I'm backing up my mac from a Hard Drive that someone gave to me, but I don't have enough space on my Mac. How I can delete files that I don't need to be backed up (when I try to delete it says The operation can’t be completed because backup items can’t be modified) from the HDD so backup wont be corrupted and I can backup my Mac?

closed as unclear what you're asking by IconDaemon, bjbk, Jaime Santa Cruz, David Anderson, Ɱark Ƭ Mar 1 '18 at 0:26

Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.


You cannot delete files from a Time Machine backup specifically, but you can exclude things from the backup...

  1. Go to System Preferences > Time Machine
  2. Click Options
  3. You will be presented with a list you can add and remove folders to be excluded like this:

enter image description here

By removing things like Applications folders and cloud storage services like Dropbox, OneDrive and Google Drive you can save a lot of space.

If this still isn't working you need a bigger drive to backup to.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .