How to Fix MacBook Error Code 50


Error code 50 indicates that your Mac was unable to copy or move files from external storage devices. The whole process is blocked with no visible progress. At the same time, error 50 may also appear on the screen when your Mac is unable to delete some files.

The full error message reads as follows: “Sorry, the operation could not be completed because an unexpected error occurred (error code -50). ¬ĽUse the solutions listed below to resolve the problem.

Here’s how to fix error 50 on Mac

Check your disk

Launch Disk Utility and let your Mac detect and fix the problem automatically. Analyze the storage volume where you want to move the file. Launch it Disk Utility, click on the First Aid tab and select the Check the disc option.macbook disk utility first aid

If your Mac finds any errors, press the repair and your computer will take care of the rest. Restart your machine and check if the error is gone.

Use a different file name

Renaming the problematic file can help you resolve the issue. If the first copy is corrupted, your Mac may not be able to replace it with a new version of the file. Rename the file and check the results. If the problem persists, also try renaming the file in the source folder.

Using the terminal

A number of users have successfully copied the problematic file using Terminal. You are essentially forcing the system to copy or move the file.

  1. Move towards Applications, select Utilities, and go to Terminal.
  2. Then type cp -R . Make sure to type a space after the R otherwise the command will not work.
  3. From Finder, drag the problematic file into your terminal window. The path to this file should be immediately visible on the screen.
  4. Next, find the destination folder in Finder, then drag it to your terminal window. Again, the path should be automatically filled.
  5. Press the Return key, exit Terminal, and check the results.

If you are comfortable with the terminal and don’t like the drag and drop method, you can move the file using the following commands:

  • destination source cp
  • destination source mv

Check your power settings

If your current power settings automatically put your drive to sleep in order to extend your Mac’s battery life, this may be the reason why you’re getting Error 50. Your drive is inactive and copy or move functionality are not available.

  1. Click on your Apple menu and navigate to System Preferences.
  2. Then select Energy saving and uncheck the option that says Put hard drives to sleep when possible.macbook Put hard drives to sleep when possible
  3. Save the settings and check if the error 50 is gone.

On newer versions of macOS, go to Drums, select Drums and AC adapterand deactivate Power Nap.

macos battery settings

Clear your cache and update your Mac

All the programs and web pages that you open on your Mac have lots of temporary files on your computer. Cache files can sometimes interfere with programs that you run during your current session. This is why you should regularly clear your cache.

  1. Launch Searcher, click it To go menu, then select Go to folder.
  2. Enter ~ / Library / Caches in the dialog window.macbook caches folder
  3. Select all the files in the Caches folder and move them to Waste.
  4. Then empty your Trash folder to permanently delete the cache files from the system.

Move towards System Preferences, select Software updateand install the latest version of macOS available for your device.

update macOS


Identifying the exact cause of error code 50 on your Mac isn’t that simple. The error could be triggered by a temporary problem, in which case a simple restart should do the trick. If the problem persists, try clearing your cache, rename the file that triggered the error, and prevent the operating system from automatically putting your drive to sleep.

So, what worked for a particular user won’t necessarily work for you. Still, we hope this guide has helped you fix error code 50 on your MacBook. Click on the comments below and let us know which method worked for you.


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