Fix Grayed Out Files and Folders on Mac

You have been through many problems while working on your Mac, like files getting deleted accidentally, formatting a partition by mistake, losing files while transferring them to another storage drive, and so on. But you are stuck with a new problem now! Some of the folders and files on Mac have grayed out, and you are not able to access them. You don’t know how to fix the issue.

Usually, files and folders are displayed in Mac Finder app in the regular black font. But when the folders and files are grayed out in Mac finder, then you cannot move/delete those files and folders. They cannot be accessed either. Why does this happen?

Grayed out folders and files occur when copying files/folders from one location to another, especially when copying them from network drives or to network drives. Grayed out files and folders will be dated as ’24 January 1984′. This indicates that the files and folders have been grayed out. So the next question us how to fix grayed out folders and files on Mac? We tell you how. Just follow the steps below to easily fix grayed out files and folder on Mac –

  • Open Mac Finder, go to the grayed out folder/file. If the file or folder is dated as 24 Jan, 1984 i.e. ’24 January 1984 error’. If yes, then go to the next step.
  • Go to Applications, open Terminal app
  • Now type “SetFile -d 27/07/2012 /path/to/your/grayed/out/folder_or_file” and tap on return

The date of the folder or the file will now change to 27/07/2012 (or the date which you have chosen). That is it. Your folder or file is not gray anymore. It turns black.

Alright, so you have fixed the issue. Here is another method which we bring to you to recover inaccessible files and folders on your Mac. Yodot Mac File Recovery is an efficient tool to recover files and folders which have become inaccessible, deleted, or lost. This Mac File Recovery tool helps to restore files from Trash on MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iMac, and other Mac desktops and laptops.

The software scans the entire drive of the storage medium to find and recover deleted or missing files from it. It will get back your files and folders in just a few steps. Be it your important documents, Spreadsheets, archived files, and so on, this tool retrieves them all on Mac in an easy and safe manner.

How to Detect Potentially Unsafe File Types in ZIP?

Sometimes when you try to click a Zip file, or try downloading one from internet, Windows and WinZip categorizes them as suspicious to download. It may even warn that you are working with a file type that could potentially contain a virus. Meaning, Zip file may contain potentially unsafe file types!

Which file types are said to be potentially unsafe?

The very good instance for potentially unsafe file type is EXE file type. Well, most of the times EXE files are proved to be safe. But, sometimes malicious software write programs that can infect the computer and distribute them through .exe files. Some of the other file types include –

The above list is not definitive and it doesn’t mean that there is something suspicious or wrong with the files mentioned in the list. But still it is suggested not to work with such kind of files until and unless you are sure about source that the file has come from.

How WinZip deals with potentially unsafe file types?

Well, as it is mentioned earlier a dialog warning box will appear when you attempt to double click a potentially unsafe file type. Remember that you will get the warning message only when you double-click a file (within a Zip file) and open it with WinZip.

WinZip, world’s most known ZIP or ZIPX extractor, will also put a warning when you try to install software present within Zip file. However, you can ignore this warning and still continue to unzip files to a folder on your disk.

Note: All of the warning dialogs have check boxes that you can use to stop them from displaying again.

If you find yourself in a situation where you are unable to extract files from Zip, then chances are that the Zip file might be damaged due to the presence of potentially unsafe files. In such case, to easily extract contents of Zip, use Yodot ZIP Repair Software. Not just from .ZIP format, this tool is even helpful when you cannot open 7z as archive or when ZIPX file shows multiple errors failing to extract content.

Next, in order to safeguard Zip files from being a victim of potentially unsafe files and protect from being corrupt, Yodot recommends you to follow some tips. Have a look…

  • Don’t open a Zip file which you received from an email of an unknown source
  • Don’t download Zip files from un-trusted sites
  • When an unexpected Zip file is attached to e-mail from someone you know, consider verifying with the sender that the attachment is legitimate.
  • Configure your system with good anti-virus program to scan all the files that you deal with in real time
  • Disable hidden file name extensions on your Windows so that you can easily get to know about the file extensions of the files you are working with

Of course, these guidelines don’t apply only to Zip files; they apply equally to any file type.

