Transfer information to your Mac from another computer or device

If you didn’t transfer the information to your Mac when you first set it up, use Migration Assistant available in OS X 10.6.8 (or later) to transfer your information at any time.

You can transfer your user account – with all your photos, songs and files – from a Mac or PC. You can also transfer information from a disk or from a Time Machine backup. For best transfer results, please update to the latest version of macOS before transferring information.

Transfer information to Mac from another Mac

Before transferring information from a Mac, connect the two computers with a cable (Ethernet, FireWire, or Thunderbolt) or make sure they are connected to the same physical or wireless network.

  1. In the Migration Assistant app on your Mac, click Continue, and then follow the onscreen instructions to transfer information from a Mac.
  2. Open Migration Assistant on the other Mac and follow the onscreen instructions to transfer information to a Mac.
  3. Select what you want to transfer.
    1. Apps: Select the Applications option.
      Incompatible apps or apps with newer versions already installed cannot be transferred or cannot be used.
    2. User account: Select the box next to the name of each user account you want to transfer.
      Click the disclosure triangle next to the box to select the specific information you want to transfer, such as apps, documents, pictures, movies, the user’s desktop, Downloads folder, and more.
    3. App files and documents: Select the option “Other files and folders.”
    4. Computer settings: Select the option “Computer and network settings”.
      Your desktop image, network settings, and other items will be transferred.
      You can also click the disclosure triangle next to the box to select which computer or network settings to transfer.
  4. To start the transfer, click Continue.

Transfer information from a PC

You can transfer information over a wired or wireless network, as long as the computers are connected to the same network.

  1. Close all other apps on your PC, open Windows Migration Assistant, and then follow the instructions on the screen.
    If you don’t have the Windows Migration Assistant, download it from Apple’s website.
    -Download the Windows Migration Assistant (Mojave)
    -Download the Windows Migration Assistant (Sierra)
    -Download the Windows Migration Assistant (Lion-El Capitan)
  2. Select what you want to transfer.
    1. User account: To transfer all user accounts, select the Users check box. To transfer an account to a specific user, click the disclosure triangle next to Users, and then select the option next to the user’s name. If you want to transfer only specific content to a specific user, click the disclosure triangle next to the username, and then select the information you want to transfer. You can select email settings (POP and IMAP accounts), downloads, documents, desktop, music, movies, and user images.
      Click the disclosure triangle next to a username to select the information you want to transfer, such as pictures, movies, music, desktop, documents, downloads, email (from POP and IMAP accounts) and user settings, among other things. Note: If you are transferring from Windows, these items are only transferred for the user who is signed in: email from a POP account in Microsoft Outlook and Contacts from Microsoft Outlook.
    2. Computer settings: Select the Settings option (on a user account). Your desktop image, your selected language and location are transferred. Network settings and passwords are not transferred.
    3. Additional shared files, other files and documents, etc .: Select the option “Other files.” Click the disclosure triangle next to the box to select the information to transfer.
  3. To start the transfer, click Continue.

Transfer information from a Time Machine backup or from another storage device

You can transfer your information from another disk on your Mac, from a disk connected to your Mac, from a disk on the same network, or from another Mac with OS X 10.8 or earlier connected to your Mac using a Thunderbolt cable.

If you’re using a Thunderbolt cable, connect the cable to computers, hold down the T key while the Mac containing the information you want to transfer restarts, and follow the steps below from the Mac to which you want to transfer the information.

  1. In the Migration Assistant app on your Mac, click Continue, and then follow the onscreen instructions to transfer information from a Time Machine backup or another disk.
  2. Select what you want to transfer.
    1. Apps: Select the Applications option.
      Incompatible apps or apps with newer versions already installed cannot be transferred or cannot be used.
    2. User account: Select the box next to the name of each user account you want to transfer.
      Click the disclosure triangle next to the box to select the specific information you want to transfer, such as apps, documents, pictures, movies, the user’s desktop, Downloads folder, and more.
    3. App files and documents: Select the option “Other files and folders.”
    4. Computer settings: Select the option “Computer and network settings”.
      Your desktop image, network settings, and other items will be transferred.
  3. To start the transfer, click Continue.