Transfer Everything from an Old Mac to a New Mac with Migration Assistant

This is a discussion on Transfer Everything from an Old Mac to a New Mac with Migration Assistant within the Mac OS X forums, part of the Mac Software category; The simplest way to move from an old Mac to a new Mac is to use the built-in Migration Assistant tool. Migration Assistant can be ...

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  1. #1
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    Transfer Everything from an Old Mac to a New Mac with Migration Assistant



    The simplest way to move from an old Mac to a new Mac is to use the built-in Migration Assistant tool. Migration Assistant can be used at any time, but ideally, it will be used on first boot of the new Mac, that way when it’s finished everything will be exactly where you left off on the old machine, except all your files, documents, and apps, will be on the new Mac. This is what I recently used to migrate from a failing old MacBook Air to a new MacBook Air (a technically used Certified Refurbished model from Apple), and it allowed me to never miss a beat.

    Using Migration Assistant is extremely easy, here is how to move everything from one Mac to another:

    Launch Migration Assistant on both Macs, the new and old one
    Connect both Macs to the same network, either through Wi-Fi or ethernet
    On the new Mac (called the Target), choose “From another Mac, PC, Time Machine backup or other disk” then click “Continue”, enter the admin password when requested
    At the next screen, select “From another Mac or PC” then choose Continue again
    Now on the old Mac, choose “To another Mac” from the primary Migration Assistant window, enter the administrator password on request
    Quit out of any other apps if you haven’t yet, then on the target Mac wait until Migration Assistant shows a passcode, enter that on the old Mac to confirm
    Now select the info to transfer, including user data, applications, and settings
    When satisfied with the settings to transfer (I generally select everything), click “Transfer”




    Now you only need to wait until the transfer is completed. This may take a while, because everything is copying from the old Mac to the new Mac over the network, meaning if you have a fast wireless-N network it will move quicker than a slower wireless-B network.

    Once finished, the target (new) Mac will reboot and include everything the old Mac had. This is by far the easiest way to get every single thing from an older Mac to a new Mac. If you didn’t select everything to be migrated initially, you can transfer a file or folder later using something like AirDrop or network sharing.

    iOS users can perform a similar migration of iPhones and iPads with iCloud or iTunes.

    11-2-12

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    Can't migrate from OS10.4.11 to 10.8.2

    Hi,

    I am a newby on this forum, so apologies if i am asking a silly question which everyone knows the answer to.

    I have a brand new Imac and want to transfer files, photos etc. to it from my old Power PC G4 imac.

    I've downloaded the latest version of the OS available and also the migration and DVD and CD sharing update.

    My target Mac 2.7 Ghz Intel Core i5, 'sees' the source Mac but says I need to update the migration assistant and DVD etc.which of course I have done.

    Is my source Mac just too old to do a migration from?


    Lewi

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    Transfer Everything from an Old Mac to a New Mac with Migration Assistant

    If its just personal files such as images and documents, then it should also be possible just to browse to your old mac in Finder and copy/paste the files you want. File sharing will have to be switched on on the old mac, and both will have be on the same network.
    'Deep Thought' - Mac Mini Late 2018- macOS Mojave (10.14.5)
    'Marvin' - Mac Mini Late 2014 - macOS Mojave (10.14.5)
    'Orac' - MacBook Pro 13" Mid 2012 - macOS Mojave (10.14.5)

    iPhone 6S - iOS 12.3.1
    iPad Pro 12.9" - iOS 12.3.1

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    Transfer Everything from an Old Mac to a New Mac with Migration Assistant

    How do you move files to a new iMac from,an old PC; i.e., my iTunes library?? Nathan's so much.


    Sent from my Wi-Fi Black 64GB iPad with Retina Display using Tapatalk HD
    Thelma

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    Thanks JezzerP.

    Both Macs are on the same WiFi network so I'll try the file share option you suggest.

    Its just iPhotos, Address Book and MS word docs, so that should be straightforward

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    Switch to Mac: transfer your files from a PC to a Mac



    If you’re switching from a PC to a Mac, one of the first things you’ll want to do is to move all your data to your new computer. The process is fairly simple, but you can go down any of several paths depending on your setup and your needs.

