Mac OS X v10.6: How to use Migration Assistant to transfer files from a Time Machine backup

You can use Migration Assistant to transfer your files and settings from a Time Machine backup to your Mac.

This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.

Before migrating

  1. If you are using a portable Mac, make sure the power cable is connected.
  2. Before performing a migration, use Software Update on both Macs to ensure you have the latest updates for Mac OS X. 
  3. Perform a Time Machine back up from your current Mac. 
  4. Once the backup is complete, open Time Machine preferences in System Preferences, then slide the switch to off. 
  5. If your backup is stored on an external hard disk: Unmount the volume and disconnect it. Then, connect it to your new Mac. 

    If your backup is stored on a Time Capsule: Make sure your other Mac has a network connection to it.  Tip: For a faster migration transfer from a Time Capsule, try connecting your Mac to the Time Capsule via a wired Ethernet connection.

To migrate data from a Time Machine backup

  1. In Finder, press Command-Shift-U.
  2. Double-click Migration Assistant.
  3. Click "Continue" and enter an administrator name and password when prompted.
  4. Select the "From a Time Machine backup or other disk" option, then click "Continue".
  5. Select your Time Machine backup disk or Time Capsule (enter the user name and or password if prompted), then click "Continue".  
  6. Select the Time Machine backup you would like to restore (such the most current one you just made), then click "Continue".
  7. Select Items to Migrate, then click "Continue".  Note: The "Continue" button will be dimmed until the "Calculating…" stage is complete.

    • A user account sheet may appear if you have a user name on your Mac that is the same user name in your Time Machine backup.  You will have to give the username in your Time Machine backup a new username to avoid conflicts.  Note: This will create a new user account on your Mac to hold the data from the Time Machine backup. After migration, you can use the /Users/Shared folder to transfer data files the accounts.
  8. Migration Assistant will begin the process of transferring the items you selected to migrate. When it is finished, click "Quit" to exit.
Published Date: Wed Mar 26 19:37:31 GMT 2014