How to manually migrate Mail, Photos, and iTunes

Discussion in 'macOS' started by R3k, Oct 31, 2015.

  1. R3k macrumors 6502a

    Sep 7, 2011
    Sep 7, 2011
    Hi Guys. Can anyone point me to a good tutorial on how to manually migrate OSX Mail, Photos, and iTunes to a new system? Or otherwise provide a list? Locations and files to move, etc

    Just got a new system today, and want to start with a clean slate and only copy over whats necessary.

    I did this a couple of years back, but my memory is not 100% on the process and wanted to avoid any trial and error.

  2. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    Do you have an external drive available?
    If I was in your position, the VERY FIRST THING I would do is create a bootable cloned backup of my old Mac using either CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper.

    You can then take this drive and connect it to the new Mac, and everything will be there in front of you in "plain ol' finder format".
    You can copy one file or folder, or many.
    You can run Migration Assistant using the cloned drive, if you wish.

    Are ALL your photos within the iPhoto library on your old drive?

    Is ALL your music within the iTunes music folder on your old drive?

    If so, it's possible to just copy these libraries from their respective locations in your old home folder (on the old drive) to the new home folder on the new drive.

    You will then have to hold down the option key when you launch iPhoto on the new drive, and iTunes as well.
    IMPORTANT: will you be moving from iPhoto (older Mac OS) to the new Photos app in El Capitan?
    Photos may need to create a new library for itself when you first launch it.

    Mail can be more difficult.
    It -can- be done, but involves moving specific folders and files within your home folder.

    Or -- you can go to the old computer, open Mail, and choose to "export" individual mailboxes. If you have numerous mailboxes, may involve numerous export operations.
    Then, import them into your new Mac
  3. R3k thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Sep 7, 2011
    Sep 7, 2011
  4. R3k thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Sep 7, 2011
    Sep 7, 2011
    Thanks for your help.

    Yeah, I pretty much got through it before your reply. I did clone my system onto an external drive, and copied from there. Copying the Photos and iTunes libraries worked well with some little complications due to iCloud and (Launching Photos with the option key is great). However, Mail was a complete nightmare. They've changed the whole filesystem for it in El Capitan so copying the mail folder and preference file over from the finder doesn't cut it anymore. Once I did get it all sorted, it was bugging out and continuously downloading like 800,000 IMAP emails (i don't have that many of course). It took me all day with the help of a very cool person on Apple discussions to solve it.

    Thanks again.

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