Best Way to Transfer Files to New Mac

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by CappyAA, Apr 15, 2013.

  1. CappyAA macrumors newbie

    Jan 13, 2008
    I just purchased a new rMBP and am excited for it to arrive later this week. I also just purchased Time Machine. I have already organized the files on my current MBP to transfer over to my new machine. I don't want to do a full backup of my current machine and transfer everything over to the new MBP - just the files I have put into a separate folder. What's the best way to do this transition? Should I wait to setup Time Machine until I get my new MBP in the mail? Or does that really matter? If not, can I setup Time Machine now without backing up my current MBP and essentially use it as only a router at the moment?

    Thanks for the help!
  2. HarryPot macrumors 6502a

    Sep 5, 2009
    When you say you bought up Time Machine do you mean Time Capsule?

    If you don't want to import all your setting and apps, why not use any other external hard drive? Copy to hard drive from current MBP, then copy to new rMBP from the hard drive.

    You could also use the Time Capsule to do a backup of your current MBP and then use that Time Machine backup to just grab the files you want.

    If you do the latter, once you have copied the files you want you can set up your new rMBP with your Time Capsule and delete the old backup.
  3. Giuly macrumors 68040


    You could use the built-in Migration Assistant.

    But if your old Mac runs 10.7 or later, the easy way to transfer a folder would be using AirDrop. On older versions of OS X you'd use File Sharing.
  4. ColdCase, Apr 15, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2013

    ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Feb 10, 2008
    When you say best way do you mean fastest or something else?

    How much data is in the file folders you want to transfer, 20GB.. 200GB?

    I find the easies way is to us a USB memory stick or hard drive, plug it into the old machine, drag and drop the file folders over... unplug and insert into new machine, drag and drop the file folders where you want them.. But you need a portable drive to do that.

    Its slower but you could also turn file sharing on on the old machine (in system preferences). Connect the two machines to the same network (the time capsule perhaps). On the new machine, open a finder window and double click on the old machine's name. Drag and drop the files over to the new machine.

    Its even slower but you can also do the same thing using the Time Capsule drive and ethernet or wireless. Set up the time Capsule, turn disk sharing on. Go to a finder window on your old machine, click on the shared disk under favorites, double click the time capsule it will ask for the Time Capsule password (if you set that up). The drive will then be available for your use... drag and drop your foders. When the new machine shows up, open a finder window and connect to the Time Capsule the same way, drag and drop your folders to the new machine.

    There are a few other ways to skin the cat depending on what OS you are using.
  5. CappyAA thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 13, 2008
    Thanks for all the responses so far.

    Yes, I meant Time Capsule - sorry I mix them up sometimes! I'm transferring about 80 GB over, consisting of mainly music, photos, movies, and other personal files. I have a bunch of junk in the form of Applications, Settings, etc. on my current machine. I'd much rather "start fresh" and install/download the applications separately, setup my own settings, etc.

    I'm going from a 2008 MBP running OS 10.6.8 and will be going to a new rMBP - not sure if the OS affects anything.

    I just got my Time Capsule in the mail today, and I'd like to set it up and use it as a router for now. I just don't want to backup my current machine.
  6. linds15 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 16, 2012
    Great White North
    i like how you're starting fresh, best way to go. i'd just copy all the files to an external and transfer those over to your new mac when it comes, that way you also have the files isolated on a separate drive, just in case...
  7. Pheo macrumors regular

    Jun 13, 2011
    I use firewire with one mac in target disk mode to moves files between my Macbook Pro and Mac Mini, much faster than USB Drives, Wifi, etc

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