How to fix "Build input file cannot be found" error in Xcode

⋅ 2 min read ⋅ Xcode

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Build input file cannot be found: '/path/to/some/of/your/file1', '/path/to/some/of/your/file2', ....

There might be several reasons that cause this error. I will share one solution that fixes the one that happened to me the most.

Cause of the problem

For me, I got this error when I try to solve merge conflict that happen on project.pbxproj. When there is changes in project structure I have to figure out conflict that look like this:

A000701D256E5ADF009F48A4 /* UsageDetailViewModelTests.swift in Sources */,
17E973942505E3EA0084D10D /* MainTabBarViewModelTests.swift in Sources */,
174BF411251C9C1E00FE6214 /* CommonNotificationIconViewTests.swift in Sources */,
=====
NOT_A000701D256E5ADF009F48A4 /* UsageDetailViewModelTests.swift in Sources */,
NOT_17E973942505E3EA0084D10D /* MainTabBarViewModelTests.swift in Sources */,
NOT_174BF411251C9C1E00FE6214 /* CommonNotificationIconViewTests.swift in Sources */,

There might be a better way to resolve this, but I always solve it quick and dirty by accepting one of them, or sometimes I take both of them. Manual manipulates of project structure like this can cause corrupted project structure, which is the cause of the error we will solve today.

"Build input file cannot be found" error

Solution

  1. Open "Project Navigator" (Menu View > Navigators > Project ⌘ - command + 1).
  2. You will see a group name "Recovered References" that Xcode generated for you. If you have a large project, you can filter it out by type "Recovered References" at the very bottom of the project navigator.
Recovered References
Recovered References
If you have a large project, you can filter it out by type
If you have a large project, you can filter it out by type "Recovered References" at the very bottom of the project navigator.
  1. Inside the group, you should see a list of files mentioned in the "Build input file cannot be found" error.
  2. Next step might vary based on your situation. Normally, you will need to delete all red color files, which dictate that Xcode can't find their reference in the destination paths.
  3. You need to add them back so Xcode knows where it should look for those files.

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