Simple work around for ‘Item can’t be modified’ issue
Here’s a little problem that you may have come across — you try to delete files from an external hard drive and you get hit with this annoying message:
“The operation can’t be completed because backup items can’t be modified, OK?”
Wreck your car, OK? Bang your head on the open cupboard door, OK? Not exactly the “it just works” stuff of Apple legend.
However, before you freak out or otherwise lose your cool, try logging out and back in again. Restarting will also work.
Problem solved? For the time being at least, but this has been an issue at least since Snow Leopard and it’s known to reappear on affected machines.
Some folks have linked the issue to current or even disabled Time Machine backups. In my case, the external drive hasn’t been used as a Time Machine backup volume in a couple years.
Do you know of a more permanent solution?