10 Best Practices to be followed Before Migrating Mac Data

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For a person who changes his system regularly, data migration must be a frequent job for him. A person shifting from a Mac with an earlier version of OS to a new Mac running the latest version of OS X, needs to have some advanced migration mechanism. Migrating data from one system to another is as simple as copying the data from one Mac to another. However, it can be better done using the Migration Assistant feature on Mac.

Migrating Mac Data

Manual migration in any case should be avoided, as it carries the risk of data getting lost while copying. In addition, it is very time-consuming and unsafe at times. Disk cloning is a better alternative, but it is not effective if you are migrating to a system with a newer version of OS X.

It could make things more complex, in case there is a mismatch between the hardware and the drivers. However, there are instances where manual migration is considered better than other techniques. For example, while migrating applications, settings, and ensuring that there is no duplicity of the data being copied, manual method seems to be a more feasible option.

Migration Assistant is still considered the best option to migrate files from one Mac system to another. The Migration Assistant can be used to transfer information such as accounts, applications, network and settings, and files from one Mac system to another using a FireWire cable or over any wired or wireless network.


While transferring data from one machine to another, setting up a network is easy if both the machines are connected to your home network through Ethernet. You can also copy your data from one system to another by turning off the WiFi and connecting the two systems through a direct cable. Once done, you need to set the File Sharing option in one system. You can then connect to the drive of the shared computer by clicking its name and then ‘Connect As’ to log in.


Picking a new password for your new account on new Mac is never an issue. The Password could be of any level of strength and does not possess any threat till it is with you. Offline passwords are often prone to be hacked or stolen as they can be guessed. In case you have applied a lengthy password for your account, it is better to note it down in a safe place.


Creating a new keychain for your new system requires you to type all saved passwords, which is considered to be a tedious and time consuming task. However, copying your keychain from an older system is easier.

You can copy the regular login keychain or any other created keychains like ‘autolock’ keychain, system keychain, and more. The best place to keep such keychains is in the Library/Keychains folder under account on the new machine.

You can then add them in the Keychain Access using the File option. This will make the applications to find the password as and when required. In addition, you can drag the keychain’s password from one keychain to another.

Address Book, Safari, and iCal

You can synchronize Mac address book entries, Safari bookmark, and iCal events manually to a new Mac. The backup mechanism used in Address Book and iCal allows you to retain things like address book and external calendars subscription. In case of Safari, you can easily export and import bookmarks. You can export the bookmarks to a safe location, and then copy it to your new Mac and import it. However, you can always use the MobileMe feature to sync those items as well.


IMAP configured emails get downloaded automatically, once you add your account details on a new Mac. However, in case of POP you need to first archive the mailboxes under the Mailbox menu and then transfer them using the Import Mailboxes option under the File.


It is always better to install all applications before you transfer the data on a new Mac machine. This would allow all the application to load faster, as they would be placed on the outer portion of the disk. Applications that were downloaded from Mac App Store could be downloaded and reinstalled again very easily. This caters the need to migrate Mac applications to a new Mac.


Copying data is as simple as simple as dragging an old folder to a new one by connecting to the old computer over a network. However, you need to be very sure about the time from which you want to use your new system. At times, you might prefer working on your older system when your data is still there. In case you want to make any changes, you need to ensure that it would reflect in your new Mac as well.


iTunes are used generally for listening to music by many Mac users. However, you can use it to copy your data like music, videos, applications, and more using the Home Sharing option, provided the other system is on the same local network.


You can use the iPhoto feature to export photos from one system to another. However, they work slower as compared to iTunes to transfer data from one system to another.

Flash Player

Software like Adobe Flash Player is required for various purposes. There are browsers like Chrome, which comes with their own copy of flash. However, you can use the new Flash player installer to install the latest flash on your new Mac.


Vishal Gaikar

Article by Vishal

Meet Vishal Gaikar, the tech wizard hailing from Pune, India, who's on a mission to decode the digital universe one blog post at a time. When he's not tinkering with gadgets or diving deep into the digital realm, you can find him concocting the perfect cup of chai or plotting his next adventure. Follow his tech escapades on Twitter and buckle up for a wild ride through the world of innovation and geekery!

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