Migratating from PC to Mac - Questions

Discussion in 'macOS' started by RedlegsFan, Jun 3, 2016.

  1. RedlegsFan macrumors 6502

    Mar 15, 2012
    I am getting an iMac soon and getting out of the Windows world, at least personally. I have a few questions related to this switch.

    1. Is it simple to move my iTunes library from my Windows PC to the Mac, along with all the relevant information (playcounts, etc)?

    2. My iPad and iPhone are all current associated with my Windows PC, do I have to have to reformat each and then plug them into the iMac or can they simply be plugged into the iMac and w/out having to reformat each device?

    3. I have three older external hard drives that I use for backup on my Windows machine, can these simply be booked into the iMac or do they also have to be reformatted to work with the Mac OS?

    Thanks for any help you can provide. I'm looking forward to making the switch once and for all!
  2. garirry macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2013
    Canada is my city
    1. You can copy the contents of the iTunes Media folder located normally in your Music folder to a USB or something, and then import them to iTunes on Mac. This won't be a problem as it'll just sort everything to how it should be.

    2. Only non-touch iPods need to be reformatted. All iOS devices will just have to be re-synced, but that's not much trouble.

    3. Depends. If you're using Time Machine, you will have to format regardless, and into a format that will not be read by Windows except if you're using third-party plugins. If you're using other programs, you may be able to use your existing drive if it's formatted in FAT32 or exFAT (formats compatible with both Mac and Windows, the latter is better, but older versions of Macs don't support it). If your drive is formated in NTFS format, then you'd have to format regardless as Macs only support read-only for these drives.
  3. LiveM macrumors 65816


    Oct 30, 2015
    NTFS can be writeable with plugins such as Paragon NTFS reader, but I would just reformat for maximum performance.
  4. RedlegsFan thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 15, 2012
    Do you know if, for question 1, my play counts, etc will also come over or do I have to do something special for that data?

    Thanks for your responses
  5. Lunder89 macrumors 6502


    Oct 16, 2014
    If you decide to reimport everything, nothing will come over. Copy the entire iTunes folder in your Music folder, and paste in the Music folder on the Mac, then your library on Mac will be the same as it was on the PC.
  6. simon lefisch macrumors 6502a

    simon lefisch

    Sep 29, 2014
    Best thing to do, copy your entire iTunes folder which contains all info (media, play count) to a thumb stick or external drive (depending on how big your library is) and paste it to the Music folder on the Mac. Hold the Option key and open iTunes. Select "choose iTunes library". Navigate to the iTunes library file (.itl) and select it. This will then open your library with all the info you had on it while in Windows.
  7. RedlegsFan thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 15, 2012
  8. mildocjr macrumors 65816

    It's pretty simple to do, Apple also has a migration assistant which I've never used, but I think an external cable is needed. Aside from that, I think it should be as simple as copying over your iTunes folder to the music folder on your Mac although I've never been concerned about keeping play counts. The music files have all of their metadata (track name, artist, album, etc..) inside the file so if you move it over it will retain this information.

    If you used your Windows PC to backup all of your devices and manage syncing, yes, you may have to restore your devices, easy way is to backup the device to the Mac, then restore it from the backup on your Mac. Honestly I use iCloud Backup so the need for a computer isn't there anymore.

    With drives, Mac OS does not have write support for NTFS drives. If they are formatted as Fat32 or exFat they can be read and written to by both Operating Systems, the ideal way to go for shared external drives. If you are looking to setup a time machine backup for your Mac it will need to be in JHFS+ (Journaled HFS) format which is the same format used by Mac OS. Windows computers cannot read or write this format without an external driver which is hard to find.
  9. blasto2236 macrumors 6502a

    Nov 4, 2012
    Migration Assistant will import just about everything (including your iTunes Library) from a Windows PC. This can be done via an app on the PC which transfers over wifi, or you can use Thunderbolt or Ethernet for faster transfer.

    Your devices may recognize the Mac as a "new" library and show you a somewhat scary message asking if you want to "erase and sync", but as long as you have successfully migrated your iTunes library you can do this without worry. Still, never a bad idea to make regular backups of your devices in both iTunes and iCloud.

    As for your drives, you can read all of the data on them in OS X but cannot write to the drive unless you reformat. This is easy to do using Disk Utility in OS X.
  10. RedlegsFan thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 15, 2012
    As far as my drives go, I am backing everything up onto them. Documents, iTunes library, pictures, etc. So, would I be able to drag off my backed up data from these drives into the Mac right out of the gate?
  11. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    My advice:

    Plan on keeping the PC set up for a while.
    Don't try to do everything in a rush.

    Migrate stuff over slowly. With each "migration", see if things come over ok, that you can open the files, etc.

    Might be easiest to use "intermediary media" -- such as a flash drive or (as I guess you're using) an external drive. Again, the watchwords here are "do it slowly".

    This way it's easier to nip problems in the bud.
    Move everything all-at-once, and you may end up with multiple problems that aren't easily identified and corrected.

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