Buying a new computer is an exciting time, particularly if your old computer has been having some problems. But if you’re unsure how to backup your computer and transfer your things over, it can also be a stressful time.
Luckily, Apple gives you the tools you need to transfer files without difficulty.
Keep reading for a guide that’ll teach you how to transfer everything from one Mac to another.
How to Transfer Everything From One Mac to Another
Once you have your new Mac and your old Mac, it’s time to transfer the files from one to the other. You have a variety of different ways to do this.
Use Migration Assistant: Get Things Ready
Migration Assistant is the most straightforward method to transfer data from Mac to Mac. Before you get started, you’ll first need to ensure that you’ve backed up all of your files. To do this, you’ll use Time Machine.
Time Machine takes a “snapshot” of your files and saves it as a compressed file. It then uses this snapshot to restore your files at a later date. Check out this guide on how to restore time machine backup.
Once you’ve backed everything up, make sure that both Macs are up to date with the latest software update. Click the Apple icon in the top left, then About this Mac > Software Update. If an update pops up, install it.
For Migration Assistant to work, you’ll also need to give your old Mac a name if it doesn’t have one. Head to System Preferences > Sharing, then look where it says ‘Computer Name’.
Use Migration Assistant: Begin the Migration
Make sure the two Macs are charging, as Migration Assistant can be a drain on your battery. Then, connect them both to the same Wi-Fi network. As long as they have MacOS Sierra or a more recent update, they’ll connect wirelessly with one another.
On your new Mac, open Spotlight with Command + Space, then search for Migration Assistant. Once the app opens, click Continue, then select the option that lets you transfer From a Mac, Time Machine backup, or startup disk. Click Continue.
Head back to your old Mac and open Migration Assistant. Click Continue, then transfer To Another Mac, then click Continue again.
Jumping back to your new Mac, a popup will ask you where you want to transfer data from. Select From Another Mac, then click Continue. You should then ensure that the security codes on the two computers match. When you see the name of your old Mac, select it, then click Continue.
A list of your files will then open. Here, you’ll get to choose which files you want to bring over and which you don’t. You can choose between Applications, Computer & Network Settings, your User Account, and Other Files and Folders. Once you click Continue, the migration begins!
Use an External Device
Some people prefer to use more traditional methods to move their files from one computer to another. If you’re that type of person, consider using an external hard drive.
External hard drives let you store large amounts of data on a portable device. Storage capacity ranges from hundreds of GB to hundreds of TB. Several hundred GB should be enough for most users, but if you are someone who uses heavier files such as videos, consider choosing a larger option.
To transfer your files, connect the hard drive to your old computer. You’ll then need to manually go through your files and drag them onto the hard drive. Although this can be tedious, it also gives you more control over what you’re bringing over to your new computer.
Once your files are all ready, you then need to plug it into your new Mac. Once you do that, you’ll be able to drag the files to where you want them to be.
If you’re unfamiliar with it, AirDrop is an app that lets you wirelessly transfer documents, photos, and videos from one device to another. You can use it on your Mac, iPhone, and iPad.
If you want to use AirDrop to transfer your files, make sure that your two computers are close to one another. The app doesn’t work if two devices are too far away.
Using your old Mac, find the files that you want to move over to your new computer and right-click them. Then select Share > AirDrop. A message will then open on your new computer telling you that someone is trying to share files with you. Confirm the transfer, and the files will then be in your Downloads folder.
Use the App Store
If you’re only worried about easily getting the same applications you used on your old computer, you can use the App Store to help you out.
Open the App Store on your new computer. If you’re unsure where it is, press Command + Space, then type App Store. Once it opens, login in using the same Apple ID you used on your old Mac.
You’ll then see a list of all the programs you had installed on your old computer. To install them on your new computer, click the cloud icon with the arrow next to their names. The apps will then begin installing.
Transfer Files and Enjoy Your New Computer
When you buy a new computer, you might be unsure as to how to transfer data from Mac to Mac. Yet if you’re wondering how to transfer everything from one Mac to another, following this guide will help you. Follow it, and you’ll see your old files on your new computer in no time.
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