How to quickly transfer data from Mac to Mac.
If you have a new MacBook, iMac, or Mac mini, you may need to transfer your data from your old Mac to your new computer. However, you don’t have to copy everything manually.
Learn how to quickly use the macOS Migration Assistant to transfer documents, apps, user accounts, and system settings from your old Mac to your new Mac.
Related: Do you have an old computer? Learn how to transfer data from a Windows PC to a new Mac.
Preparing for Migration
You can copy user accounts, documents, programs, and settings from your old Mac during or after setting up your new Mac. However, before you begin, you must prepare both devices for the task ahead.
Updating system software
Updating the system software on an older Mac ensures that you run into fewer compatibility issues during the migration. Open System Preferences, select Software Update, and choose Update Now next to any pending updates. If you’ve already set up your new Mac, it’s best to update it as well.
Connect to the same Wi-Fi network
While it is possible to transfer data via Thunderbolt and Ethernet, you can avoid cables by using Wi-Fi. Make sure Wi-Fi is enabled on both Macs and that they are connected to the same Wi-Fi network.
Note. If you’re setting up your new Mac, you’ll have the option to connect it to your wireless network before you get to the Migration Assistant.
Turn off your antivirus software.
If you have a third-party antivirus utility on your old Mac, disable it before continuing to avoid connection issues. Select its status icon in the menu bar and look for the option that allows you to disable it temporarily. Also, disable everything on your new Mac.
Name your old Mac
To enable discovery with the Migration Assistant, you must name the old Mac. To do this, open the Apple menu and choose System Preferences > Sharing. Then add a recognizable name in the Computer Name field.
Connect to power
Moving large amounts of data between Macs can take a long time. Plug it into a power source to avoid draining your battery when moving to or from your MacBook, MacBook Pro, or MacBook Air.
Use Migration Assistant
If you haven’t used Setup Assistant on your new Mac yet, you can pause the Migration Assistant screen and start migrating right away. Or, you can access the Migration Assistant after setting up your device and still migrate your data. You must also use Migration Assistant on your old Mac at the same time. So put both Macs next to each other and follow the instructions below.
Advice. If you use Time Machine, you can restore data to your new Mac directly from an external drive without interacting with your old Mac at all.
1. Open the Migration Assistant on the new Mac and on the old Mac. To do this, open Launchpad and select Other > Migration Assistant. Or you can launch it through your Mac’s Utilities folder (located in Finder > Applications).
Again, if you’re still using Setup Assistant on your new Mac, you’ll encounter Migration Assistant in Step 4 right after connecting to Wi-Fi.
2. Select Continue on the main Migration Assistant screen on both Macs.
3. Enter the administrator password (if prompted) and click OK.
4. Select the correct transfer mode on the new Mac and old Mac, and click Continue.
New Mac: Select the radio button next to From Mac, Time Machine Backup, or Startup Disk.
Old Mac: Select the radio button next to To another Mac.
5. Select your old Mac in the New Mac Migration Assistant and click Continue. If it doesn’t appear, move the devices closer and check again if they are on the same wireless network – select Edit to switch networks if necessary.
6. Make sure the security codes on both Macs match by selecting Continue on the old Mac.
7. Check the boxes next to each type of information you want to transfer to the new computer – applications, user accounts (including documents), and system files and settings.
8. Select Continue to start transferring data. However, when migrating user accounts, the Migration Assistant on the new Mac will require you to:
set passwords for each administrator account you want to migrate.If you have already set up your new Mac and the old Mac has an account user with the same name, choose between renaming or replacing.
9. Wait while the Migration Assistant finishes transferring information from the old computer to the new one.
10. When you’re done, select Done to exit the Migration Assistant on your new Mac. On your old Mac, choose Exit.
You Can Still Use Your Old Mac
After the data transfer, you can continue to use your old Mac if you want – all your data will remain on it. If you’re planning to sell or donate it, don’t forget to wipe your Mac and restore it to factory defaults.
How to quickly transfer data from Mac to Mac
How to quickly transfer data from Mac to Mac