Transfer from PC to Mac with Migration Assistant

Use Migration Assistant to transfer your contacts, calendars, email accounts and more from your Windows PC to the appropriate places on your Mac.

Do you need these steps?

The steps in this article describe how to transfer content from a Windows PC to a Mac over Wi-Fi or Ethernet. It’s also possible to transfer content from another Macfrom a Time Machine backup of a Mac or from an iPhone.


Prepare the software on your Mac

Install the latest macOS updates for your Mac, then find out which macOS your Mac is using.

If you’ve installed antivirus software, firewall software or VPN software, turn off that software until you’ve finished transferring content to your Mac.


Prepare the software on your PC

Install the latest Microsoft Windows updates for your PC, then download and install the appropriate Migration Assistant on your PC:

If you’ve installed antivirus software, firewall software or VPN software, turn off that software until you’ve finished transferring content to your Mac.


Connect your Mac and PC

Connect your Mac and PC to the same network, such as your home Wi-Fi network.

Or connect an Ethernet cable between your Mac and PC to create a direct network connection. You may need an Ethernet adapter, such as the Belkin USB-C to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter or the Apple Thunderbolt to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter.


Use Migration Assistant

You’re now ready to transfer content from your PC to your Mac. Migration Assistant will copy but not delete files from your PC. The “On your PC” images below are from the current version of Windows Migration Assistant, but they are similar to earlier versions.

On your PC

  1. Open Migration Assistant. If any other programs are open, you'll be asked to quit them before continuing.
  2. Click Continue.
    The first Migration Assistant Window on PC
  3. If Migration Assistant detects any of these conditions, it will warn you about them before you can continue:
    • Your PC is configured to install Windows updates automatically. 
    • Your PC is using a network firewall that may prevent your Mac from connecting to your PC. 
    • Your PC is running on battery power. 
  4. When asked for permission to send app usage data to Apple, click Automatically Send or Don't Send.
  5. When Migration Assistant begins searching for your Mac and waiting for it to connect, complete the next steps on your Mac.
    Looking for Mac...

On your Mac

  1. Open Migration Assistant, which is in the Utilities folder of your Applications folder.
  2. Follow the onscreen instructions until you're asked how you want to transfer your information. Select the option to transfer from a Windows PC, then click Continue.
    Migration Assistant transfer from Windows PC
  3. Select the icon representing your PC, then click Continue.
    Migration Assistant transfer to this Mac

On your PC

Make sure your PC and Mac show the same passcode, then click Continue.

Verify Passcode window, showing a 6-digit passcode 

On your Mac

  1. Migration Assistant will now catalogue the content on your PC, and calculate how much storage space is being used by each category of files. This can take a few minutes. When ready, select the information to transfer. You may need to scroll down to see the complete list. Find out more about what data is moved, and where.
    Migration Assistant: Select the (PC) information to transfer
  2. Click Continue to start the transfer. Large transfers may need hours to complete, and may seem to pause occasionally. You may want to start in the evening and allow migration to complete overnight. Click Continue to start the transfer. 
  3. After the migration process has finished, close Migration Assistant on both computers, then log in to the migrated account on your Mac to see its files. The account uses the same name and password as the account on your PC.
  4. Authorise your Mac for iTunes Store purchases. It's important to do this before you sync or play content downloaded from the iTunes Store.

If you need to transfer data from another Windows user account, log in to that account on your PC, then repeat the steps in this article.

What data is moved, and where?

  • Moved to the Mail app on Mac: Emails and email settings from Outlook and Windows Mail.
  • Moved to the Contacts app: Contacts from People (Windows 10 or later), Outlook and the Contacts folder in your home directory.
  • Moved to the Calendar app: Appointments from Calendar (Windows 10 or later) and Outlook.
  • Moved to the Reminders app: Tasks from Outlook. Requires migrating to a Mac with macOS Ventura. 
  • Moved to the Music app, Podcasts app, Books app and TV app, respectively: music, podcasts, audiobooks and films/TV programmes.
  • Moved to Safari: Homepage and bookmarks from Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari.
  • Moved to System Settings or System Preferences: Custom desktop pictures, language settings and location settings. If the Mac is using macOS Ventura, known Wi-Fi networks are also moved.
  • Moved to your home folder: Documents and other files from your home directory. And photos, which you can add to the Photos app manually, or let Photos search your Mac for photos to import.
  • Moved to the Shared folder of your home folder: Non-system files and documents from the system disk (typically, the C drive) and other available disks. Requires using Migration Assistant while logged in to your PC as an administrator.

If the transfer isn’t successful

If you’ve installed antivirus software, firewall software or VPN software on your Mac or PC, turn off that software before using Migration Assistant.

You can also use the check disk (chkdsk) utility on your PC to check for issues that may prevent successful migration of your data:

  1. Right-click the Start button, then click Run.
  2. Type cmd and press Enter. Command Prompt opens.
  3. At the prompt, type chkdsk and press Enter.
  4. If the utility finds problems, type chkdsk drive: /F, where drive is the letter representing your Windows startup disk, such as C.
  5. Press Enter.
  6. At the prompt, type Y, then restart your PC.
  7. Repeat this process until the check disk utility is not reporting any issues. If the utility can't fix every issue that it found, you may need to have your PC serviced. 

Or use an external storage device or file sharing to copy important data from your PC to your Mac.


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