Are Clean Installs still a thing?

mtngoatjoe

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 10, 2008
233
33
Just curious... Do people need to do "clean" installs instead of just using migration assistant when they get a new Mac?

I was under the impression this wasn't as important as it used to be back in the System 7 days.
 

casperes1996

macrumors 68040
Jan 26, 2014
3,954
1,903
Horsens, Denmark
I was under the impression this wasn't as important as it used to be back in the System 7 days.

Well, it isn't. But there can be issues cropping up that clean installs can fix still. Furthermore, sometimes it's just nice if you mess around with a lot of stuff, to easily get rid of all the traces of weird stuff you've played with. Sometimes easier and faster to manually get your stuff back, then to get rid of what you don't want.
 

robo456

macrumors 6502
Mar 3, 2008
355
40
New Jersey
I do this on my Windows and Apple machines every few years... usually when I upgrade a hard drive. I do a clean install... it's a good way to do some "Spring Cleaning" on apps or games I don't use on a regular basis. I also use it as a good time to clean up my documents, pictures, and videos too!
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
63,851
30,368
Boston
Just curious... Do people need to do "clean" installs instead of just using migration assistant when they get a new Mac?
I still do it, as its the only way to guarantee a clean system devoid of the cruft that builds up over time. I restore my data, but the system is a full clean install, and the apps get manually re-installed.
 

MacGizmo

macrumors 65816
Apr 27, 2003
1,404
769
Arizona
I used to do a clean install with every major OS upgrade. As maflynn said, it's a great way to clean out the system. I would re-install most of my apps manually—which forced me to really think about whether or not I even wanted/needed them to begin with.

The last few versions of macOS, I've just updated over the old install with no issues at all. But I do miss that "new car smell" you get with a clean install.
 

velocityg4

macrumors 601
Dec 19, 2004
4,602
1,185
Georgia
Migration Assistant is fine if the old computer was kept up to date and didn't have any software problems. Otherwise you'll transfer the problems. I have found that if the Mac OS X versions are off by a few generations. You are best off transferring your files only, clean installing your software and drivers and manually inputting your settings.
 
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