copy files manually from old macbook to new one

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by ghanwani, Feb 3, 2017.

  1. ghanwani, Feb 3, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2017

    ghanwani macrumors 65816

    Dec 8, 2008
    I normally keep all my files under a folder called "home", and some stuff is in dropbox. I have migrated those over, along with my .bash_profile.

    However, Mail and iTunes stuff stays where it is by default.
    For Mail, I plan to copy everything under ~/Library/Mail.
    For iTunes, I plan to copy everything under ~/Music/iTunes.
    Will that work for these two?

    I have only installed dropbox and chrome, no other apps so far. I will be installing VLC, skype, kompozer, ms office.

    I have a bunch of turbotax apps, but I don't see value in bringing those over. The tax files are all saved under a subdirectory in home.

    Is there anything else that I need to bring over, in terms of systems files?

    What is the best way to clear data from the old machine before selling it? I can't just format the drive since I would need to demonstrate that it works to the buyer.

  2. white7561 macrumors member


    Jun 28, 2016
    Use time machine. Its easier. U need to really wipe the drive or even nuke it (if its harddisk and not ssd) so the next users cant get your data. Then install the new os
  3. ghanwani thread starter macrumors 65816

    Dec 8, 2008
    So I did as above and manually copied my iTunes folder from my old machine running El Capitan to the new machine running macOS Sierra. The new machine does not see any of the albums in there. Looks like I'll have to figure something else out.
  4. ZapNZs macrumors 68020


    Jan 23, 2017
    I've not used your method before to restore data, as I've used Time Machine/Migration Assistant, as well as clones, the Cloud, and even importing all songs from an external hard drive using iTunes itself. Have you verified that you are in the correct folders?

    For example, with iTunes, the path is
    (computer name) - Users - (your username) - Music - iTunes - iTunes Media - Music

    As for the older machine, if it has a HDD, you can perform what is called a secure erase, and then reinstall OS X from a USB installer.

    With a SSD, there is a little more to it -

    Depending on how important it is to absolutely destroy any and all of your data, a secure erase might or might not be necessary.

    Regardless of whether or not you have a HDD/SSD or choose to do a secure erase or not, this explains how to make the USB drive. Essentially, you create the bootable USB drive on a running version of OS X, boot into the USB drive, erase the hard drive's contents with Disk Utility, check the drive's health with Disk Utility, and then reinstall OS X - from there you set it up as a new computer (i.e., none of your info or Apps are left, as it returns to the same state where the computer was when brand new) or allow the Buyer to be the one to set it up, as it will now turn on and go to the initial setup screen
  5. ghanwani thread starter macrumors 65816

    Dec 8, 2008
    The iTunes issue is now resolved via a call to Apple Support.

    Thanks for the pointers. The old machine has an SSD. Now that I have all my data migrated over to the new machine, I think I am ready to start the process of getting rid of the old one. I am seeing similar machines advertised on craigslist for $300. Amazing that it retains so much of its value after 6+ years of use.

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4 February 3, 2017