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The Mac folders or files grey out and show 24 January 1984 error can be caused by many possible reasons. And you may fix the problem by changing the date of greyed out folders in Mac Terminal. If the issue can’t be settled, you can use EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac Free to recover data on Mac without effort.

When folders or files showed greyed out on Mac, you cannot open it nor access the saved file. To resolve this issue, you may need to use Terminal on Mac for help. Follow the two phrases provided on this page, you will effectively fix folders and files greyed out issue on Mac with ease:

Workable SolutionsStep-by-step Troubleshooting
Phrase 1. Fix Greyed Out Folder/FilesOpen Finder > Locate the greyed out folder or file > Go to Application > Open Terminal...Full steps
Phrase 2. Recover Folders/FilesTo restore the lost folders and files, run EaseUS Mac data recovery software, scan device...Full steps

Why my folders and files greyed out on Mac?

'I managed to transfer some photos and videos from an old Seagate external hard drive to my Mac, but they all grayed out and couldn't be accessed! By the way, the grayed out folders and files reported an error 24 January 1984. Did it mean those files were created on that date? That's ridiculous. How could I fix grayed out folders or files on Mac without data loss and damage?'

When Mac folders or files greyed out and were inaccessible, your Mac could detect the error and set the date the Macintosh was first introduced, January 24, 1984. Many factors can cause this problem, like a fault in the file system entry for the file, or Mac hard drive formatting, interruption in the file or folder copying process, power failure, Mac OS crash, and more. Whatever the reason is, the result is the files or folders greyed out; you cannot open the folder.

How to Fix Mac Folders Grayed out in Terminal

Changing the date of the folder or file is a feasible way to fix greyed out folder on Mac. You can make it with the help of XCode (download XCode from the App Store).

Step 1. Open Finder and find the grayed out folder or file that shows 24 January 1984 error.

Step 2. Go to Applications and open the Terminal app.

Step 3. Type SetFile -d 11/09/2016 /Path/to/grayed-out-folder/ and tap on return.

By running the command, the date of your grayed out files or folders will change to 11/09/2016. Or you can set the time to any day as you wish. Now, you should see the greyed out folder turns to normal black.

A similar topic you may be interested in: How to fix photos half grayed out.

How to Recover Folders/Files with Free Mac Data Recovery Tool

Congratulations if you have solved the grayed out folders issue by following the instructions listed above. While if the problem keeps unsettled and is related to Mac hard drive formatting, operation errors, or system failure, you’d better directly recover the greyed out folders or files by using free data recovery software for Mac.

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac is such a free tool that allows you to recover lost or deleted files, photos, audio, music, emails from Mac hard drive effectively and safely. It supports data recovery from Mac trash bin, hard drive, memory card, flash drive, digital camera and camcorders due to deletion, formatting, lost partition, virus attack, system crash, and more.

Step 1. Select the disk location (it can be an internal HDD/SSD or a removable storage device) where you lost data and files. Click the Scan button.

Step 2. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac will immediately scan your selected disk volume and display the scanning results on the left pane.

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Step 3. In the scan results, select the file(s) and click Recover Now button to have them back.


Startup screens can vary by Mac model, operating system (macOS), and more. Some screens, such as the prohibitory symbol or question mark, mean that you need to resolve an issue before your Mac can finish starting up. For all Mac models, startup is complete when you see the Finder menu bar, desktop, and Dock.

Prohibitory symbol

A circle with a line or slash through it means that the selected startup disk contains a Mac operating system, but it's not a macOS that your Mac can use. You should reinstall macOS on that disk.

Question mark

A folder with a question mark means that the selected startup disk isn't available or doesn't contain a Mac operating system. Learn how to resolve a flashing question mark.

Blank (empty) screen

It's normal for a blank screen to appear once or more during startup. It can be black, gray, blue, or a desktop picture. If an image doesn't appear after a few moments, make sure that your display is turned on, connected, and has its brightness turned up.

Apple logo

Your Mac shows an Apple logo when it finds a local startup disk, which is a startup disk built into your Mac or directly connected to your Mac. If it can't find one, it attempts to use a network startup disk, if available. As startup continues, you should see a progress bar or indicator , with or without the Apple logo. This screen might alternate with a blank screen several times.

If you're updating or reinstalling macOS, this stage can take much longer to complete. The progress bar might move more slowly and pause for longer periods as installation progresses. Learn what to do if your Mac seems to be stuck on this screen during or immediately after installation.

Spinning globe

When using a network startup disk, your Mac shows a spinning globe instead of an Apple logo. A spinning globe also appears when starting up from macOS Recovery over the Internet. As startup continues, you should see a progress bar or indicator , which might alternate with a blank screen several times.

Globe with alert symbol

You might see a globe with an exclamation point when your Mac is unsuccessfully attempting to start up from macOS Recovery over the Internet. Your Mac might not be able to connect to the Internet, or it might be using a network configuration that doesn't work with macOS Recovery. Try these solutions:

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  • Use Command-R at startup to attempt to use the built-in macOS Recovery system instead of macOS Recovery over the Internet.
  • Connect to the Internet using Ethernet instead of Wi-Fi, or vice versa.
  • Connect to the Internet from a different network.
  • Try again later, because the issue might be temporary.

Lock icon

If your Mac is using a firmware password, the lock icon appears when you try to start up from another disk or volume, such as an external drive or macOS Recovery. Enter the firmware password to continue.

System lock PIN code

Your Mac asks for a PIN code when it has been remotely locked using Find My. Enter the four-digit or six-digit passcode to continue.

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Login window

At the login window, enter your user account password to log in to your Mac. If FileVault is turned on, this also unlocks your disk. You might see a default desktop picture in the background, which might change to your chosen desktop picture when you select your account.

Thunderbolt, USB, or FireWire symbol

Mac Free Download

A large Thunderbolt , USB , or FireWire symbol onscreen means that your Mac is in target disk mode.

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Learn more

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  • Learn what to do if your Mac doesn't turn on or finish starting up.
  • Learn about Mac startup sounds and POST RAM error codes.
  • When starting up from Windows using Boot Camp, your Mac doesn't show an Apple logo or the other screens in this article.