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Switch Basics: Migrate your Windows files to your Mac

You don't have to start your Mac life from scratch. You can transfer over many of your PC files and use them just like you have before.

migration image

You can easily move your Windows files to your new Mac and use them with Mac applications. Macs can open many different kinds of files from your PC, as long as you have appropriate software installed that can interpret them.

For example, you can move all of your Microsoft Office documents to your Mac if you have Microsoft Office for Mac OS X installed. Office functions almost exactly the same on a Mac as it does on a PC. Also, iWork applications (Pages, Numbers, and Keynote) can use and export many Microsoft Office file types. 

Audio files (AIFF, MP3, WAV) open in iTunes or QuickTime Player. Image files (JPEG, PDF, TIFF, GIF, RAW, and the like) can be opened with iPhoto and Preview. QuickTime Player can be used to watch many types of movie files.

If you're unsure if there's a Mac version of your favorite Windows app or an app that opens certain types of files, check out Apple Downloads, the Mac App Store or your local Apple Store or Mac retailer.

Use Migration Assistant

When you're ready to move your PC files to your Mac, Migration Assistant helps you easily transfer them. You can transfer your whole Windows user account—including your pictures, music, and files.

When you log in to your transferred user account, you'll find your information just where you'd expect it to be:

  • Your contacts are in Contacts.
  • Your web browser's bookmarks, favorites, and homepage are set up in Safari.
  • Your calendar accounts, which include your meetings and events, are set up in Calendar.
  • Your email accounts, which include your email messages and attachments, are set up in Mail.
  • Your custom desktop picture from your PC is set as your desktop picture (unless it is a trademarked Microsoft picture).
  • Your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch apps you bought in iTunes on your PC are in iTunes on your Mac. If your music was in iTunes on your PC, your music is also on iTunes on your Mac.
  • Your files from My Documents (Documents), My Videos (Videos), My Music (Music), or My Pictures (Pictures) folders are in the Documents, Movies, Music, or Pictures folders in Finder.
  • Your files from the PC's desktop are now on your Mac's desktop.

Transfer information from your PC over your wired or wireless network

To move files using Migration Assistant to your Mac from your PC, use these steps.

  1. On your PC, Download Windows Migration Assistant , then open it.
  2. Make sure both computers are turned on and connected to your wired or wireless network. If needed, you can use a single ethernet cable to create a simple network between the two computers.
  3. Click Continue on the PC.
  4. On your Mac, open Migration Assistant by clicking Launchpad in the Dock, and typing Migration Assistant in the search field.
  5. When you're asked how you want to transfer your information, choose  "From another Mac, PC, Time Machine backup, or other disk".
  6. Click Continue on your Mac.
  7. When prompted, enter your name and password.
  8. Click Continue to quit other applications. Other applications can't be open on your Mac during the transfer.
  9. Select "From another Mac or PC".
  10. Click Continue.
  11. Once your PC appears in the Migration Assistant window of your Mac, click Continue.
  12. On your PC you should see the passcode that was displayed on the Mac. Click Continue.
  13. On your Mac, select the information you want to transfer to your Mac, then click Continue.

If you transferred a user account from your Windows PC to your Mac, you can log into the account on your Mac. Note: When you first log into this account on your Mac, OS X prompts you to enter a new password for any user accounts that were migrated.

Manually migrating

If you prefer to move your files one by one between a Mac and a PC, consider the following options. Some are easier than others, and some require more computer experience, equipment, or resources.

Generally, you can migrate your files to the Mac by:

  • Copying the files from your PC onto external or removable storage media and then use that media in your Mac to transfer the files to your hard drive.
  • Sending files over the Internet. If you have an email account, just send the files to yourself from the PC and then pick the mail up on your Mac and save the attached files to your Mac hard drive. You may want to compress larger groups of files first.
  • Connecting the Mac and PC together through a network to use file sharing to move the files.

Tip: If you're moving files over manually, you'll save yourself some time down the road if you organize your files during the process from the get-go. For example:

  • Move your PC My Pictures photos to your Mac’s Home folder Pictures folder
  • Move your PC My Music song files to the Music folder on your Mac
  • Move your PC My Videos files to the Movies folder on your Mac
  • Move PC text and PDF files to your Mac Documents folder
  • Export PC contacts to vCards, and import them into your Mac Contacts

Use external or removable media

If both your Mac and PC have a CD or DVD drive, or a USB port:

  • Copy the files from the PC to an external hard drive or storage device, then reconnect the drive to your Mac and transfer the files to your Mac hard drive.
  • Burn files to a CD or DVD on your PC, and then use the discs in your Mac to transfer the files to your Mac hard drive.
  • If you don't have many files, transfer them over email, create zip files for larger groups of files. Mail your files from the PC to yourself, and then pick them up using Mail on the Mac.

Use a network connection

Connect your old PC to your Mac—either directly or over a network. Before you start moving files over, you should install any Mac software that is needed to open the files. Once you're done, use one of the following migration methods:

To move files by connecting your Mac directly to your PC (if both have an Ethernet port):

  1. Connect your Mac to your PC using a standard Ethernet cable.
  2. Make sure that both computers are turned on.
  3. In the Finder on your Mac, choose Connect to Server from the Go menu to open the window.
  4. Type your PC's network address in the Server Address text box using one of these formats:
    • smb://DNSname/ShareName
    • smb://IPaddress/ShareName
  5. Click Connect.
  6. Follow the onscreen instructions to enter your PC's workgroup name, user name, password, and the volume or folder you wish to access.
  7. Your PC volume should appear in the Shared section of your Finder window on your Mac.
  8. Open the volume and drag and drop files directly from it to anywhere on your Mac.
  9. When finished, click the eject button to right of your PC volume to unmount it.

To move files by connecting your Mac to your PC on the same network:

  1. Make sure that both computers are turned on and connected to the Internet.
  2. In the Finder on your Mac, choose Connect to Server from the Go menu to open the window.
  3. Type your PC's network address in the Server Address text box using this format: smb://ServerName/ShareName, or select the name of your PC in this window (if it appears).
  4. Click Connect.
  5. Enter your PC's workgroup name, your user name, and your password when prompted, then select the volume or folder you wish to access.
  6. Your PC volume should appear in the Shared section of your Finder window on your Mac.
  7. Open the volume and drag and drop files directly from it to anywhere on your Mac.
  8. When finished, click the eject button to right of your PC volume to unmount it.

Alternative methods

  • Copy files to a shared file server.
  • Purchase PC Data Transfer service at your local Apple retail store.
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Last Modified: Aug 29, 2014
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  • Laatst gewijzigd op: Aug 29, 2014
  • Artikel: HT2518
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