How do I migrate a user directory without Migration Assistant?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by badlydrawnboy, Nov 4, 2010.

  1. badlydrawnboy macrumors 65816

    Oct 20, 2003
    I recently did a clean install and now I am attempting to migrate user data to the new install. I have a Mac Pro with four internal drives. OS X is on the boot drive, of course, and the user home folder I'd like to transfer is on another internal drive. (This is because I had moved all user directories from the boot drive to a separate internal drive in the Mac Pro. A consultant advised me to do this to increase performance.)

    I thought I'd be able to use Migration Assistant to simply migrate the user to the new install, but it appears you can only use MA with a Time Machine back-up or a disk with OS X installed.

    So what's the best way to move this user back?
  2. badlydrawnboy thread starter macrumors 65816

    Oct 20, 2003
    Right, but don't I have to set up a user? Then would I just change the home folder associated with the user?
  3. Mal macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2002
    Easiest thing to do (I assume you have at least one user on the machine currently, if not, set up a temporary one):

    Drag and drop the user folder you want to migrate to the new machine, into the /Users/ folder.

    Open System Preferences -> Accounts, and click the plus button to add a new user (you may have to unlock the preference pane first from the lock button in the lower left corner).

    Give the new user the same name as the user account you're transferring, paying particularly close attention to the Short Name. It should be identical to the name of the folder, including caps and spacing.

    Make sure to make the new user an administrator if needed, then hit OK. The system will inform you that there is already a user folder with the same short name and ask if you want to use it for the new user account. Say yes, and it will quickly finish, having changed the permissions in that user folder to correctly reflect the new User ID you just created.

    You're done.


Share This Page