For instance, if you have an older Mac that has had hardware problems, you could install its old startup drive in an external enclosure and connect the enclosure to your new Mac via USB or Thunderbolt. User data can also be moved from a PC to a new Mac via a network connection.
How to move your content to a new Mac
Migration Assistant can't copy PC applications, but your user data, such as documents, pictures, and movies, can all be migrated from a PC to your new Mac. Migration Assistant can transfer any user account type from the source Mac to the destination Mac. It can also transfer applications, user data, other files and folders, and computer and network settings.
This guide will show you, in detail, the steps to move your user account data from an older Mac to a new Mac connected via your home or office network. This same method, with just slight changes to button and menu names, can also be used to copy an account from a startup drive connected directly to the new Mac, or from Macs connected via FireWire or Thunderbolt cable.
Using the Migration Assistant app that comes with OS X is relatively painless; the version included with OS X Yosemite contains a few improvements over previous versions to make the process even easier. In this guide, we're going to use the Migration Assistant to copy our user and application data from an older Mac to a Mac we just recently purchased. This is the most likely reason to use the Migration Assistant, but there are other reasons to use it, including copying your user data to a clean install of OS X.
The major difference between the two uses of the Migration Assistant is the source of the data. In the first case, you're likely copying files from an older Mac that's connected to your home or office network. In the second, you're probably copying files from a startup drive connected to your current Mac. Otherwise, the two methods are pretty much the same. Go on to Page Three for information on how to use the list of items that can be transferred, and to complete the transfer process. In the previous steps, you launched Migration Assistant on both your old and new Macs and set up the assistant to transfer files from the old Mac to the new Mac.
You verified that the two Macs are in communication by matching a code number generated by the Migration Assistant app, and you're now waiting while your new Mac begins gathering information from your old Mac about the type of data that can transfer between them. This process can take a bit of time, so be patient. Eventually, your new Mac will display a list of items that can be migrated to it. All applications installed in the Applications folder on your old Mac can be transferred over to your new Mac.
If an application exists on both the old and new Macs, the newest version will be retained. You can only bring over all applications or none; you can't pick and choose apps. User Accounts: This is likely the main reason you wanted to bring data from your old Mac to your new Mac. All of your documents, music, movies, and pictures are stored in your user account. The Migration Assistant allows you to copy or ignore each of the following user account folders:. The other data item is essentially any files or folders you created within your user account, but are not within any of the special folders named above.
Other Files and Folders: Files and folders refer to items that reside at the top level of the old Mac's startup drive. Selecting this option will ensure that any non-Mac apps you may have installed are also brought over to your new Mac. Computers and Network Settings: This allows Migration Assistant to bring settings information from your old Mac to your new Mac.
This includes such things as your Mac's name, and network setup and preferences. Migration Assistant can now resolve user account duplication problems that have been an issue in the past. With previous versions of Migration Assistant, you couldn't copy a user account to your new Mac if that user account name was already present on the new Mac.
How To Perform a Manual Mac System Migration [MacRx] | Cult of Mac
This often happened during the OS X setup process on the new Mac, during which you were asked to create an administrator account. Like many of us, you probably picked the same account name you were using on your old Mac. When it came time to migrate data from the old Mac, Migration Assistant would throw up its hands and say that it couldn't copy the data over because the user account already existed.
Luckily for us, the Migration Assistant now provides two methods for resolving user account duplication problems.
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If Migration Assistant determines there will be an account duplication problem, the user account name in the transfer list will include red warning text that says:. External Drive: This is especially handy for anyone who bought a new Mac because their old one had failed in some way; perhaps unable to boot.
As long as the startup drive is in good shape, you could move the drive to an external enclosure and migrate the data from there. Preparing Your Old Mac There are a few preliminary tasks to perform that will make using Migration Assistant easier and quicker. Start by making sure the Mac OS installed on the old Mac is up to date.
You can update using the Mac App Store or download updates directly from the Apple support site.
How To Perform a Manual Mac System Migration [MacRx]
You may want to consider slimming down the data on the old Mac. The Migration Assistant is automatically available as an option when you first start up your new Mac. It also gives me the chance to create a pristine backup of the new Mac, so I can always return to the fresh-out-of-the-box state, should I need to. The Migration Assistant can transfer data from a number of sources including your old Mac, a Time Machine backup, an external drive, and even a Windows PC.
The Migration Assistant will warn you that it needs to be the sole app running, and that it will quit all other apps on your Mac.
Save any open documents, and then click the Continue button when ready. When ready, click Continue. The Migration Assistant will start searching for other devices that it can transfer data from. Migration Assistant On a New Mac After a minute or so, your old Mac should appear as a choice for the source of migrating data.
Select the old Mac from the list more than likely, your old Mac will be the only item listed , and then click Continue. The Migration Assistant will display a verification code. Go to the older Mac and make sure the same verification code is displayed. If so, click the Continue button on the old Mac.
At this point, the two Macs will start the preliminary transfer operation. The old Mac will send a list of users and the type of data they have stored on the old Mac. On the new Mac, you should see the Migration Assistant displaying a number of items that can be transferred. They should include:. You can place a checkmark next to the items you wish to have transferred. Some items have a disclosure triangle that allows you to select from subcategories of items to transfer.
You can use the disclosure triangles to refine your selection of information to transfer. About Conflicts You may notice a yellow warning flag saying that some conflicts were detected. This usually occurs when one or more user accounts on the old Mac have the same name as a user account on the new Mac.
In older versions of Migration Assistant, you need to halt the process and correct the problem by renaming or deleting user accounts on the Macs. Thankfully, the newer version of Migration Assistant can fix this issue for you. Go ahead and make your selections about which data will be copied over, then click the Continue button. If there are any conflicts, a sheet will drop down, displaying ways to eliminate the conflicts.
- How to transfer files to a new Mac using Migration Assistant.
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The solutions are either to delete the existing user account on the new Mac and replace it with the old one, or to keep both and give the old user account a new name. Make your choice and click Continue. Transfer times are usually quite long, though it depends on both the amount of data and the speed of the connection. Finish Up the Transfer The transfer will start. When the Migration Assistant has completed the transfer, your Mac will log off all users and present the normal login screen.
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- Ask Mac 911.
- Three Tips on Migrating to a New Mac - The Mac Observer;
- How to use Migration Assistant to move a user account to another Mac | Macworld.
Notify me of new posts by email. Should I click continue anyway? I neglected to post that I would really appreciate to be notified via post, etc. Thanks, Michael. I am seriously seeking a realistic time to switch from my MacBook Pro I have completed all the prompts with Migration Assistant, hooked up an ethernet between the two. After 41 hrs.
It can also transfer files from a Time Machine backup or an external clone drive. Better still, make a bootable clone of the startup disk. Using Migration Assistant is very easy, but there are a few things to check and prepare before you get started. The next step is to connect the Macs to each other. There are number of options for this. If both Macs are running macOS Sierra or later, you can just place them next to each other and make sure WiFi is switched on both machines.
Clever, huh? And any Firewire cable can be used to connect Firewire-to-Firewire. The old Mac will now mount as a disk volume on the new Mac. If you did, you can skip them. Likewise, if you wanted to migrate from a Time Machine Backup or cloned drive, you would give these four steps a miss.