The operation cannot be completed because the item is in use

Discussion in 'OS X Mountain Lion (10.8)' started by Sir Ruben, Aug 19, 2013.

  1. macrumors 65816

    Sir Ruben

    Jul 3, 2010
    Nearly every time I try and copy a movie file from my Mac to my network drive lately I get the error 'The operation cannot be completed because the item is in use'.

    I have not opened the item in Quicktime or VLC before attempting to copy or anything like that.

    Its little things like this that really bug me. Something that should be SO simple you should NEVER have to even think about it.

    So, how to I stop this annoyance?
  2. macrumors 68000


    Apr 24, 2013
    New Orleans
    Try restarting your mac; and read the popup. Make sure you check/uncheck the option not to reopen programs when it restarts.

    Odds are it might be some other program using it that you may not realize is using it. A restart may help, let us know if this solves the issue.
  3. macrumors 65816

    Dec 14, 2010
    I get this sometimes when trying to clear my trash.
    A restart solves the issue.
  4. macrumors 603

    Feb 20, 2009
    You may not even need to do a full restart.

    Just log out.
    Then log back in.
  5. macrumors newbie

    Oct 26, 2014
    use command line to solve

    After trying all solutions suggested above and failed, I finally succeeded by using the command line. I give 'cp' (copy) command and it just does the job without the error.

    If you suspect destination folder to have same file, use the option 'cp -n' option. It will not overwrite if a file with name exists in destination folder.

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