    Consider what’s in the cloud

    Before deciding on a data-transfer strategy, consider the extent to which the data on your PC is already mirrored in the cloud. For example, if you already store most of your personal files in a folder that syncs to the cloud via a service such as Dropbox, you can install the corresponding Mac app, log in with your existing account and sit back while your files sync automatically.

    Likewise, if you store all your email on an IMAP server, you need only enter your credentials for that server in a Mac email client such as the built-in Apple Mail, and all your messages will download to your Mac. And if you rely on Google Docs for word processing and spreadsheets, your documents will be right there in whichever Mac browser you choose.

    Take a quick mental inventory of your data. Be sure to consider personal data such as email, contacts, calendars and bookmarks; media such as music, photos, movies and TV shows; and documents you’ve created or downloaded. If most of that is already somewhere in the cloud, the path of least resistance may be to connect to the same cloud services on your Mac, and then manually transfer any remaining items that live on your PC’s hard disk and nowhere else.

    If your PC stores most of your data locally, you can choose among three main approaches to get it onto your Mac:

    Take the easy way out

    When you buy a new Mac directly from Apple (either at an Apple retail store or online), you can optionally pay an extra US$99 for Apple’s One to One service. In addition to a full year of training on Apple products, this program includes a one-time data-transfer service. Take your old PC to your nearest Apple Store, and someone will transfer your data, install any Apple software you’ve purchased and help you with any initial setup or usage questions.


    When you enroll for Apple's One to One service, you can keep track of your training sessions and topics you want to learn about on a custom web page.



    The nice thing about One to One is that you not only get your files and data on a Mac, you have the benefit of immediate, on-the-spot professional help. You can also make appointments for ongoing classes and training, all of which can ease the transition to a new platform.




    Use a virtual assistant


    When you turn on a new Mac for the first time, a setup assistant runs to help you connect to the internet, create a user account and configure a number of important settings. As part of this process, this app asks if you want to transfer data from another Mac or PC. If you decide to skip the data-transfer step, you can accomplish the same thing later by opening Migration Assistant, a utility found in your Mac’s/Applications/Utilities folder. Other than letting someone else do the work, Migration Assistant (in either form) is the easiest way to move data from a PC to a Mac.

    Migration Assistant doesn’t move files blindly from one computer to another. Instead, it intelligently sets up your Mac to resemble, as nearly as possible, the way your PC was configured. For example, email, contacts and calendars (and their associated accounts) might be migrated from Outlook on a PC to Mail, Contacts and Calendar, respectively on a Mac; bookmarks in Internet Explorer are recreated in Safari; documents are moved to analogous locations on your Mac; and even your desktop background picture is usually transferred.

    To use Migration Assistant, make sure your PC and Mac are on the same Wi-Fi network or, for faster transfers, connect them with an Ethernet cable. Then, on the PC, download and install the Windows Migration Assistant. Run that app on your PC and Migration Assistant on your Mac. Follow the prompts on both computers to transfer your data; for complete details and step-by-step instructions, see About Windows Migration Assistant on Apple’s website.


    When you turn on a new Mac for the first time, the setup assistant offers to transfer data from another computer, which may be a Windows PC.



    Move data manually

    If you have only a small amount of data to transfer, or if you want complete, manual control over the process, you can connect your PC and Mac over a wireless or wired network and use file sharing to make the PC’s files available to the Mac.

    On the PC, make sure you’ve enabled file sharing and have shared the folder (such as your home folder) you want to access on your Mac. (For complete instructions, visit Microsoft’s website.)

    Then, on your Mac, open a new window in the Finder. In the sidebar under ‘Shared’, click All. Then select your PC, click Connect As, enter the username and password you set up on your PC, and click Connect. The folder you shared on your PC should appear in the Finder on your Mac; you can then look through it for the items you want to copy and drag them to the location of your choice on your Mac.


    5-6-13

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    The 4 Most Important Steps Before Selling or Transferring Ownership of a Mac

    If you plan on selling a Mac or transferring it to a new owner, you will want to take a few very important steps beforehand rather than just handing the machine off as is. We will walk through exactly what you should do before ever changing ownership of a Mac, including backing up all of your files and data, deauthorizing the computer through iTunes, securely erasing all data so that no future owner can access your old stuff, and finally, reinstalling OS X as clean so that the Mac boots into the initial setup menus as if it was brand new.




