There are plenty of reasons people use Macs. Some people want a friendly user interface on top of a Unix-based operating system. Others might use software or tools that only work with macOS. That said, one of the main reasons people use Macs is their reputation for being easy to use.
Most of the time Macs are in fact easy to use. That is, until you’re working with a file and get the following message: “The operation can’t be completed because one or more required items can’t be found.” This is the dreaded error code 43.
What Causes Error Code 43?
There are a few cases where error code 43 can pop up, and all of them include working with files. These include copying files between folders, deleting or trashing files, and moving files to and from USB drives.
Fortunately, there are only two versions of macOS where error code 43 issues seem prominent, and neither is particularly recent. OS X 10.2 Jaguar and OS 10.11 El Capitan seem to have error 43 problems the most.
While this error can pop up seemingly at random, there is usually a cause. First, you should check for special characters in the filename. These can often cause issues when moving files on any system, so you should usually avoid using them anyway. For error code 43, you should specifically avoid using the following characters:
@ ! # % ^ $
Error code 43 can also happen when you’re working with a file that is in use or isn’t fully downloaded. There are a few other causes that are rarer, and in the worst case scenario, it can mean a problem with your hard drive.
Force Quit Finder
This is the simplest solution, but it may be all you need to do. Unlike most apps, Finder doesn’t have a Quit option when you right-click on the icon in the dock. Instead, you’ll need to use another method.
Click the Apple icon in the upper left of the screen and select “Force Quit”. Scroll down until you locate Finder, select it, then click Force Quit.
Reset PRAM and NVRAM
Resetting the PRAM and NVRAM can fix a number of issues for macOS, and error code 43 is one of them. If you’ve checked to make sure that none of the above causes is present, this may fix your problem.
Performing the reset is simple. Restart your Mac, then when before it boots, hold down Command + Option + P + R. Keep holding them down, and you’ll hear the Mac boot sound three times. Once you’ve heard this, release the keys.
Check for Issues in Disk Utility
If resetting the PRAM and NVRAM didn’t fix your issue, it may be an issue with your hard drive or SSD. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have physical damage or need to replace your drive, though. You can diagnose and possibly fix issues using the built-in Disk Utility.
You don’t want to use Disk Utility from your Mac desktop. Instead, you need to restart your computer and hold down Command + R until you see the Apple logo appear. From here, select the Disk Utility icon.
In the Disk Utility window, select the drive or partition that contains the file you’re having trouble with. Click the First Aid button. This will take a little while, so wait while Disk Utility does its job.
When it’s finished, First Aid will report its findings. If it reports an “overlapped extent allocation,” it means that two or more files are using the same portion of your hard drive. This means that at least one of those files is corrupt.
You’ll find these files in the DamagedFiles folder. If you don’t care about the file, you can delete it. On the other hand, if it’s important, try opening it. If you’re lucky, it won’t be the corrupt file.
The worst case scenario is the following message: “The underlying task reported failure.” If you get this, try running First Aid again. If you keep getting the error, you’ll need to back up the data on the drive and reformat it. If this is your system drive, it means you’ll need to reinstall macOS.
Hopefully, one of the above fixes proved to be the solution to your error code 43 problem. You’re out of the woods for now, but there are steps you can take to prepare for future errors.
To keep yourself prepared, take a look at our walkthrough of how to read macOS crash reports. We also have a guide showing you how to use Apple Diagnostics to troubleshoot your Mac.
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