Move content to your new MacBook or late-2016 MacBook Pro

Learn how you can migrate your content from another computer to your MacBook (Retina, 12-inch, Early 2015) and later or your late-2016 MacBook Pro.


You can use one of these methods to move content to your new MacBook or MacBook Pro.

Over a Wi-Fi connection

The simplest way to move content from an older Mac to your new MacBook or MacBook Pro is over Wi-Fi. If you have a lot of content to migrate, it might take several hours, or even overnight. Be sure to plug in both computers.

Use these steps to migrate your content to your new MacBook or MacBook Pro over Wi-Fi:

  1. Make sure both your older Mac and your new Mac are connected to the same Wi-Fi network.
  2. If you just turned on your new Mac for the first time, follow the onscreen instructions in the Setup Assistant. If you already set up your new Mac, open Migration Assistant from the Utilities folder. 
  3. On your older Mac, open Migration Assistant from the Utilities folder. 
  4. After Migration Assistant opens on your older Mac, select the option to migrate your data "To another Mac," and click Continue. Enter an admin password if prompted.
  5. Select the system you want to migrate from, then click Continue. The Continue button is unavailable (dimmed) until you select a source.
  6. If you see a security code appear, confirm that the same security code is displayed on both Mac computers. Then click Continue on the source Mac.
  7. If you want to transfer only a portion of an account, deselect anything you don't want migrated. If there's more than one user you can migrate, click the triangle next to a user's icon and deselect anything you don't want to migrate for specific users.
  8. Click Continue, and Migration Assistant begins transferring files to your new Mac. The amount of time it takes for migration to complete depends on the amount of data being copied and the speed of the Wi-Fi connection.

After the migration is complete, sign in to a migrated account on your new Mac to see its files.

From Time Machine or other backup using USB and adapters

If you have a Time Machine backup of your older Mac, you can migrate your content by connecting the external USB drive that contains the Time Machine backup to your new MacBook or MacBook Pro. This can be a faster way to move your content. If you don't have a Time Machine backup of your original Mac, you can create one

To connect your external USB drive to your new MacBook or MacBook Pro, you need a USB-C adapter

If you're using a USB-C to USB Adapter to connect your backup drive to a MacBook, make sure that its battery is fully charged before you begin the migration. The USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter and USB-C VGA Multiport Adapter are ideal because they can charge your MacBook and connect your drive at the same time.

Use these steps to migrate content from an existing Time Machine backup stored on a USB drive:

  1. Connect your USB adapter to your new Mac. Then connect the drive with your Time Machine backup to the USB adapter.
  2. If you just turned on your new Mac for the first time, follow the onscreen instructions in the Setup Assistant. If you already set up your new Mac, open Migration Assistant from the Utilities folder.
  3. At the migration screen, select "From a Mac, Time Machine backup, or startup disk," then click Continue. If you're prompted, enter an admin name and password then click OK.
  4. Select the Time Machine backup you want to migrate from, then click Continue. The Continue button is unavailable (dimmed) until you select a source.
  5. Select the specific Time Machine backup you want to migrate from, then click Continue.
  6. If you want to transfer only a portion of an account, deselect anything you don't want migrated. If there's more than one user on your original Mac, click the triangle next to a user's icon and deselect anything you don't want to migrate for specific users.
  7. Click Continue, and Migration Assistant begins transferring files to your new Mac. The amount of time it takes for migration to complete depends on the amount of data being copied and the speed of your backup drive.

After the migration is complete, sign in to a migrated account on your new Mac to see its files.

Over Ethernet with an adapter

To migrate content between your new MacBook or MacBook Pro and an older Mac over Ethernet, you need a USB-C to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter and—if your older Mac doesn't have an Ethernet port—a Thunderbolt to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter.

If you're connecting to a MacBook, make sure its battery is fully charged before you begin.

After you have the adapters you need, use these steps to migrate content over Ethernet:

  1. Connect the USB-C to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter to your new Mac.
  2. Connect an Ethernet cable to the USB-C to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter on your new Mac. Connect the other end of the cable to the Ethernet port or Thunderbolt to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter on your older Mac.
  3. If you just turned on your new Mac for the first time, follow the onscreen instructions in the Setup Assistant. If you already set up your new Mac, open Migration Assistant from the Utilities folder.
  4. When the migration screen appears on your new Mac, click Continue. If you're prompted, enter an admin name and password then click OK.
  5. On your older Mac, open Migration Assistant from the Utilities folder. 
  6. After Migration Assistant opens on your older Mac, select the option to migrate your data "To another Mac", and click Continue. Enter an admin password when prompted.
  7. Select the system you want to migrate from, then click Continue. The Continue button is unavailable (dimmed) until you select a source.
  8. If you see a security code appear, confirm that the same security code is displayed on both Mac computers. Then click Continue on the source Mac.
  9. If you want to transfer only a portion of an account, deselect anything you don't want migrated. If there's more than one user you can migrate, click the triangle next to a user's icon and deselect anything you don't want to migrate for specific users.
  10. Click Continue, and Migration Assistant begins transferring files to your new Mac. The amount of time that it takes for migration to complete depends on the amount of data being copied and the speed of the connection.

After the migration is complete, sign in to a migrated account on your new Mac to see its files.

Using a USB-C to USB-C cable

You can move data between two MacBook or MacBook Pro computers equipped with USB-C using a USB-C to USB-C cable.

Not every USB-C to USB-C cable has full data transfer capabilities and supports this process. Use a cable like the Belkin 3.1 USB-C to USB-C Cable for these steps. If you're connecting to a MacBook, make sure its battery is fully charged before you begin.

Use these steps to migrate over a USB-C to USB-C cable:

  1. Start up your older Mac (the one that has your data) in target disk mode.
  2. Connect the USB-C to USB-C cable to both computers.
  3. Start up your new Mac. If you're turning it on for the first time, follow the onscreen instructions in the Setup Assistant until you see the "Transfer information to this Mac" screen. If you already set up your new Mac, verify that the older Mac appears as a drive on the desktop of your new Mac, and then open Migration Assistant from the Utilities folder. Click Continue.
  4. Select the option to transfer from a Mac, Time Machine backup, or startup disk. Click Continue.
  5. A warning message suggests that you connect AC power. Click Continue.
  6. The next screen is titled Transfer Information to this Mac. Click Continue.
  7. Select the categories of content you want to transfer. Click Continue. Then click Agree on the next two Terms and Conditions screens to start the transfer. Depending on how much content you have, the process might take several hours.

    If you transfer an account that has the same name as an account on your new Mac, you're asked to rename the old account or replace the account on your new Mac. If you rename, the old account appears as a separate user on your new Mac, with a separate home folder and login. If you replace, the old account overwrites the account on your new Mac, including everything in its home folder.

  8. When the transfer is complete, a Migration Complete screen appears. Click Quit.
  9. Exit target disk mode on your older MacBook by holding down the power button until the computer shuts down. Then disconnect the USB-C cable from both computers.

After the migration is complete, sign in to a migrated account on your new Mac to see its files.

Migrate from a Windows PC

You can also move content to your MacBook or MacBook Pro from a Windows computer (Windows XP SP2 or later) using either Wi-Fi or Ethernet. For Ethernet migration, you need the same cables and adapters described above for your MacBook. Learn how to migrate content from a Windows PC

Learn more

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