How to Fix Mac Error Code 43 When Copying Files

It is always quite frustrating when an OS system error message disrupts your normal computer work regardless if you are a Mac or Windows user. Both systems also share a code 43 error message. If you are using Windows and looking for a way to fix this specific error, click here for a guide with possible solutions. On Mac, users usually face Error code 43 when they are trying to copy files from one folder to another, transferring files from and to a USB drive, or deleting files and sending them to the trash. It appears that this error is characteristic for 2 Mac OS versions - OS X El Capitan or OS X 10.2. The exact message users receive is "The operation can't be completed because one or more required items can't be found. (Error code -43)".

mac error code 43

What Causes Mac Error Code 43

There are various reasons you could be seeing Mac Error code 43 ranging from simple to a bit more technical. First, let's start with some of the more obvious:

  1. Users should check if the name of the file they are attempting to move, copy, or delete doesn't contain any illegal characters. More specifically, these characters - "@", "!", "#", "%", "^", "$", should be avoided when naming files.
  2. A file that hasn't been fully downloaded, that is locked, or is currently in use can also cause an Error code 43 to appear. In this case, the affected users have to redownload the file, stop using it, or attempt to unlock it. They may sometimes require permissions from administrator to move the specific file.
  3. If the file has no shared point, it could prevent the Mac Finder form accessing it.
  4. A potential problem with the hard disk might be the hardest issue to fix. In the worst case, the user may need to format the disk.

Fixing Mac Error Code 43

If there is no obvious cause for the error, users can try the following two methods to resolve it. First, they could try a PRAM (Parameter Random Access Memory) or NVRAM (Non-volatile Random Access Memory) reset.
PRAM and NVRAM Reset

  1. Shut down your Mac computer.
    shut down mac
  2. While it is shutting down, you can use the time to locate the Command, Option (Alt), P, and R keys on the keyboard.
    keyboard keys
  3. Once the Mac PC starts booting up hold the four keys - Command, Option (Alt), P, and R, simultaneously. It is important to press them before the gray startup screen appears. Release the keys after you hear the PC startup sound three times!

After resetting the PRAM and NVRAM check if Error code 43 is still coming up. If it is not fixed, use the built-in Disk Utility feature to look for any file storage problems.

Using Disk Utility

  1. Find the location of the file causing Error code 43.
  2. Restart your Mac. One method for doing so is to go to the Apple menu and selecting "Restart".
    mac restart menu
  3. While your Mac is restarting, press and hold the Command and R keys simultaneously until the Apple logo appears.
  4. Select the Disk Utility option.
  5. In the new window, select the partition or drive where the file you want to copy is located and click on the "First Aid" button.
    first aid interface
  6. Let the Disk Utility process complete and proceed according to the outcome.

So let's go through the possible Disk Utility reports. If you see an "overlapped extent allocation" errors, this means that two or more files occupy the exact same space on the hard disk, and it is more than likely that at least one of them is corrupted. You have to go through the list of files in the "DamagedFiles" folder and repair or delete the corrupted ones.

If the Disk Utility process ends in "The underlying task reported failure", you should manually run another First Aid repair on the disk or partition. Upon receiving a similar result, you should attempt to back up your data, reformat the disk, reinstall macOS, and restore the backed-up files.


  • Suchi Abram:

    Make sure you don’t have any VPN activated in your device while connecting to iTunes Store, also try to check if your internet connection is working properly and not taking too much time to load common websites.



  • Avery:

    How about Mac error code -36? My camera files are not transferable to my iMac. Yet, they work just fine on my MBP. Very frustrating problem for me because the footage is time sensitive. Other types of files written on other devices work just fine.

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