How to Migrate Data to a New Mac

Introduction

Migrating your data from your old computer to your new Mac is fast and easy. Apple's Migration Assistant makes the whole process simple.

This guide will walk you through using Migration Assistant to move your data from your old Windows or Mac computer to your new Mac.

1 Same Network

In order to proceed, both of your devices need to be connected to the same network.

Make sure both of your devices can access the Internet, and neither is connected to any 'guest' Wi-Fi network created by your home router.

? Are both of your devices on your home network?

  1. Yes
  2. No

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Migrating your data from your old computer to your new Mac is fast and easy. Apple's Migration Assistant makes the whole process simple.

This guide will walk you through using Migration Assistant to move your data from your old Windows or Mac computer to your new Mac.

In order to proceed, both of your devices need to be connected to the same network.

Make sure both of your devices can access the Internet, and neither is connected to any 'guest' Wi-Fi network created by your home router.

There are 2 main Operating Systems for personal computers currently available, Windows and macOS.

Windows
Windows runs on computers produced by multiple companies, such as Lenovo, Asus, Dell, Toshiba, Hewlett Packard, Acer, and Sony.Windows 10
macOS
Apple is the only company that makes macOS computers.macOS Mojave

This guide will be taking you back and forth between your old and new Mac. Pay special attention to the heading for the step you are working on to avoid potential problems.

On Your New Mac

Save and close any documents or data you are working with. The Migration Assistant must be run by itself.

  1. Select Finder from your Dock.
    Finder.
  2. Select Go > Utilities.
    Finder Go Menu with Go and Utilities highlighted.
  3. Select Migration Assistant.
    Migration Assistant.
  4. Migration Assistant will remind you that it will quit your other apps. Select Continue.
    Migration Assistant welcome screen with Continue highlighted.
  5. Migration Assistant makes major changes to your Mac, so it requires authorization to continue. Enter your new Mac's username and password, then select OK.
    Migration Assistant changes password prompt with Username, Password, and OK highlighted.
  6. This is your new computer, you are transferring your information from your old Windows computer. Select the second option, From a Windows PC, then select Continue.
    Migration Assistant welcome screen with From a Windows PC and Continue highlighted.

On Your Old Windows Computer

  1. Open the browser you prefer on your old computer, for example Microsoft Edge or Internet Explorer.
    Microsoft Edge.
  2. Type http://www.apple.com/migrate-to-mac in the address bar at the top, then push enter on your keyboard.
  3. Select Download to download the Migration Assistant.
    Migration Assistant for Windows Download Page with Download button highlighted.
  4. If you are using Edge or Internet Explorer, you can simply select Run. For other browsers, download then run the program.
    Edge Download dialog with Run highlighted.
  5. Once the Migration Assistant welcome screen opens, select Next.
    Migration Assistant welcome screen with Next highlighted.
  6. Read carefully, then accept the license agreement. Then select Install.
    Migration Assistant EULA with accept and Install highlighted.
  7. Windows will ask if the downloader program is allowed to run, select Yes.
    User Account Control prompt for downloader with Yes highlighted.
  8. Windows will ask if the Migration Assistant installer may run, select Yes.
    User Account Control prompt for Migration Assistant Installer with Yes highlighted.
  9. Select Finish.
    Installer complete with Finish highlighted.
  10. Windows will ask if Migration Assistant may run, select Yes.
    User Account Control prompt for Migration Assistant with Yes highlighted.
  11. Select Continue.
    Migration Assistant Welcome screen with Continue highlighted.
  12. You may be prompted that Windows Updates are configured to install automatically. Select Continue.
    Migration Assistant Windows Updates prompt with Continue highlighted.
  13. Migration Assistant will now make your Windows computer visible to your new Mac.
    Migration Assistant visible and waiting.

On Your New Mac

  1. Select your Windows computer in Migration Assistant, then select Continue.
    Migration assistant with Windows computer and Continue highlighted.
  2. A code will be displayed to authorize this migration. Make note of this number.
    Migration Assistant with Verification code highlighted.

