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I don't know how they got this way. I have files with this problem in at least several directories. I found out about them today because I was trying to move a ton of directories to a new disk (Journaled to APFS) using Forklift (a file manager) and it couldn't move these files to the target volume. I don't know if Forklift caused this problem, or not.

They are JPG photos. I can preview them by pressing {Space} in Finder. But I cannot open them with a double-click — nothing happens. If I right (or Ctrl-) click and choose "Open in Preview", I get an error box saying, "Item "DSC_1507.JPG" is used by macOS and can't be opened."

macOS Catalina 10.15.5. Volume containing these files is formatted "Mac OS Extended (Journaled)".

In the directory I'm focused on, most of the files are fine and only two have this problem. Here is the output of "ls -@BOaen" in that directory:

drwxr-xrwx   63 501  20  -        2142 Jul 12 11:35 .
drwx---rwx  346 501  20  -       11764 Jul 12 11:35 ..
-rw-r--r--@   1 501  20  hidden  10244 Jul 12 11:35 .DS_Store
    com.apple.FinderInfo        32 
-rw-r--rw-    1 501  20  -      810973 May 27  2007 DSC_1459.JPG
-rw-r--rw-@   1 501  20  -      775584 May 27  2007 DSC_1460.JPG
    com.apple.FinderInfo        32 
    com.apple.ResourceFork     286 
-rw-r--rw-    1 501  20  -      759218 May 27  2007 DSC_1461.JPG
-rw-r--rw-    1 501  20  -      776705 May 27  2007 DSC_1462.JPG
-rw-r--rw-    1 501  20  -      706499 May 27  2007 DSC_1463.JPG
-rw-r--rw-    1 501  20  -      745194 May 27  2007 DSC_1464.JPG
-rw-r--rw-    1 501  20  -      738880 May 27  2007 DSC_1465.JPG
-rw-r--rw-    1 501  20  -      738429 May 27  2007 DSC_1466.JPG
-rw-r--rw-    1 501  20  -      735377 May 27  2007 DSC_1467.JPG
-rw-r--rw-    1 501  20  -      754554 May 27  2007 DSC_1468.JPG
-rw-r--rw-    1 501  20  -      791172 May 27  2007 DSC_1469.JPG
-rw-r--rw-    1 501  20  -      773111 May 27  2007 DSC_1470.JPG
-rw-r--rw-    1 501  20  -      765038 May 27  2007 DSC_1471.JPG
-rw-r--rw-    1 501  20  -      768764 May 27  2007 DSC_1472.JPG
-rw-r--rw-    1 501  20  -      763442 May 27  2007 DSC_1473.JPG
-rw-r--rw-    1 501  20  -      775224 May 27  2007 DSC_1474.JPG
-rw-r--rw-    1 501  20  -      784815 May 27  2007 DSC_1475.JPG
-rw-r--rw-    1 501  20  -      777241 May 27  2007 DSC_1476.JPG
-rw-r--rw-    1 501  20  -      831271 May 27  2007 DSC_1477.JPG
-rw-r--rw-    1 501  20  -      791179 May 27  2007 DSC_1478.JPG
-rw-r--rw-    1 501  20  -      785068 May 27  2007 DSC_1479.JPG
-rw-r--rw-    1 501  20  -      731792 May 27  2007 DSC_1480.JPG
-rw-r--rw-    1 501  20  -      716097 May 27  2007 DSC_1481.JPG
-rw-r--rw-    1 501  20  -      714844 May 27  2007 DSC_1482.JPG
-rw-r--rw-    1 501  20  -      729683 May 27  2007 DSC_1483.JPG
-rw-r--rw-@   1 501  20  -      700798 May 27  2007 DSC_1484.JPG
    com.apple.metadata:kMDLabel_ynznmevxgley2w6qjybv2ooake     361 
-rw-r--rw-    1 501  20  -      692407 May 27  2007 DSC_1485.JPG
-rw-r--rw-@   1 501  20  -      721117 May 27  2007 DSC_1486.JPG
    com.apple.metadata:kMDLabel_ynznmevxgley2w6qjybv2ooake     361 
-rw-r--rw-    1 501  20  -      704744 May 27  2007 DSC_1487.JPG
-rw-r--rw-    1 501  20  -      720340 May 27  2007 DSC_1488.JPG
-rw-r--rw-    1 501  20  -      704883 May 27  2007 DSC_1489.JPG
-rw-r--rw-    1 501  20  -      775318 May 27  2007 DSC_1491.JPG
-rw-r--rw-    1 501  20  -      747067 May 27  2007 DSC_1492.JPG
-rw-r--rw-    1 501  20  -      773182 May 27  2007 DSC_1493.JPG
-rw-r--rw-    1 501  20  -      781310 May 27  2007 DSC_1494.JPG
-rw-r--rw-    1 501  20  -      783461 May 27  2007 DSC_1495.JPG
-rw-r--rw-    1 501  20  -      778057 May 27  2007 DSC_1496.JPG
-rw-r--rw-    1 501  20  -      751829 May 27  2007 DSC_1497.JPG
-rw-r--rw-    1 501  20  -      766204 May 27  2007 DSC_1498.JPG
-rw-r--rw-    1 501  20  -      736061 May 27  2007 DSC_1499.JPG
-rw-r--rw-    1 501  20  -      739079 May 27  2007 DSC_1500.JPG
-rw-r--rw-    1 501  20  -      725808 May 27  2007 DSC_1501.JPG
-rw-r--rw-@   1 501  20  -      745046 May 27  2007 DSC_1502.JPG
    com.apple.metadata:kMDLabel_ynznmevxgley2w6qjybv2ooake     361 
-rw-r--rw-    1 501  20  -      743298 May 27  2007 DSC_1503.JPG
-rw-r--rw-    1 501  20  -      747363 May 27  2007 DSC_1504.JPG
-rw-r--rw-    1 501  20  -      748738 May 27  2007 DSC_1505.JPG
-rw-r--rw-    1 501  20  -      756632 May 27  2007 DSC_1506.JPG
-rw-r--rw-@   1 501  20  -      692238 May 27  2007 DSC_1507.JPG
    com.apple.FinderInfo        32 
    com.apple.ResourceFork     286 
-rw-r--rw-    1 501  20  -      721489 May 27  2007 DSC_1508.JPG
-rw-r--rw-    1 501  20  -      746945 May 27  2007 DSC_1509.JPG
-rw-r--rw-    1 501  20  -      700179 May 27  2007 DSC_1510.JPG
-rw-r--rw-    1 501  20  -      695580 May 27  2007 DSC_1511.JPG
-rw-r--rw-    1 501  20  -      819134 May 27  2007 DSC_1512.JPG
-rw-r--rw-    1 501  20  -      824389 May 27  2007 DSC_1513.JPG
-rw-r--rw-    1 501  20  -      734251 May 27  2007 DSC_1514.JPG
-rw-r--rw-    1 501  20  -      751609 May 27  2007 DSC_1515.JPG
-rw-r--rw-    1 501  20  -      702895 May 27  2007 DSC_1516.JPG
-rw-r--rw-    1 501  20  -      707470 May 27  2007 DSC_1517.JPG
-rw-r--rw-    1 501  20  -      734209 May 27  2007 DSC_1518.JPG

