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How to move files and data to a new Mac with Migration Assistant

Transport important data from your old Mac to your new Mac using Migration Assistant

Main 2If you’re an existing Mac user and you’ve just bought a shiny, new Mac, firstly – congratulations on your new purchase. Secondly, the most common question that we are often asked is: how do I get my stuff from my old Mac to my new Mac? It’s a valid question, and thankfully, Apple has provided just the answer and solution for you in Migration Assistant.

Whether you want to directly move your information from your old Mac, or whether you’re looking to use a Time Machine backup, Migration Assistant can make your new Mac look like a carbon copy of your old one. We’re going to take you step-by-step through the process of using Migration Assistant to move your information from your old Mac to your new Mac – it’s easier than you think.


Step 1

1 Launch Migration Assistant

On your new Mac, launch Finder and navigate to Applications. Migration Assistant is located in the Utilities folder – double-click to launch. Or, type ‘Migration Assistant’ into Spotlight.

Step 2

2 Close open apps

Migration Assistant works outside of your user account so you’ll need to close down any open applications in order to proceed. Once you’ve closed everything, press the Continue button.

Step 3

3 Migrate from a Mac

A box will appear with three various migration source options. From the list, choose the option labelled ‘From a Mac, Time Machine backup or a startup disk’. Press Continue.

Step 4

4 Connect your old Mac

Next, you’ll need to connect your old Mac
or Time Machine backup to your new Mac. If you’re migrating over Ethernet or Wi-Fi, launch Migration Assistant from your old Mac.

Step 5

5 Find your Mac

It can take a few minutes for your computer
or Time Machine backup to appear. Once it appears, select your computer or Time Machine backup on-screen and press Continue.

Step 6

6 Find your information

Migration Assistant will look for info that can be migrated. This includes applications, user accounts, computer and network settings, plus your documents and other media.

Step 7

7 Choose the users

Choose the users that you want to migrate by marking the boxes next to the user name. Click the arrow next to the user name to view and choose which files for that user are migrated.

Step 8

8 Pick and choose

You don’t have to migrate everything from your old Mac. Pick and choose what you would like to migrate over by marking the boxes. However, this is limited to folders and not individual files.

Step 9

9 Begin the migration

Press the Continue button and the migration will begin. The migration will take several hours, depending on how you’re migrating and how much data you’re migrating to your new Mac.

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