You are currently viewing How one can repair the Apple Music error -54 on macOS

How one can repair the Apple Music error -54 on macOS

Error -54 can generally seem once you edit your Apple Music Library in your Mac. Here is the way to get previous the problem and again to listening to your music.

In case you use Apple’s Music app on macOS, you might have encountered error -54 every now and then. This error can happen in response to a number of actions in Music:

  1. When including or eradicating recordsdata to your Music Library
  2. When including or enhancing file metadata in Get Data home windows in Music
  3. When syncing your Music Library to iOS units

Within the first two circumstances, error -54 is nearly at all times associated to permissions errors on the recordsdata or folders in your Mac’s storage system. This could embody permissions on recordsdata themselves or on their containing folders.

Actually, the -54 error is likely one of the oldest errors within the Macintosh filesystem courting again many years as first documented in Apple’s ebook Inside Macintosh: Information:

permErr = -54, /*permissions error (on file open)*/

It is a normal file permission error which means an operation on a file or folder could not be accomplished as a result of filesystem permissions are stopping it.

For instance, in Music, when you drag recordsdata or folders containing recordsdata from the Finder into the Apple Music app’s predominant window, you might have seen error -54 crop up. The identical error can occur generally if you choose recordsdata in Music’s predominant window after which hit the Delete key or choose “Delete from Library” from Music’s contextual popup menu by Management-clicking on an merchandise.

Inside Macintosh: Files from 1992.

Get Data

You may additionally have seen error -54 when you choose a file in Music’s predominant window and attempt to edit its metadata by way of the Get Data window:

Music's Get Info window for editing file metadata.

Music’s Get Data window for enhancing file metadata.

That is often the identical subject as above: locked recordsdata, folders, or permissions errors on these gadgets within the filesystem.

To repair each of the above errors, you will want to alter the permissions within the Finder. Then you definitely return to Music and add or take away your recordsdata or re-open the Get Data window and edit the recordsdata’ metadata once more.

Music's Get Info metadata editor window.

Music’s Get Data metadata editor window.

To take action in Music, Management-click or right-click the gadgets whose permissions you wish to repair, then choose “Present in Finder” from the context popup menu. macOS will swap to Finder and reveal the recordsdata you chose.

Subsequent, choose a number of of the revealed recordsdata in Finder, then Management-click on them and choose “Get Data from the Finder’s popup menu. This opens the Finder’s Get Data window.


Choose “Get Data” from the Finder popup menu.

If it is not already proven within the Get Data window, flip the small arrow to the left of the Sharing & Permissions part on the backside to disclose the permissions pane.

A small lock icon seems on the backside of this pane, within the decrease proper nook. Click on it and enter your admin password to unlock the permissions pane:

Sharing & Permissions pane in Finder's Get Info window.

Sharing & Permissions pane in Finder’s Get Data window.

Now change the highest merchandise (“Me”) to Learn & Write by clicking on the highest line below the “Privilege” label. Shut the Get Data window. You possibly can repeat these steps on every file, or on a folder containing gadgets in Finder.

You possibly can inform if a folder is locked or lacks write permissions by opening the folder and searching within the lower-left nook for the pencil icon with a slash by way of it. In case you’re not displaying a folder’s Toolbar then the pencil icon could seem within the window’s higher proper or decrease proper nook.

The locked folder icon in Finder.

The locked folder icon in Finder.

Now you’ll be able to return to the Apple Music app and check out your operation once more. Word within the case of enhancing file metadata in Get Data home windows in Music you might have to shut any open Get Data home windows and re-open them for the permissions adjustments to take impact.


Generally you may even see the identical -54 error once you attempt to sync your Music Library to an iOS system. That is often within the type of an error akin to:

“The iPhone [device name] can’t be synced. An unknown error occurred (-54).”

This may be brought on by the identical permissions errors as above, or different issues such because the goal system being full, a nasty USB cable or unstable cable connection, or different issues. Apple technote HT205597 additionally says this will occur in case your Apple Music folder incorporates recordsdata in several places inside the Music folder on disk.

On this case, you will must stop Apple Music, consolidate your recordsdata in your Apple Music folder, then open Apple Music and check out once more. It’s possible you’ll must take away and re-add all of the gadgets in Music earlier than you do that.

By default Apple Music shops recordsdata within the consumer’s /Music/Media folder – however this location could be modified in Apple Music’s Settings window.

Backup and restore

In case you nonetheless cannot resolve error -54 after making an attempt the entire above, there’s one latch ditch resolution: again up your complete Music folder, delete it out of your Mac, and re-add all its content material to Apple Music.

To take action, again up your consumer’s Music folder from the Music folder to an exterior storage system, delete all the Music folder, restart your Mac, then run the Apple Music app once more. This forces Music to create a brand new Music folder within the consumer folder with right permissions.

Lastly, copy the contents of your backed-up Music folder into the newly created Music folder within the consumer folder, then open the Apple Music app and re-add all of your content material.

In case your backed-up content material nonetheless has permissions locks on it, make sure you unlock all the things first utilizing the steps above earlier than copying the recordsdata again to your Mac’s consumer Music folder.

Superior: change file permissions in Terminal

Clearly, when you’ve got a number of Music content material, resetting every file or folder’s file permissions in Finder Get Data home windows could be fairly time-consuming. One various is to make use of Terminal to batch-change file and folder permissions.

Be warned: altering file permissions in Terminal is highly effective and when you’re not cautious you’ll be able to harm the software program in your Mac and even delete recordsdata unwittingly.

To bulk-change file permissions in Terminal you employ the chmod and chgrp instructions.

chmod is brief for change file modes and chgrp is brief for change group. You possibly can learn extra about the way to use each in Terminal by typing man adopted by an area, adopted by both command title, after which urgent Return in your keyboard.

To make use of chmod or chgrp you will must find out about UNIX file and group permissions which we can’t get into right here.

Suffice it to say every file or folder in UNIX has an proprietor, a gaggle, and three units of permissions: proprietor, group, and everybody or “world” permissions.

In Terminal, when you sort ls -l and press Return whereas in any folder, Terminal will listing all recordsdata and folders and their permissions within the Terminal window:

Listing using ls -l to list folder contents in macOS's Terminal app.

Itemizing utilizing ls -l to listing folder contents in macOS’s Terminal app.

On the far left are the three units of permissions for every merchandise in a folder: proprietor, group, and everybody. If an merchandise has a “d” to the far left it means it is a listing as a substitute of a file or alias.

Permissions on every merchandise for every of the three sorts could be any mixture of “rwx” which suggests “learn, “write”, or “execute”. There are three units of them listed, so as in Terminal for the three sorts talked about above.

If any of those permissions shows a “-” it implies that permission is turned off.

Utilizing the chmod and chgrp instructions you’ll be able to change these units of permissions in Terminal. These are successfully the identical permissions as proven within the Sharing & Permissions pane in Finder Get Data home windows.

You may also use the ls command with out the -l flag to show a folder’s itemizing in Terminal with simply the merchandise names with out all of the permissions information.

Error -54 is basically a file permission error within the filesystem and through the use of varied means to reset the permissions it’s best to be capable of resolve it with out an excessive amount of bother.

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