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OS X Mountain Lion: Transfer your info from a computer or disk

Transfer your info from a computer or disk

If you didn’t transfer your information to your Mac when you first set it up, you can use Migration Assistant to transfer your information at any time.

Using Migration Assistant, you can transfer your user account—including all your pictures, music, and files—from a Mac or PC. You can also transfer information from a disk or a Time Machine backup.

To revert to a previous version of OS X, use Time Machine. For more information, see this help topic:

Revert to a previous OS X version

Transfer info from a Mac

You can transfer information using a FireWire, Thunderbolt, or Ethernet cable that’s connected to the two computers, or over a wired or wireless network.

To use a FireWire or Thunderbolt cable:
Follow the steps in this help topic to transfer information from a Time Machine backup or other disk.
To use an Ethernet cable:
Connect the cable to the two computers.
To use a wired or wireless network:
Make sure your computers are connected to the same network.
  1. Open Migration Assistant.
  2. Select “From a Mac, PC, Time Machine backup, or other disk.”
  3. Select “From a Mac or PC,” and then follow the onscreen instructions.
  4. In the “Select Items to Migrate” pane, select what you want to transfer.
    • To transfer user accounts, which include all of the user’s pictures, movies, music, documents, downloads, email messages, contacts, and calendars, select the checkbox next to the user’s name.

    • To transfer your apps, select the Applications checkbox.

      Any apps that are incompatible with the Mac you’re transferring information to, or that have newer versions installed on the Mac, may not be transferred or may not be usable.

    • To transfer your computer settings (for example, your desktop picture and screen saver settings), select the Computer checkbox (in Settings).

  5. Click Continue to begin the transfer.

Transfer info from a PC

You can transfer information over a wired or wireless network. Make sure your computers are connected to the same network.

  1. Open Migration Assistant on your PC, and then follow the onscreen instructions.

    If you don’t have Migration Assistant, you can download it from the Apple website.

    Windows Migration Assistant

  2. After you verify that the same passcode is displayed on both computers, on your Mac select the information you want to transfer.

    To transfer user accounts, which include all of the user’s pictures, movies, music, documents, downloads, email messages (from POP and IMAP accounts), contacts, calendars, purchased iPhone or iPod apps, bookmarked websites, and settings, select the checkbox next to the user’s name.

    • The user’s desktop picture, language, and location are transferred when you select the Settings checkbox (in a user account). Network settings and passwords aren’t transferred.

    • If you have POP email accounts, Migration Assistant can transfer email messages from Microsoft Outlook Express and Outlook on Windows XP, Outlook on Windows Vista, and Outlook and Windows Live Mail on Windows 7 only from the logged-in user.

    • Migration Assistant can transfer contacts from Microsoft Outlook on Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7 only from the logged-in user.

  3. Click Continue to begin the transfer.

To learn about where your transferred information is located on your Mac, see this help topic:

Transfer your information from a PC

Transfer info to a Mac

You can transfer information using a FireWire, Thunderbolt, or Ethernet cable that’s connected to the two computers, or over a wired or wireless network.

To use a FireWire or Thunderbolt cable:
Follow the steps in this help topic to transfer information from a Time Machine backup or other disk.
To use an Ethernet cable:
Connect the cable to the two computers.
To use a wired or wireless network:
Make sure your computers are connected to the same network.
  1. Open Migration Assistant.
  2. Select “To a Mac,” and then follow the onscreen instructions.

Transfer info from a Time Machine backup or other disk

You can transfer information from another disk on your Mac, a disk connected to your Mac, a disk on the same network as your Mac, or another Mac that’s connected to your Mac using a FireWire or Thunderbolt cable.

To transfer information from another Mac using a FireWire or Thunderbolt cable, first connect the cable to the two computers, hold down the T key while restarting the Mac that contains the information you want to transfer, and then follow the steps below on your other Mac.

  1. Open Migration Assistant.
  2. Select “From a Mac, PC, Time Machine backup, or other disk.”
  3. Select “From a Time Machine backup or other disk.”
  4. Select the disk.
  5. Select the information you want to transfer.
    • To transfer user accounts, which include all of the user’s pictures, movies, music, documents, downloads, email messages, contacts, and calendars, select the checkbox next to the user’s name.

    • To transfer apps, select the Applications checkbox.

      Any apps that are incompatible with the Mac you’re transferring information to, or that have newer versions installed on the Mac, may not be transferred or may not be usable.

    • To transfer your computer settings (for example, your desktop picture and screen saver settings), select the Computer checkbox (in Settings).

    • To transfer your network settings, select the Network checkbox (in Settings).

      If you’re transferring information over a wired or wireless network, your network settings won’t be transferred.

  6. Click Continue to begin the transfer.
Last Modified: Aug 8, 2013
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