Importing accounts from two computers into one

Discussion in 'macOS' started by MacR5, Oct 1, 2011.

  1. MacR5 macrumors member

    Aug 30, 2007

    My wife and I each have our own Macbook Pros that we've had a number of years. I'm considering buying a new iMac to setup as our primary computer so we can just use our laptops as travel.

    Is it possible to:
    1- Create two user accounts on the new iMac and import our files across from our laptops to each of our user accounts, thus preserving all our files, music, photos, folders, etc the way they were on our MB's? I.e., having a mirror image of our individual laptop on the iMac for each user account.

    2- Alternately, bring all the files, photos, docs into the iMac under one roof and username from both laptops if the above is not possible? An easy, automatic import would be preferable to doing it manually, obviously.

    Thank you in advance for your help, much appreciated!
  2. r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    First of all, I wouldn't try to mix two usernames into one account. That sounds like a way to cause a lot of confusion. If I were trying to do this, I would use one user to "migrate" everything to the new machine. I would then create the second user as an empty account. I would then copy the home folder of the second user to the new machine from their old machine.

    Back in the day you could use mobileme to keep things in sync across multiple Macs. Sadly that day is ending in mid 2012 and if you don't already have mobileme that day has already ended as you can't activate a new mobile me account. I have accounts on all of our Macs but I don't sync any of them. My accounts on the other Macs are just to do admin stuff. I use crashplan to back up my account only on my main machine.

    Here is something that is definitely worth trying. Use the free version of crashplan to back up her entire account to an external drive then use crashplan to restore it to your new machine, making sure of course that you created her account with the same password and so forth first before beginning the restore. I use the paid version of crashplan so that my stuff sits on their server if I ever need it. I had to use crashplan to recover my wife's files when her macintosh hd suddenly vanished during a hardware upgrade. Her Time Machine backup was corrupted so we were left with crashplan as our last safety net.

    On Windows there was free software called syncback that allowed me to keep files in sync between a windows box and an nas drive. This is how I upgraded to Mac. When I walked in the door with my new Macbook, I simply turned off my sorry old Dell and put it in the corner. I powered on my new Macbook, navigated to the nas drive where all my files had been backed up and had everything on my Mac within minutes. I'm sure there is something like this on OS X where you could keep files in sync between your iMac and your account on your Macbook. Don't pay for anything until you've checked out the free options. If you're interested in keeping bookmarks and preferences in sync, you'll need to complain to Apple as their current plan is to shut down that part of mobile me in mid 2012. I don't have much use for preferences sync unless the two systems were identical. For bookmarks sync I use xmarks. It allows me to keep firefox, chrome, safari and even ie on my windows box at work all on the same page.
  3. MacR5 thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 30, 2007
    This sounds like exactly the type of solution I'd be looking for. How does one copy the home folder across? I have time machine backups as well as my wife's MBP to work with.

    Thank you for your help!

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