Further, the attack on Zip files with potentially unsafe files has become so popular that the versions of Internet Explorer and email clients like Outlook will also make you to be cautious when you are about to collaborate with such kind of file types.

Can Opening A Zip File Give You Virus?

Well… the answer could be yes! Opening a Zip file can bring viruses!

The very famous approach to send .exe file from one person to another through an email is to Zip it first, then email the resulting Zip, and then the receiver has to unzip at his end. That’s where the planning of hackers and spammers start to get materialized!

Why Spammers use Zip file to spread virus?

Zip file contain collection of files inside it. Simply knowing that you have a Zip file doesn’t tell you what resides inside. You really need to unzip it to look at the files that have been compressed. Due to this, the contents of Zip file are always hidden and unclear. This is the reason why hackers hack Zip files to spread viruses. Most of the potential hackers can even hack encrypted Zip files and spread virus; wherein you try to extract password protected Zip files contents and use the files without having mere knowledge about hacking.

Zip as unclear mystery

It is easy to double click an email attachment or a file within Zip file without knowing what lies under the mask. This is how your computer gets infected with potential malware when you actively make the virus to run, without realizing the file being double clicked could contain a virus.

But you can’t get a virus just by double clicking on a Zip file, as double clicking a Zip file has a different story!

When you get a Zip as an email attachment, double clicking that compressed file will just open it. If the file is a real Zip and it contains a malware, your computer will not get infected by virus until and unless you try to execute virus contained files. For instance, just assume you have a Zip file containing executable files along with virus inside it, called virus.exe. Under such case, double clicking just a Zip file doesn’t bring virus, but double clicking virus.exe will cause you to get virus.

From one of the forum users,
Is it possible to get virus just by trying to uncompress the Zip? Can Zip extension be manipulated so it is not actually a Zip file but a virus?”

Well, it is already said in the above part that a Zip file can contain virus, and in fact it is a common way of putting malware into a compressed file and spread virus. But the error message in the above scenario is not a symptom of virus or malware, but it is a standard error that you may receive when the file is either corrupted or if it has been incompletely downloaded.

Tip: You can know if compressed ZIP file contains any virus by knowing the file types that it holds. Follow the link here to have knowledge on potentially unsafe file types associated in ZIP.

Then how to know if Zip contains a virus?

When you double click an EXE file compressed within Zip file, WinZip will warn you in some situations with a message that you are working with a file type that may potentially bring viruses into your computer.

WinZip consider the file type that could harm your computer as “Potentially Unsafe File Types”. Here, EXE refers to potentially unsafe file type. Some of the other examples include, ADE, ADP, APP, ASA, ASP, BAS, BAT, CER, CHM, CMD, COM, CPL, CRT, CSH, DLL, EXE, FXP, HLP, HTA, HTM, HTML, HTR, INF, INS, ISP, ITS, JS, JSE, KSH, LNK, MAD, MAF, MAG, MAM, MAQ, MAR, MAS, MAT, MAU, MAV, MAW, MDA, MDB, MDE, MDT, MDW, MDZ, MHT, MHTM, MHTML, etc.

So be careful while extracting a Zip file compressed with any of the above mentioned file types. Remember, regardless of the file types involved, it is still possible to extract Zip file by ignoring the warning message or when the caution message is turned off, as a result your computer might get harmful viruses. Consequently, below security tips may help you in preventing viruses.

Better to know your source –
If you get any Zip attachments from Banks, governments, delivery services, the postal service, etc. remember all these companies should simply never send you a Zip file. The information they want to convey you will be either in the body of the mail, or they’ll tell you to log in to your account with their service directly.

Keep your system protected and Up-To-Date –
Zip files are incredibly useful, but due to spammers they have been used to trick you in installing malware. So it is worth always you keep your system protected by installing good antivirus software and update the system with new WinZip updates or maintenance releases.

To help in avoiding viruses or malware entering into your computer, you must be aware with the useful information provided on this article. A little knowledge on which possible file types are safe/unsafe and some sensible security tips will let you to be comfortable working with the Zip files that you receive.