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So I've been trying to delete extended attributes(com.apple.metadata:_kTimeMachineOldest/NewestSnapshot) from time machine files. I've searched everywhere to delete its attribute but there seems to be no way to delete it, at least in Mojave.

What I've tried so far(all commands are done as su/sudo):

Give full disk access for Terminal and chmod, tmutil, xattr.

A website explaining what I've tried: https://technokracy.net/2011/03/07/Extended_attributes_ACLs_and_Time_Machine/

All commands just return Backups.backupdb/MacBook/Latest/MacBook/somedir/somefile: Operation not permitted even though I'm root user.

Is there any way to bypass this and hopefully delete its attributes?

Edit: the path I wrote is not the actual path; I just wrote Latest for clarity, and I'm just lazy to write all date and stuff, sorry if it confused some of you.

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Time Machine is protected by SIP, which didn't exist when that article was written.

Copy the file off to another HFS+ drive - it will not let you copy to APFS - then change attributes.

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  • hm? so then does csrutil disable helps my problem? since sadly I do not have any other drive than TimeMachine drive so... and the directry/files that I'm trying to change its attribute is almost +200GiB, so my USBs won't work either. Would it be better to buy another hard drives?
    – Skye-AT
    Jul 5 at 9:30
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    You could disable SIP, sure - but if you then break the Time Machine backup, you'll wish you hadn't. Time Machine is just so easy to break. If you have Disk Warrior you could risk it, as that's the only tool that can fix it, otherwise, I wouldn't risk it.
    – Tetsujin
    Jul 5 at 9:37
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    If you want to see how much "fun" Time Machine can be, see apple.stackexchange.com/q/328358/85275 and apple.stackexchange.com/q/392734/85275 and apple.stackexchange.com/q/421062/85275 They all turned out to be the same issue.. took me three years to finally fix it & it needed an entire spare Mac to do it.
    – Tetsujin
    Jul 5 at 9:41
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    Oh wow so then you are the one who had a hard time with Time Machine. well then I'll buy the another hard drive. Thanks for the informations.
    – Skye-AT
    Jul 5 at 9:46
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    Most welcome. I managed to do all that experimenting because I have 4 Macs here with multiple drives in each & also a box of old spares I can use at a push, so everything is not only backed up on TM but also cloned to other machines and to cap it off, also on Backblaze. I hate losing data, so I try very very hard so that I never do ;))
    – Tetsujin
    Jul 5 at 9:48

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