On Your Old Windows Computer

  1. Make sure the same number is displayed as on your new computer. Select Continue.
    Migration Assistant with verification code and Continue highlighted.

On Your New Mac

  1. You'll be asked to select the users and files on your old computer that you want to transfer to your new Mac. Select the items you want copied, then select Continue.
    Migration Assistant select Info prompt with data selections and Continue highlighted.
  2. If you have the same username on both computers, you'll be asked to give a new username. Enter a new username, then select Continue.
    Username conflict prompt with username and continue highlighted.
  3. Your files will copy over to your new Mac, and you'll see an estimate of how long the process will take.
    Migration Assistant copying files.

On Your Old Windows Computer

  1. You'll see the same progress bar on your old computer as files are copied.
    Migration Assistant copying files.
  2. Once complete, select Quit.
    Migration Complete with Quit highlighted.

Nothing has been removed from your old Windows computer, only copied. You are free to continue using your old computer for as long as you like, with all your data still in-place, just as it was.

On Your New Mac

  1. When the transfer is done, you'll get a message letting you know the migration is complete. Select Quit.
    Migration complete with Quit highlighted.

You will be prompted to log into your Mac. Select one of the new users you just migrated, and the files, you're used to will be in place and ready!

This guide will be taking you back and forth between your old and new Mac. Pay special attention to the heading for the step you are working on to avoid potential problems.

On Your New Mac

Save and close any documents or data you are working with. The Migration Assistant must be run by itself.

  1. Select Finder from your Dock.
    Finder.
  2. Select Go > Utilities.
    Finder Go Menu with Go and Utilities highlighted.
  3. Select Migration Assistant.
    Migration Assistant.
  4. Migration Assistant will remind you that it will quit your other apps. Select Continue.
    Migration Assistant welcome screen with Continue highlighted.
  5. Migration Assistant makes major changes to your Mac, so it requires authorization to continue. Enter your new Mac's username and password, then select OK.
    Migration Assistant changes password prompt with Username, Password, and OK highlighted.
  6. This is your new computer, you are transferring your information from your old Mac. Select the first option, From a Mac, Time Machine backup, or startup disk, then select Continue.
    Migration Assistant with From a Mac and Continue highlighted.

On Your Old Mac

Save and close any documents or data you are working with. The Migration Assistant must be run by itself.

  1. Select Finder from your Dock.
    Finder.
  2. Select Go > Utilities.
    Finder Go Menu with Go and Utilities highlighted.
  3. Select Migration Assistant.
    Migration Assistant.
  4. Migration Assistant will remind you that it will quit your other apps. Select Continue.
    Migration Assistant welcome screen with Continue highlighted.
  5. Select To another Mac, then select Continue.
    Migration Assistant with To another Mac and Continue highlighted.
  6. Your old Mac will become "Discoverable", and state the name it's using on the screen.
    Migration Assistant with Discoverable screen.

On Your New Mac

  1. Migration Assistant will locate your old machine. Select it, then select Continue.
    Migration Assistant with old computer and Continue highlighted.
  2. A random code will be displayed. Take special note of this code, and make sure it matches what is shown on your old computer.
    Migration Assistant Code verification screen.

On Your Old Mac

  1. Look on the screen, it should display the exact same number, for verification. Then, select Continue.
    Migration Assistant verification number and continue highlighted.
  2. Your old Mac will connect to your new Mac, and allow your new Mac to choose what files and settings to transfer.
    Migration Assistant transfer started.

On Your New Mac

  1. Select the items you'd like to transfer from your old computer to your new computer. In most cases, you'll want to check all items. Then select Continue.
    Migration Assistant Select Info to Transfer prompt with choices box and continue highlighted.
  2. When you migrate a user account, you must set a new password for each account. Select Set Password.
    Migration Assistant set password for new users dialog with Set Password highlighted.
  3. Enter and confirm the password, then select Set Password.
    Set password dialog with password entry and Set Password button highlighted.
  4. Once you've assigned a password for each account you're importing, select Continue.
    Migration Assistant with passwords set and continue button highlighted.
  5. If you're using the same username already on your new Mac, you'll be given an option to copy the account from your old computer by renaming it. Give it a new name, then select Continue.
    User already exists prompt with username fields and Continue button highlighted.
  6. You'll be asked to authorize this transfer. Select the Authorize button next to one of the usernames already on your new Mac, then enter the password.
    Authorization dialog with Authorize button highlighted.
  7. Your Mac will begin copying files, settings, and data from your old Mac to your new Mac. A time estimate will show at the bottom during the transfer.
    Transfer in progress dialog.

