Best way to migrate to a new Mac?

Discussion in 'OS X Yosemite (10.10)' started by eddjedi, Nov 5, 2014.

  1. eddjedi macrumors 6502

    Sep 7, 2011
    I have just bought a 2014 Macbook Air to replace my ageing 2009 iMac. I recently did a fresh install of Yosemite on the iMac so am 100% happy with the setup (apps etc) so do not want to have to set up the MBA from scratch.

    What's the best way to do it - can I restore my Time Machine backup on the the MBA? I assume it has different drivers etc from the iMac. Or should I just use Migration assistant? I have had mixed results with it in the past, especially with accounts and software licenses. what I want is a carbon copy of my iMac on the new MBA, not simply 'most of it'.
  2. Bending Pixels macrumors 65816

    Jul 22, 2010
    If you're just moving data (Documents, Music, Pictures, etc.) then plug in the backup drive and copy it to your new iMac. If you have iCloud enabled, then your contacts and web pages should migrate over automatically.
  3. eddjedi thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 7, 2011
    I'd like to maintain everything ideally - apps, users etc, and last time I used migration assistant back in 2010 or so that's what it struggled with. Doing a "half assed" migration isn't good enough, I either need a comprehensive one or to do it manually so I don't lose anything. Hence why I thought restoring from a TM backup would be the safest way IF there won't be any issues from migrating to a different Mac.
  4. KALLT macrumors 601

    Sep 23, 2008
    I think Migration Assistant uses Time Machine backups as well. I suppose Migration Assistant will know what to do with it.

    I also found this old support article that recommended not to use Time Machine between different Macs:
  5. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Ordinarily, I would say just use Migration Assistant. But I'm guessing your new Air came with Mavericks on it? You don't want to use MA from a Yosemite to a Mavericks machine.

    Is your TM backup to a local disk like a USB drive? If it is, just option key boot that and you will see the recovery screen. Use Disk Util from there to erase the entire disk to Mac OS Extended (Journaled), then quit DU and click restore.

    That will put Yosemite and all your apps and data in the new machine. Yosemite includes all the drivers needed to run the Air.

    Depending on OS/Mac release dates, there can be "special" versions of the OS that have unique drivers until the next update comes out that adds those drivers to the general release OS version. We are not in such a window now with Yosemite, so you will be good.

    The only issue you may have with apps, and there is no way around this, is some apps like MS Office and Adobe products will detect they are on new hardware and make your reenter registration info.

Share This Page