5 Frequent Error Codes on Mac and Learn how to Repair Them

No computer is perfect, and things can go wrong with even the best Mac. Finding error codes on your Mac is almost inevitable.

Fortunately, it's an inevitability that you can be prepared for. Below, we've listed some of the most common error codes that come up on Macs and how to fix them if they occur.

We also have some general troubleshooting tips in case you encounter error codes that are not on this list. Read on and prepare to take down your error code enemies!

The 5 most common Mac error codes

Below are five error codes that are common on their Macs, along with ways to fix the issues that the error codes are warning you about.

1. Error code 41

Error code 41 can appear in multiple applications and operations, and you tend to see it with messages like “Memory full (open) or File does not fit (loading)” or “The Finder error cannot be loaded”.

This indicates that some software or hardware on your Mac is out of date, but the error code 41 can also appear from a system file or directory that has been corrupted or damaged by malware.


To fix error code 41, update the software that is giving you the error, or you might uninstall a program completely and then reinstall a clean version of it. Updating macOS to the latest version can also help.

Scanning your Mac for viruses and cleaning up junk and cache files can also help resolve error code 41. But at least start checking for updates as the solution might be that simple!

Updating software and macOS can also help with error code 1309 if you encounter it at any time.

2. Error code 50

Error code 50 occurs when your Mac cannot move or copy files from a portable storage device such as an external hard drive. This can happen due to corrupt or damaged file data, firmware issues, or communication issues between your Mac and your storage device.

This error code can be fixed by giving the file a new name before opening it or a new name before moving it. Changing the file extension and then resetting it after moving it can also help.

You can run too Disk utility on your Mac and choose First Aid> Run on your storage device and on your Mac hard drive. This can fix communication errors between the devices and remove the error code 50 for you.

3. Error code 8003

Error code 8003 occurs when you try to delete files from your Mac's Recycle Bin, but your Mac cannot complete the action due to permissions issues with what you are deleting.

There could be other causes as well, but the solution to the error code is the same: hold the opportunity Key on your keyboard while pressing the Empty garbage Button in rubbish. This will force you to empty the Recycle Bin and delete any locked files that you cannot unlock.

You can also start your Mac in Safe Mode or use Terminal to see which app is using a file you want to delete and close that program to avoid error 8003 and completely empty your Trash.

4. Error code 36

If the Finder cannot read or write a file, you will see error code 36 on your Mac. As with error code 50, this often happens when trying to copy or move files between devices. But error code 36 is caused by invisible .DS_Store Files.

To correct the error code 36, you must remove these .DS_Store files. You can do this by using the terminal Application and entry of the command dot_clean followed by a single space.

Next, drag and drop the folder or memory card that contains the file that is generating the error into the terminal window and press To return on your keyboard. The .DS_Store files should now be merged with the original file and you should be able to move or copy the file without the error.

5. Error code 2003f

You will encounter error code 2003f when your Mac is having trouble installing new macOS updates. This happens most often when users try to reformat their Macs through macOS Recovery, but they have a poor or unstable internet connection.

One of the easiest solutions to this error is to connect to the internet using ethernet instead of Wi-Fi. Connecting to a new Wi-Fi or Ethernet network can also work. It can also be worth walking Disk utility and select First Aid> Runas with error code 50.

If the error code 2003f persists, restart and hold your Mac Command + R when the Apple logo appears. the macOS utility Window opens. Choose Reinstall macOS, enter your Apple ID information, and follow all on-screen instructions.

These fixes will also work if you run into error codes 2002f, 2100f, and 1008f.

How to Fix Most Mac Error Codes

Although Mac error codes indicate different problems on a system, the solutions to them can often overlap as you can see from some of the fixes discussed above.

If you encounter error codes not included in the list above, or are preparing for various error codes, there are a few steps you can take to resolve most Mac problems. If these steps don't help, then you should check the internet for other solutions.

Step 1: Restart a file, app, or your entire Mac

The classic IT question, "Have you tried turning it off and on again?" Really matters because many computer problems can really be fixed by exiting an app or closing a file and then reopening it.

If you're having trouble with an external hard drive or other device, try ejecting and then plugging it back in. It's possible that you just had a bad initial connection and can get a better one.

If the problems persist, try restarting your Mac before looking for other solutions. It's quick and easy, and sometimes your Mac just needs to be turned off for a second to be all right.

Step 2: update your system

Another easy solution to many error codes is to apply software updates to your Mac. Most software bugs will be corrected with future software updates, and security and compatibility features will be maintained with updates as well.

Keep your apps on top of that Update Section of the Appstore, or directly from developer websites. Also update macOS regularly from the System settings to reduce the error codes caused by incompatibilities with outdated operating systems.

Step 3: Run Disk Utility First Aid

Hard drive problems and external hard drive issues can often be fixed using the built-in Disk Utility app on your Mac. the First aid Feature can fix problems in a storage device and also help you diagnose problems.

Related: Best Free Mac Tools to Find and Fix Common macOS Problems

Step 4: clear system caches and remove junk files

Error codes can appear on Macs due to hidden junk files and full data caches. Clear your Mac system's caches and check your Mac's memory to remove unnecessary files that create error codes related to disk space and system operations.

Error codes are warnings, not death sentences

Error codes are showing up on your Macs because something went wrong for a moment. They don't indicate that your Mac is fundamentally defective – they just say that there is a problem right now that should be fixed.

Most error codes are actually pretty easy to fix. We hope that our fixes above for the five most common error codes and our general fixes will help you identify this. And we especially hope that this will help you overcome any error codes you may encounter on your Mac over time.

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About the author

Jessica Lanman
(48 published articles)

Jessica has been writing tech articles since 2018 and loves knitting, crocheting, and embroidering little things in her spare time.

By Jessica Lanman

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