How to Move Old Mac’s Data to Your New MacBook Pro

How to Move Old Mac Data to Your New MacBook Pro

Planning on buying the new MacBook Pro? There will be a lot to like about this new laptop, promoted as being the thinnest and lightest ever made. It’s got a Retina display with multi-touch and more, able to respond to gestures and taps.

What about that old computer? Granted, you will have to transfer the data to your new MacBook Pro when you buy it. Luckily this process is easier than it used to be.

How to Move Old Mac’s Data to Your New MacBook Pro:

Step#1: What to do first

It’s easier, but there are still steps you have to do first.

You will need to update your software if your old Mac is running OS X 7 (Snow Leopard) or older. The migration won’t work if you have an older computer.

You will also have to name your old Mac. If you have not yet, open System Preferences, go to Sharing and enter a name in the Computer Name field.

This will take time to do, so make sure both computers are connected to a power source. You don’t want to run out of power in the middle of migrating your data. You will also want to make sure you have a Thunderbolt, Ethernet or FireWire cable ready as this is the fastest way to get the process to work. If you don’t have one, you can use a WiFi connection. Just keep in mind it won’t be as fast.

Step#2: Time to migrate your data

Got everything ready? Then let’s move some data.

Connect your computers to each other using a cable, by connecting both to the same Ethernet network or the same WiFi network. If you are using a cable, how you start your old Mac will differ depending on which cable. If you use a Thunderbolt cable and your old Mac has OS X Mountain Lion v10.8 or earlier, make sure to start your old Mac up in target disk mode. The same goes if you are using a FireWire cable. Otherwise just start it up like you usually would.

Go to your new Mac and open Migration Assistant, which you can find in your applications folder’s Utilities folder. Click Continue and, when asked how to migrate your information, choose transfer from a Mac, Time Machine backup or startup disk. (In this case you will want to choose “transfer from a Mac.) Next click continue.

Now focus on your old Mac. Open a Finder window, click on Applications in the sidebar and double click on the Utilities folder. Double-click on Migration Assistant, click Continue and type your administrator password if your computer asks for it. Next click OK and, when asked how you want to transfer information, click To a New Mac and click Continue.

Return to your new Mac and choose your old Mac on Migration Assistant. (If you are using a time Machine backup, choose Time Machine hard drive instead.) When you click Continue you will see a security code on the screen. Make sure the same code is on both your old and new Macs and click Continue.

You’re almost there. Go back to your new Mac and choose files, settings, apps, and other information that you want to transfer to your new MacBook Pro. Next click Continue.

The process will take a bit of time to finish, so sit back and wait or go watch a show or grab a cup of coffee. Once your migration is complete, your new Mac should have the same data and settings as your old one.

Step#3: A note on Time Machine backups

When migrating data from a Time Machine backup, your new Mac will ask you to enter your password for the backup or time Capsule. The next step will be choosing from which backup you want to transfer data. Select what information you want to migrate and click Continue.

If you plan to sell your old Mac after transferring information, make sure to sign out of iTunes, iCloud and iMessage.

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