat the action that was previously causing Error Code 36 and see if the problem is now resolved.

In case, if Dot Clean Permission Denied or the Mac Error Code -36 Dot_clean Not Working, move down to the final fix below. This final method is fixing the Mac Error Code 36 using a Third-Party Software called Combo Cleaner.

Method 2: Update your machine to the latest version

As it turns out, this particular issue seems to be specific to a certain MacOS version. Version 10.9.2 is frequently reported to trigger the Error Code 36 – on both end-user versions and on Mac Mini Servers.

Some affected users that have previously dealt with this issue. They reported that they managed to get the problem fixed by Updating Their Mac machine to the latest version available.

If this scenario is applicable and you haven’t updated your macOS in a while.

Steps to Follow to Update the Latest Version:

Step 1: Use the action bar at the bottom of the screen to click on the System Preferences icon from the action bar at the top.

Step 2: Once the System Preferences screen opens up, click on the Software Update icon from the list of available options. As soon as you’re inside the Software Update menu, the utility will start to scan for newly available updates. Wait until the process is complete and don’t close the window until the analysis is finished.

Step 3: If a new version is found. Click on the Update now button and follow the on-screen prompts to complete the installation of the new update.

Step 4: Once the update is successful. Restart your Mac manually if the reboot doesn’t happen automatically.

Step 5: After the next startup is complete, repeat the copying operation, and see if the issue is now resolved.

In case you’re still encountering the Error Code 36 when you try to copy certain folders from or to an external drive, move down to the next potential fix below.

Wrapping Up

Initially, fixing Mac Error Code 36 may seem an oddball. However, little patience and carefully following the shared methods and solution steps can help you to fix the Mac Error Code 36 easily.

Hope you found this post helpful. Do share in the comments box below whether these methods helped you or not.

Till then, stay tuned, as we will be sharing more such informative blogs further……………

Additional Reading: How to Recover Deleted Files on Mac