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How to fix "The Finder can’t complete the operation because some data in “filename” can’t be read or written. (Error code -36)"

Alton Alexander
By Alton AlexanderUpdated on June 4th, 2022

The "cannot be read or written" error code (-36) is a file system error that occurs when an attempt is made to read from or write to a file that cannot be accessed. This can happen for a number of reasons, including but not limited to:

  • The file is corrupt or damaged.

  • The file is in use by another program.

  • The file is not compatible with the operating system.

  • The file is not properly formatted.

This error can be frustrating because it can prevent you from accessing important files. However, there are a few things you can try to fix the problem.

  • Restart your computer. This will close any programs that are using the file and may allow you to access it.

  • Try accessing the file from a different program. If the file can be opened in another program, it is not corrupt.

  • Check the file format. Make sure the file is saved in a format that is compatible with your operating system.

  • Update your software. Outdated software can sometimes cause problems with reading or writing files.

If you are still unable to access the file, you may need to contact the software manufacturer or your IT department for help.

1. Check for updates

  1. Expand System Devices
  2. Right-click your USB storage device (typically Disk 0) and select Properties
  3. On the General tab, under Device Status, check that the status is listed as “mounted”
  4. Right-click the USB storage device and select Update Driver
  5. Click the Update Driver button and select the appropriate driver for your USB storage device
  6. Click the Next button
  7. Select the check box for “Search for updated driver software on the Internet” and click the Next button
  8. Select the appropriate driver for your operating system and click the Next button
  9. If a window pops up asking if you want to replace the driver, click the Yes button
  10. Click the Finish button
  11. Close Device Manager

2. Run Disk Utility

  1. Select the disk you are having trouble with
  2. Click the “Repair” button
  3. Select the option to “Repair Permissions”
  4. Click the “OK” button
  5. Verify that the permissions have been repaired and then click the “OK” button again
  6. Quit Disk Utility

3. Contact Apple Support

  1. Open Safari on your device and go to apple.com/support.
  2. On the main page, select “Get help.”
  3. In the “Get help” window, select “Contact Apple Support.”
  4. In the “Contact Apple Support” window, enter your device’s serial number and click “Next.”
  5. In the “Contact Apple Support” window, select the language you want to speak to a support representative in and click “Next.”
  6. In the “Contact Apple Support” window, click “Submit.”
  7. A representative from Apple Support will contact you to discuss your issue.