Upgrade and migrate data on your macOS Server

Learn how to upgrade your macOS Server and migrate your server data.

You can upgrade to the latest version of macOS Server from the Mac App Store. If you move to a new server, you can use Migration Assistant to copy server data and settings from your previous server. 

Before you begin

If your Mac uses macOS High Sierra or later, you can upgrade and migrate to the latest version of macOS Server. If your Mac uses an older version of macOS, learn how to upgrade your macOS Server from an earlier version.

Before you upgrade or migrate your macOS Server, follow these steps:

Upgrade your server

  1. If your Mac uses macOS High Sierra or macOS Mojave, check for any updates for macOS. If an update is available for macOS, click Update.
  2. Check for any updates to macOS Server. If an update is available, click Update, then open the Server app and finish the setup.
  3. Upgrade to the latest version of macOS Catalina.
  4. Update to the latest version of macOS Server.
  5. Open the Server app and finish the setup.

Migrate your server

You can use any one of the following sources to migrate your server data to another Mac:

  • A server connected in target disk mode
  • A local hard drive or volume
  • A Time Machine backup

You can’t use a network connection from a Time Machine backup or an existing server to migrate a macOS Server.

How to migrate your server data

  1. Install the latest version of macOS on the target system.
  2. Connect your previous server or backup device to the target system.
  3. Open Migration Assistant on the target system and follow the onscreen instructions.
  4. Select your previous server or backup device when prompted.
  5. When the migration finishes, install macOS Server.
  6. Open the macOS Server app and complete the setup.

Update your server on macOS Sierra and earlier

If your Mac uses macOS Sierra 10.12  or earlier, you have to delete the macOS Server app and your server data before you can update to the latest version. Here's how:

  1. Move the Server app and /Library/Server to the Trash, which deletes your Server data.
  2. Upgrade to the latest version of macOS and download the latest version of macOS Server.
  3. Launch the Server app and complete the setup.
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