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Move your content to a new Mac

Use Migration Assistant to copy all of your documents, apps, user accounts, and settings to a new Mac from another computer.

 

Migration Assistant copies all of your files to your new Mac so that you don't have to do it manually.

Check software, settings, and power

  • Install all available Apple software updates on both Mac computers. Your old Mac needs OS X Snow Leopard v10.6.8 or later. You should also install any third-party software updates on your old Mac.
  • Make sure that your old Mac has a Computer Name: choose System Preferences from the Apple menu, click Sharing, then check the Computer Name field.
  • If you're moving files to or from a Mac notebook computer, make sure that the computer is connected to AC power.

Connect the computers to each other

  • Connect both computers to the same local Wi-Fi or Ethernet network.
  • Or connect both computers directly using a Thunderbolt, FireWire, or Ethernet cable.
  • Or connect your new Mac to a Time Capsule or external drive that has a Time Machine backup of your old Mac.

Use Migration Assistant

On your old Mac:

On your new Mac:

  1. Open Migration Assistant, which is in the Utilities folder of your Applications folder.
  2. Click Continue.
  3. When asked how you want to transfer your information, select the option to transfer from a Mac, Time Machine backup, or startup disk.
  4. Click Continue.

On your old Mac:
If you started in target disk mode or are migrating from a Time Machine backup, skip these steps.

  1. Open Migration Assistant.
  2. Click Continue.
  3. When asked how you want to transfer your information, select the option to transfer to another Mac.
  4. Click Continue. 

On your new Mac:

  1. When asked to select a Mac, Time Machine backup, or another startup disk, click the appropriate icon.
  2. Click Continue. You might see a security code.

On your old Mac:
If you started in target disk mode or are migrating from a Time Machine backup, skip these steps.

  1. If you see a security code, make sure that it's the same code as on your new Mac.
  2. Click Continue.

On your new Mac:

  1. If you're migrating from a Time Machine backup, you might be asked to enter a password for the backup or Time Capsule. You should then see a list of backups organised by date and time. Choose the backup that you want to use, then click Continue.
  2. Select the information to transfer, then click Continue to start the transfer. If you have a lot of content, the transfer might take several hours to finish.

If you're transferring information from a Mac that is using macOS Server, Migration Assistant requires all items to remain selected.

In this example, John Appleseed is a macOS user account. If you transfer an account that has the same name as an account on your new Mac, you're asked to rename the old account or replace the one on your new Mac. If you rename, the old account appears as a separate user on your new Mac, with a separate home folder and log in. If you replace, the old account overwrites the account on your new Mac, including everything in its home folder.

After Migration Assistant is done, log into the migrated account on your new Mac to see its files. If you're not keeping your old Mac, learn what to do before selling it or giving it away.

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