    1: Back Up Everything with Time Machine

    Back up with Time MachineThe first thing you will want to do is back up anything important that is on the Mac. Since many apps are available for downloading again through the App Store, this primarily means focusing on the important files and documents stored on the machine.

    As usual, the easiest way to back up a Mac completely is through Time Machine. Take a moment to initiate a final manual backup to preserve everything on the Mac:

    Connect the Time Machine drive to the Mac, then pull down the Time Machine menu icon and choose “Back Up Now”




    Connect the Time Machine drive to the Mac, then pull down the Time Machine menu icon and choose “Back Up Now”

    This will backup everything on the Mac: apps, files, data, pictures, media, customizations, literally everything. Additionally, Time Machine allows you to easily migrate everything over to a new machine with Migration Assistant. You can also gain access to critical files that were once on the Mac should they be needed again in the future, even if you have already moved onto another computer.

    If you don’t plan on using Time Machine, at the very least take the time to manually back up any critical files yourself. This can be a better solution if you’re only looking to preserve a folder or two in your home directory, say Documents and Photos, and you can just copy them to a connected external hard drive or USB key. If you have any doubts about preserving certain files, it’s always better to play it safe and just back up everything with Time Machine instead.


    2: Deauthorize the Computer with iTunes

    iTunes authorizes individual computers to have access to DRM (protected) content, and typically DRM protected material, like movies and music, can only be used on up to five Macs. Thus, if you’re giving up ownership of a Mac, you will want to deauthorize that Mac first so that it will no longer take up an authorized slot. This is super easy to do:

    Launch iTunes, then pull down the “Store” menu and choose “Deauthorize This Computer”




    Don’t worry, if you decide to change your mind and maintain ownership of the Mac, you can always reauthorize the computer again through the same menu.


    3: Wipe All Data by Securely Formatting the Hard Drive

    Now that you’ve backed up everything and deauthorized the computer through iTunes, you will want to securely erase the entire hard drive so that none of your personal data could ever be recovered by the new owner(s). This is done by rebooting the Mac from Recovery Mode and targeting the primary partition with a secure format:

    Reboot the Mac and hold down the Option key, then select the Recovery partition from the boot menu
    Select “Disk Utility” from the OS X Utilities menu
    Select the hard drive primary partition (typically Macintosh HD) and choose the “Erase” tab
    Click the “Security Options” button and choose “7-Pass Erase” (very secure) or “35-Pass Erase” (extremely secure but much slower), then click “OK”
    Click “Erase” to format the drive




    This may take a while depending on which security method you chose. 35-pass takes the longest because it is overwriting any data on the disk 35 times, if you choose that method expect to wait a while, particularly with larger hard drives.

    Note for Macs with SSD / Flash Storage: Simply erasing the drive is sufficient for Mac users with SSD drives, and the security options are intentionally greyed out in Disk Utility (though there is a workaround if you’re committed to privacy). This is because data recovery is very difficult on an SSD to begin with, due to how flash storage works alongside TRIM to store, overwrite, and clear blocks on the drive.

    When finished, exit out of Disk Utility to return to the OS X Utilities menu to proceed with the last step.


    4: Reinstall OS X

    You’re almost done! The final step is to simply reinstall OS X so that the new owner receives the Mac as if it was brand new, complete with the initial setup screens and all. Unless you are using a boot installer USB drive, this process requires internet access so that the installer can be retrieved from Apple’s servers:

    Still in Recovery Mode, choose “Reinstall OS X” from the OS X Utilities menu screen (reboot holding down Option key if you are no longer in Recovery)
    Click “Continue” and then select the newly formatted “Macintosh HD” partition, then click “Install”




    OS X will reinstall fresh, and the Mac will be left with a new clean install. When finished, booting the Mac will appear as if it was brand new when you first received it, with the initial setup screen and all.

    Unless you’re giving the Mac to a family member, you most likely will not want to run through the new setup yourself, and instead just leave it as is so that the new owner can go through the configuration process themselves.


    7-26-13

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