How to Use the Mac Migration Assistant

Moving from an old iPhone to a new one is easy; just sign in to your iCloud account, and all of your photos, images, contacts, notes and settings will be transferred. Doing so on Mac, however, is not that straightforward. Using iCloud on a Mac can help with syncing your music, games, photos, and other data coming from Apple services, but will leave out essential items such as documents and third-party applications. Fortunately, macOS comes with the Migration Assistant, a helpful tool designed to transfer data from one Mac computer to another.  

First, to start the Migration Assistant, you can click on its icon from the Launchpad, search for it via Spotlight, or open it from the Utilities subfolder found inside the Applications folder. The Migration Assitant can be used to move data from an external disk, Time Machine backup, and even PC systems that are running Windows 7 version or later. For now, however, we are going to focus on transferring data between two Macs. 

  1. The first step of the process is to connect both computers via a USB-C cable directly or by using the same Wi-Fi network. Then, on the old Mac with all of the data, open System Preferences and go to 'Sharing.' Here you will see the name of your computer. It is required when accessing a computer from other systems on the same local network. 
  1. Moving on to the new Mac. Run the Migration Assitant utility and click on 'Continue.' Keep in mind that this will force all active applications to shut down. From the available options, choose 'From a Mac, Time Machine Backup or Startup Disk.' Click 'Continue.' From the available transferring options, choose 'To another Mac' and click 'Continue.' 
  1. At this point, you should be presented with computer systems available on the local network. Locate your old Mac device and click 'Continue.' Now, you will be presented with security codes on both systems. Make sure that the codes are identical and then click 'Continue.' 
  1. The last step is to choose which information you wish to transfer. You can do so from the window displayed on the new Mac computer. After you have made your choice, simply click on 'Continue' to initiate the process. 

Once the Migration Assistant has completed its task, log in to your account and check if all of the data is there. 

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