The two troublesome files are DSC_1460.JPG and DSC_1507.JPG. As you can see, each is followed by this in that ls output:

com.apple.FinderInfo 32

com.apple.ResourceFork 286

I ran Disk Utility's First Aid feature on that partition and it finished without finding any problems. I've rebooted twice since running Disk Utility's First Aid.

Any ideas?

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  • What happens if you try to copy those two files from Terminal? Try the following, reboot and then without opening Finder, open Terminal and then change directory to the location of those two files, e.g cd ~/Pictures and then cp DSC_1460.JPG DSC_1460_copy.JPG and then cp DSC_1507.JPG DSC_1507_copy.JPG Are you able to copy the two files without error? If yes, then from Finder, try to copy the copies to a different folder. If they copy, then rename them removing the _copy. – user3439894 Jul 12 '20 at 19:10
  • @user3439894: Done — I: 1. Turned the Mac off. 2. Left it off for a few hours. 3. Booted it up. 4. Observed that those two files are still grayed out in Finder. 5. CD'd into that directory in Terminal. 6. Observed that those two files still have the two weird properties ("com.apple.FinderInfo" and "com.apple.ResourceFork" when I run "ls -@BOaen". 7. Used "cp" to copy them with a new name in the directory they're already in. 8. Observed they DO copy. But the copies of them are this grayed out in Finder and inherited those two weird properties from the original copies of the files. – Mr. Smith Jul 13 '20 at 0:23
  • You can remove the extended attributes with xattr -c DSC_1460.JPG DSC_1507.JPG – user3439894 Jul 13 '20 at 0:40
  • Thank you, @user3439894. I'm running that now. It does resolve this problem. – Mr. Smith Jul 13 '20 at 1:53
  • If you want to write up an answer with what resolved the issue, I'll up-vote it and you can even mark it as the accepted answer, thus increasing your reputation points. Also, be sure to take the Tour. – user3439894 Jul 13 '20 at 2:30
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Based on the error message you got, these files are being used or are open somewhere on your machine. This is a common error message. Maybe you were viewing these images recently or opened them in another app. I would look for what was using these two images. Could be Photo app. Also, check your trash.

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    why the downvote? this was a valid answer, – Natsfan Jul 12 '20 at 19:53

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