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Getting a New Mac - need some help


macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 15, 2016
Hi there :)

So I'm not very computer savvy but can do most basic things, so I apologize if this is a dumb question. I'm sorry if I see like a "noob". I also don't know if this is the right section, so if it's not, I'm sorry.


I currently am the proud owner of a MacBook Pro (Late 2011). I am running OS X Yosemite on this baby. It says 10.10.4 I think.

I have decided to get a new Macbook Pro and plan on giving my current Mac to my little sister who just got into highschool :) I mean, there isn't anything wrong with this computer, but I figure I can save my parents a few hundred dollars. She doesn't really need a new computer and hasn't asked, but I figure it's my way of being a good sibling :)

My questions are

  • Is it possible for me to transfer all my data from this macbook to the new? As in all the pictures and videos and music and programs? What can't I transfer? And how do I transfer what I can, over to the new mac?


  • After I transfer data from my old mac, how do I erase everything from the old Mac to make it like new again. I'd rather my sister not have access to all my old personal data(ie pics, music etc). It'll be nice to give her a fresh start.

Thank you so much! :)

Which is better?

Because of work, I am usually running skype. I also download large files for work as well and do studies and research regarding the information sent. For leisure, I watch a lot of Netflix, YouTube and play some computer games(minecraft and league of legends)
. Weight and size is not an issue.
At home, I utilize my ethernet cable for most of what I do as my current mac runs faster with that.

So which is a better option?



macrumors member
Feb 16, 2016
Hey there! It's awesome you gave your old system to your sibling :)

1. Yes there are ways to transfer EVERYTHING over to the new mac. My personal suggestion is to get an external USB hard drive, use the disc utility program on your mac to format it as a mac harddrive, and transfer everything you want over to it by dragging and dropping. It will make copies of everything you want to copy. The reason that I recommend this method is because there is probably a ton of stuff you don't need anymore and you need to realize that your new macbook will be better at everything except hard drive space.

2. do NOT get the first macbook you have listed. That is the old one that still has the CD/DVD drive - the specs are OVER FOUR YEARS OLD and it is terribly overpriced. Don't get it!!! It has a much worse screen than the retina models and a slower hard drive and slower everything!

I would recommend NOT using Best Buy as well. They have terrible customer service and are horrible when it comes to returns.

A good idea to save money is to buy a new macbook pro that is on closeout because it is an older version. Like this model:

There is no sales tax from this site and It's not too expensive and though it is a year old in specs, it's a new computer (never used).

also!!!!! There will be a macbook pro refresh soon! If you can wait a few weeks please do so!!!! You can get a newer closeout macbook cheaper!
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macrumors 65816
Apr 25, 2005
Canada, eh!
In addition to the USB hard drive method, you could use migration assistant via wifi, a fire wire cable, thunderbolt or ethernet cable.

I'm actually not a fan of the Retina Macs because RAM is soldered and not upgradeable and storage is proprietary and super expensive. The screen is nice, but that's about it, imho. If you don't mind taking things apart, in the cMBP, you could buy 16GB of ram for about $60 and a 1TB SSD for about $200-$250. And if you're really brave, you can also remove the optical drive and put another SSD in its place for even more storage.

I used to have a rMBP, but found the storage situation limiting. I ended up selling it and got a cMBP and put a SSD in it and it is as fast as my rMBP. I just find the cMBP more flexible for my needs because I generate about 1TB of images per year and need lots of fast storage. I'll probably get a 2TB SSD once the prices come down.

I use Photoshop, Aperture and iMovie and it's fast enough for my needs. I think video games are not as good on Mac, but you probably already know that if you have a 2011.

Also, if you don't mind buying a used machine, there are a TON of used 2012 13" 2.5 MBPs for sale. I think you could get one for around $500.

If you want the latest, Apple will announce the new versions in mid-June.
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