macOS: fixing grayed out folders_01_the operation can't be completed

macOS: How To Fix Grayed Out Folders Or Files On Mac

macOS 10.12 sierra logo 256x256Typically, folders and files are displayed in macOS finder app in regular black font and can be accessed. In some cases, the folders and files are grayed out in macOS finder meaning you cannot move or delete files and folders and you cannot access them. Grayed out folders and files are often generated if copying files from one location to another, especially copying them from or to network drives. Grayed out folders and files show the ’24 January 1984′ error, meaning they are all dated with 01/24/1984.

macOS: fixing grayed out folders_01_the operation can't be completed

macOS: fixing grayed out folders_01_the operation can’t be completed

The ’24 January 1984 error’ was first introduced as an easter egg with Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks. On January 24, 1984, Steve Jobs presented the very first Macintosh in a live demonstration.

How to fix grayed out folders or files on macOS and Mac OS X

Here’s how to fix grayed out folders or files on macOS and Mac OS X (successfully tested on macOS 10.12 Sierra and Mac OS X 10.11 El Capitan):

  1. Open Finder and go to the grayed out folder or file. Check that you see the ’24 January 1984 error’ meaning the folder or file is dated 24 Jan, 1984.

    macOS_fixing grayed out folders_02_date 24 Jan 1984 error

    macOS: fixing grayed out folders_02_date 24 Jan 1984 error

  2. Go to Applications and open the Terminal app.
  3. Type “SetFile -d 29/08/2014  /path/to/your/grayed/out/folder_or_file” and tap on return. The date of the folder will change to 29/08/2014 (or any other date you’ve choosen) and the folder or file isn’t grayed out anymore.

    macOS_fixing grayed out folders_03_set new folder or file date

    macOS_fixing grayed out folders_03_set new folder or file date

Grayed out folders and files on macOS 10.12 Sierra or Mac OS X 10.11 El Capitan are easily fixed by changing the file date from 24 Jan 1984 (’24 January 1984 error’ easter egg) to any date you want, but before 24 January 1984. 😉

Stay tuned! 😉

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my name is Gee Are, blogger and analyst. Blogging is my Passion! I’m the founder and owner of the two blogs called pabst.socialmedia and miapple.me - Tech.Blog.

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3 replies
  1. Holeflatter
    Holeflatter says:

    Thank you for this, and thank you apple for wasting almost 2 hours of my time researching this when you could just have let me delete the file. An easter egg from the 80’s, how quaint. Time for apple to join the 21st century.

    Reply

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