2013 iMac to 2015 iMac Thunderbolt Migration Assistant

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by StephenCampbell, Nov 24, 2015.

  1. StephenCampbell macrumors 65816

    Sep 21, 2009
    I just picked up my 2015 iMac 5K, and am planning to Migration Assistant my 2.5TB of stuff from my 2013 iMac to the new one, during the initial setup process, via Thunderbolt.

    Is there anything I should know before I go into it? Should I have Wi-Fi disabled in case it tries to migrate over Wi-Fi?

    How long should I expect 2.5TB to take over Thunderbolt? I know that the Migration Assistant process takes a little longer than just copying bulk data, but is it able to get close to the standard data transfer speed of Thunderbolt? And what is that? Is the Thunderbolt on the 2013 machine the same speed as the one on the 2015 machine?

  2. chscag macrumors 68030


    Feb 17, 2008
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Easiest way to migrate the 2013 iMac to your new 2015 iMac 5K: Make a full Time Machine backup of the 2013 machine. Do not create an account on the new 2015 iMac when you turn it on for the first time; instead, it will ask you if you wish to migrate data from another Mac. Select yes and attach your Time Machine external drive to the new iMac. The automatic migration assistant will copy everything over including your account. May take a bit to do depending on how much data you have to migrate. I have done this three times with new Macs and it has worked each time without problems. The key here is NOT to create an account on the new Mac first. The automatic migration assistant will take care of everything for you.
  3. StephenCampbell thread starter macrumors 65816

    Sep 21, 2009
    I have my 2013 machine backed up via Time Machine to a OWC Mercury Pro 4TB drive, but it does not have Thunderbolt.

    Is there an advantage to doing the migration from a Time Machine backup vs. directly from the old machine? In both cases I do not create an account on the new machine before migrating.
  4. CoastalOR macrumors 68020


    Jan 19, 2015
    Oregon, USA
    Here is information from Apple on how to Move your content to a new Mac.
  5. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    The TB cable will be FAR FAR faster than using the TM backup disk method. You don't need to disable wifi or anything. You will boot the old mac into target disk mode using the TB cable directly between the two machines. Look half down the page CoastalOR linked and it explains how to use target disk mode.

    The TB connection is the same speed on both those machines.

    The only issue I have had is target disk mode won't work if you have turned in FileVault disk encryption on the old Mac. So if you have that turned on, you will need to turn it off and wait for it to unencrypt first. I usually do that the night before I get the new Mac.

    You can figure around 400-500GB per hour.

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