Best method of migrating MBP to MBP when both devices are not together?

trailmonkey

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 22, 2019
45
20
So I'm probably going to return my 16" in the next few days without committing to a replacement. My employer said today - out of the blue - that they're going to try sourcing me a MBP. Personally I'm fine with that as I'm a contractor. But I don't know yet if it'll happen in days or weeks, if at all. Either way, I can get by with my previous set up for a while at least.

However, if they don't get me a MBP and I opt to get another new one in say a few weeks, what's the best way to migrate my current set up?

Production files - all on GoogleDrive and Dropbox so I've got that covered.
Apps - just reinstall via Store and .dmg's?
Mac OS settings?
Parallels and Windows 10 Pro?

I guess Migration Assistant only works when both machines are next to each other? That won't be an option for me.

Cheers
 

chscag

macrumors 68040
Feb 17, 2008
3,310
1,042
Fort Worth, Texas
I guess Migration Assistant only works when both machines are next to each other? That won't be an option for me.
That's not entirely true. While it certainly would be easier if you had both units on your desk, you could instead use Time Machine to do the migration. Make a full Time Machine backup to an external drive and then use that drive to migrate to the new machine via the Migration Assistant. Just be sure not to create a user account on the new machine but rather do the migration clean. The Migration Assistant will move your old account and other settings to the new machine. I have done this numerous times with new Macs from older ones and it has always worked well.

When you first turn on the new machine it will ask you if you wish to migrate data from another machine. Answer yes, hook up your Time Machine backup drive and proceed. Might take awhile depending on how much data you have to migrate.
 

trailmonkey

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 22, 2019
45
20
That sounds pretty cool. When doing bulk file transfers I normally disable the likes of GoogleDrive and Dropbox on the source machine then activate/sync on the destination machine after. I like to think that saves cloud files getting corrupted.
Thanks for the heads up.
 

mightyjabba

macrumors 68000
Sep 25, 2014
1,548
245
Tatooine
I think Time Machine is actually the better choice, rather than trying to directly connect two computers, which is not always feasible. Plus it ensures that you have a backup.
 

hajime

macrumors 603
Jul 23, 2007
5,810
807
Please correct me if I am wrong. I think I read several suggestions that for MBP 16" 2019, it is recommended not to use Migration Assistant as it caused some issues. Am I correct?
 

CoastalOR

macrumors 68030
Jan 19, 2015
2,561
937
Oregon, USA
So I'm probably going to return my 16" in the next few days without committing to a replacement. My employer said today - out of the blue - that they're going to try sourcing me a MBP. Personally I'm fine with that as I'm a contractor. But I don't know yet if it'll happen in days or weeks, if at all. Either way, I can get by with my previous set up for a while at least.

However, if they don't get me a MBP and I opt to get another new one in say a few weeks, what's the best way to migrate my current set up?

Production files - all on GoogleDrive and Dropbox so I've got that covered.
Apps - just reinstall via Store and .dmg's?
Mac OS settings?
Parallels and Windows 10 Pro?

I guess Migration Assistant only works when both machines are next to each other? That won't be an option for me.

Cheers
Setup Assistant (the first time you start a new computer) or Migration Assistant also works if you connect an external cloned drive from a Carbon Copy Cloner or SuperDuper!.
 

mightyjabba

macrumors 68000
Sep 25, 2014
1,548
245
Tatooine
Please correct me if I am wrong. I think I read several suggestions that for MBP 16" 2019, it is recommended not to use Migration Assistant as it caused some issues. Am I correct?
Honestly I'm not sure there is any truth to that. I've read accounts from many people who set theirs up from scratch and still had problem, and vice versa.
 

ScreenSavers

macrumors 65816
Feb 26, 2016
1,130
625
Bloomingdale, GA
I say a time machine backup as well. Then you can either restore from in in macOS recovery or use migration assistant and restore. Either works fine. That's how I did it a few months ago when I sold my 15" and got a 16" a few weeks later.
 

applesed

macrumors regular
Jun 25, 2012
177
85
Clone to an external disk with CCC. On the new machine, boot off that disk, and use CCC to restore to the new hd. Done.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
18,018
5,970
On the OLD MacBook, do this:
- get an external USB3 drive
- use either CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper to create a cloned backup of the internal drive.
- keep this backup handy for when the NEW MacBook arrives
(both CCC and SD are free to download and use for 30 days)

When the new MacBook comes...
- Take the NEW MacBook out of the box, DO NOT PRESS THE POWER BUTTON YET
- Connect the USB cloned backup
- NOW press the power on button and begin setup
- At the appropriate moment, setup assistant will ask if you want to migrate from another Mac or drive. YES, you want to do this
- "Aim" setup assistant at the external drive, and give it time to "digest everything" (you won't get much feedback during this process). BE PATIENT.
- Setup assistant will present you with a checklist of things to migrate. I suggest you just "accept everything" and let 'er go.
- Again, the migration will take some time. BE PATIENT.
- When done, you should see a login screen as you did on your OLD MacBook. So log in and "look around".
 
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Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
18,018
5,970
Oops, screensavers is right!
As you said, just have the external USB drive "close by" and ready to plug in as soon as you open the lid for the first time (and the MBP turns on by itself)...
 
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Sirmausalot

macrumors 65816
Sep 1, 2007
1,060
263
I resisted iCloud for a long time, but now running two Macs (iMac and 16" Macbook Pro) things are more seamless than using dropbox or Google Drive (though I do use Drive for some very large video files)
 

hajime

macrumors 603
Jul 23, 2007
5,810
807
How is the method of drag and drop personal folders to an external drive and drag and drop to the new machine? Is this the safest method? No messing of settings and sysyem files from old mac to new one.
 

ScreenSavers

macrumors 65816
Feb 26, 2016
1,130
625
Bloomingdale, GA
How is the method of drag and drop personal folders to an external drive and drag and drop to the new machine? Is this the safest method? No messing of settings and sysyem files from old mac to new one.
Doesn’t transfer applications, settings, system preferences, software licenses, user accounts, files inside programs (such as mail or notes) etc...
 
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hajime

macrumors 603
Jul 23, 2007
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Doesn’t transfer applications, settings, system preferences, software licenses, user accounts, files inside programs (such as mail or notes) etc...
I know. So less chance of old system files messing with new ones and cause issues. Applications on my 2020 mbp are outdated anyway. I will install the latest version of software.

If I recall correctly, those Office and Adobe software are about 10 years old and I have access to latest version via school. So less motivation for using migration? I did use migration and Time Machine in the past whenever I changed machines every 2-3 years. This time is a long upgrade.
 
Last edited:

Loge

macrumors 68030
Jun 24, 2004
2,682
1,148
England
Please correct me if I am wrong. I think I read several suggestions that for MBP 16" 2019, it is recommended not to use Migration Assistant as it caused some issues. Am I correct?
Worked seamlessly for me, from 15" 2016 MBP to 16" 2019.
 

hajime

macrumors 603
Jul 23, 2007
5,810
807
So, from the replies here, it seems to be case by case rather than absolutely troublesome if doing it on the MBP 16" 2019.