On Your Old Mac

  1. Your old Mac will show a similar screen as files are copied over.
    Transferring your Information to new Mac.
  2. When the transfer is done, you'll get a message letting you know the migration is complete. Select Quit.
    Migration Complete with Quit highlighted.

Nothing has been removed from your old Mac, only copied. You are free to continue using your old Mac for as long as you like, with all your data still in-place, just as it was.

On Your New Mac

  1. When the transfer is done, you'll get a message letting you know the migration is complete. Select Quit.
    Migration complete with Quit highlighted.

You will be prompted to log into your Mac. Select one of the new users you just migrated, and the files, programs, and settings you're used to will be in place and ready!

On your new computer, make sure you can browse web pages, and make sure you recognize the Wi-Fi network you are connected to.

If you are not sure about the Wi-Fi network, choose "no" below for help checking.

On your old computer, make sure you can browse web pages, and make sure you recognize the Wi-Fi network you are connected to.

If you are not sure about the Wi-Fi network, choose "no" below for help checking.

There are 2 main Operating Systems for personal computers currently available, Windows and macOS.

Windows
Windows runs on computers produced by multiple companies, such as Lenovo, Asus, Dell, Toshiba, Hewlett Packard, Acer, and Sony.Windows 10
macOS
Apple is the only company that makes macOS computers.macOS Mojave
  1. Click on the Notifications icon and then click on Network.
    notification center open with notifications icon and network highlighted
  2. Click the network you wish to connect to.
    available networks with an example network selected
  3. Choose if you wish to automatically connect to your network, and then click on Connect.
    selected network listed with connect automatically box and the connect button highlighted
  4. Enter in your security key and click Next.
    Security key field with next highlighted
  5. Choose whether or not you want to be visible to the network.
    Do you want your computer to be discoverable with yes and no boxes highlighted

    It is recommended to allow your PC to be discovered on private home networks because that allows you to see other wireless devices on the Network. If you're at a public location it is suggested to select "No".

  6. You can verify your connection by checking to see if it now says "Connected" next to the network.
    Notification showing you are now connected to Wi-Fi
  1. Click the Wi-Fi icon in the menu bar. By default, it will be in the upper right corner near the time and date.
    Wi-Fi symbols.
  2. If Wi-Fi is off, choose Turn Wi-Fi on.
    macOS Wi-Fi menu with Wi-Fi On highlighted.
  3. The strength of each nearby network is shown next to its name. More darkened bars indicate a stronger network connection.
    Wi-Fi menu with signal strength indicator highlighted.

  4. Select the Wireless Network Name (SSID) of the network you want to connect to.
    Wi-Fi menu with networks highlighted.
  5. Networks that have a lock icon next to their name require a password. After you select your network, enter the network password when you're prompted. If you don't know the network password, check with the owner of the Wi-Fi network you're trying to join.
  1. Click the Wi-Fi icon in the menu bar. By default, it will be in the upper right corner near the time and date.
    Wi-Fi symbols.
  2. If Wi-Fi is off, choose Turn Wi-Fi on.
    macOS Wi-Fi menu with Wi-Fi On highlighted.
  3. The strength of each nearby network is shown next to its name. More darkened bars indicate a stronger network connection.
    Wi-Fi menu with signal strength indicator highlighted.

  4. Select the Wireless Network Name (SSID) of the network you want to connect to.
    Wi-Fi menu with networks highlighted.
  5. Networks that have a lock icon next to their name require a password. After you select your network, enter the network password when you're prompted. If you don't know the network password, check with the owner of the Wi-Fi network you're trying to join.
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