Folder greyed out, cannot access

Discussion in 'macOS' started by naryn, Sep 5, 2010.

  1. naryn macrumors newbie

    Jan 23, 2009
    Hi, I need some help. I was copying some data to my server and there was a network failure. The half copied folder is now grey in the finder and i cannot open it or see the contents. It has files inside, i can browse them at the command line, i can even move the folder between volumes but i cant un-grey it and i cant drill down into it.

    I cannot find an answer to this on google so if someone can tell me how to fix it please that would be great.

  2. DewGuy1999 macrumors 68040


    Jan 25, 2009
    This may sound like a "duh" question, but have you reconnected to the network?
  3. Strommen macrumors newbie

    Sep 17, 2010
    im having the exact same problem. was copying files to a media server and got disconnected from the network halfway through. for my flatmates who all use windows it works like normal: they can see the folder and its contents. but for me the folder is greyed out and i cant access it.

    really really annoying, and i have no idea what causes it or how to fix it.
  4. MacForScience macrumors 6502


    Sep 7, 2010
    Have you deleted the half-copied part on the client side? Have you restarted?

  5. boz0 macrumors regular

    May 21, 2007
    From the terminal, rename your folder :

    # mv MyFolder TempFolder
    Then make a new one and move all the files inside :

    # mkdir MyFolder
    # mv TempFolder/* MyFolder
  6. digitalhen macrumors regular

    Jan 10, 2006
    Very handy tip! Thanks
  7. reycat macrumors member

    Jun 24, 2009
    Thank you very much. I had the same problem and this fixed it.
  8. steve77uk macrumors regular

    Oct 28, 2007

    This tip has just saved me another 11 hours worth of copying after mine failed 90% of the way through!

    Thank you!!
  9. mandusberg macrumors newbie

    Oct 8, 2012
    Duplicate Folder.

    Hi there!

    I solved the same problem this way:

    Right click on the greyed folder and select: Duplicate Folder.

    Wait until it's done, and that should be it!

  10. Cemlyn macrumors newbie

    Dec 1, 2012
    @mandus. Great tip, that worked a treat. So simple.
  11. rhoydotp macrumors 6502


    Sep 28, 2006
    first off, i know that this has helped resolve the issue.

    but, coming from a long-time unix admin, i would not recommend doing this especially if you have tons of files/folders/subfolders. if for some reason, the 'mv' gets cancelled or gets hung, you'll end up with two folders (or sub-folders) that have incomplete data. i'd recommend doing a straight copy or 'tar. it is better in preserving permissions, handling special characters and links.

    # cp -pR TempFolder/* MyFolder/

    # (cd TempFolder; tar cf - . ) | ( cd MyFolder; tar xpf - )
    just a better solution, a little complicated but believe me, it will save you from cleaning up the mess that 'mv' will leave you if it fails somewhere between the start and end :D

    of course, there is the easy way, too! :)
  12. aquaticmatt macrumors newbie

    Feb 3, 2013
    The reason for this symptom is often that the creation date of the folder is incorrectly set after such a failure resulting in the greyed out folder.

    Set the folder creation date correctly using the SetFile terminal command and everything will be fine (no need to copy/duplicate/...)

    SetFile -d 02/02/2013 <folder_path>

  13. Love The Mac macrumors newbie

    Feb 25, 2013
    Bash reports that there's no such command as SetFile - is there a command that will do this? I've used a free utility called Miana, available from the App Store which did instantly make the directory accessible again, but I would prefer to use a terminal command as you're suggesting if there is one. Thanks for a solution which is so quick to implement.
  14. hunter3740 macrumors member

    Aug 28, 2008
    Pittsburgh, PA
    change create or modify times

    touch -m -t yymmddhhmm path
    (e.g. touch -m -t 1208171131 /Volumes/share/folder or "man touch" for more info)

    But this didn't help me. Copying/duplicating anyway you desire did work. This happened to me because a machine turned off in the middle of a file transfer.
  15. MacMe66 macrumors newbie

    May 21, 2007
    another solution

    i just spent a wile trying above methods with no success. maybe its the hangover, lol. Anyway i found this extremely simple solution: searching for a file name inside the grayed out folder returned .. the files location. So i rightclicked it to "open enclosing folder". Got all the files listed and moved it to a new folder.. problem solved :)
  16. cyglenn macrumors newbie

    Mar 25, 2013
    copying bad hard drive

    I had a bad hard drive from an iMac connecting using a hard drive dock. I was trying to backup some important files but I had to wait for the drive to cool off before coping any files off of it (putting it in a freezer helps). It would get about 75% through and stop responding. It left a grayed out folder that I wasn't able to access before it completely gave out.

    I did what Mandus suggested and right clicked on the grayed out folder and selected duplicate. I was then able to access enough of the files to retrieve the users important documents.

  17. ehm2007 macrumors newbie

    Mar 27, 2013
    just found another solution

    I was having the same trouble on Mountain Lion with a greyed out folder from a Finder crash while copying to an external drive, and I fixed it by creating an alias of the greyed folder. The alias allowed me to see all of the files inside, so I then just moved them to a new folder.
  18. petehumble macrumors member

    Sep 12, 2010

    Best, simplest & quickest. Great solution. Thanks
  19. Gregg2 macrumors 603

    May 22, 2008
    Milwaukee, WI
  20. wcasado macrumors newbie

    Aug 29, 2013
    Great way to fix this.

    It just did it for me. Thank you you guys are the best!!!
  21. Smallsmalls macrumors newbie

    Nov 5, 2013
    Wot i did -

    Hi, I tried all of these suggestions and none seemed to work. Maybe 10.9 is a bit different since these were posted?

    Anyway, I found that I could access the files in a greyed out folder if I navigate to and highlight the folder in column view and then switch to icon view. From there it's super quick to copy the files to a new folder on the same disk.
  22. danroberto macrumors newbie

    Oct 16, 2008
    Great solution! You saved me a lot of time. Thanks!!!
  23. Ranjoharbri macrumors newbie

    Nov 19, 2012
    Quick Fix Using Adobe Lightroom 5

    I had a similar problem with a greyed out folder after attempting to transfer 450Gb of photographs to a NAS.

    I'm a pro photographer and use a lot of Adobe's CC software, including Lightroom 5.

    I created an alias folder in the Library component and dragged and dropped all the files which were still visible in the LR.

    The transfer was instantaneous, all I had to do was delete the original greyed out folder, and remove the 'Alias' file name.

    If anyone is having problems with large folders containing images and don't use Adobe's software, you can download a trial version and just use it as a work around.
  24. kskstudios macrumors newbie

    Mar 6, 2014
    Worked for us. Thanks Mandus!

    We were having trouble with greyed out folders with inaccesible contents caused by a drive mysteriously ejecting during a large file xfer.

    Mandus' suggestion was the easiest solution to execute and worked perfectly for us. Thanks!

  25. k-hawinkler macrumors member


    Sep 14, 2011

    Many thanks. Works brilliantly!!

    I was trying to copy almost 5 TB of data from one TB RAID to another one.
    After 3.7 TB had been successfully copied I noticed that no data was being copied anymore.
    So I cancelled the copy process and was left with the greyed our folder. A bummer!

    Your tip saved me another long copy process.

    BTW, this problem doesn't seem to happen if I copy the data with CCC.
    My disks seem fine. I checked with Disk Utility, Drive Genius 3, and Scannerz.

    Thanks again.

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