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Rick_2020

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 12, 2020
23
5
Hi, I am migrating my files to the M1 13" MBP. Does Big Sur come preloaded on it? If so, do I have to update my current MBP to Big Sur to ensure my backup is on the same version of the OS as the new laptop? Just curious what I have to do to migrate, what the easiest option is (e.g. over wi-fi or time machine backup on external drive). Thanks for your help.
 

velocityg4

macrumors 604
Dec 19, 2004
7,106
4,377
Georgia
Yes, it comes with Big Sur installed.

No, you don't need to update your current laptop to the same version.

Just plug in the drive with your Time Machine backup. On the first boot of the new Mac it'll ask you if you want to migrate data and give you options as to how. You can then select your backup drive and restore it. You may also migrate directly from one laptop to another over WiFi or Ethernet (with Ethernet dongles of course). There's other migration options you'll see.

I prefer manually moving files and don't use Time Machine for backups. But using the Migration Assistant at first boot from a Time Machine backup is the easiest.
 
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Rick_2020

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 12, 2020
23
5
Yes, it comes with Big Sur installed.

No, you don't need to update your current laptop to the same version.

Just plug in the drive with your Time Machine backup. On the first boot of the new Mac it'll ask you if you want to migrate data and give you options as to how. You can then select your backup drive and restore it. You may also migrate directly from one laptop to another over WiFi or Ethernet (with Ethernet dongles of course). There's other migration options you'll see.

I prefer manually moving files and don't use Time Machine for backups. But using the Migration Assistant at first boot from a Time Machine backup is the easiest.
Thanks Velocityg4. The only things I care about are my photos, Safari bookmarks, emails, and documents. I don't care about the programs/apps. I'll probably use the Time Machine as you mention. Hopefully, it will all work out because it's the first M1 being released!
 

velocityg4

macrumors 604
Dec 19, 2004
7,106
4,377
Georgia
Thanks Velocityg4. The only things I care about are my photos, Safari bookmarks, emails, and documents. I don't care about the programs/apps. I'll probably use the Time Machine as you mention. Hopefully, it will all work out because it's the first M1 being released!

I wouldn't worry too much about it working out. Migration problems aren't that common. Of course you can just choose to restore your user folders and skip everything else.
 
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Fishrrman

macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
25,357
10,355
Fishrrman's "you can do it!" routine for migrating to a new Mac:

If you follow my instructions below, I guarantee a success rate of 98%:
PRINT OUT these instructions and check them off as you go along.

1. BEFORE you do anything else, run a "final" backup on your old Mac. Use an external drive for this. It can be either TM or a cloned backup using CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper. I prefer CCC.
I STRONGLY RECOMMEND THAT YOU DO NOT USE TM AS YOUR "MIGRATION EXTERNAL DRIVE". INSTEAD, USE EITHER CCC OR SD. Things will go better this way!
2. Shut down the old Mac and disconnect the external drive
3. Take the new Mac out of the box and set it up on the table. DO NOT PRESS THE POWER ON BUTTON until step 8 (read on). You don't want to begin setup until "the right moment".
4. If you're using an external display, connect the display using the usb-c/VGA adapter/cable that you have
5. Connect the keyboard and mouse if you use them. I STRONGLY SUGGEST that you connect them DIRECTLY to the Mac.
6. If you use a hub, leave it DISCONNECTED for now
7. Connect your backup drive -- use a usb-c adapter if needed.

OK, we're ready-to-go, so let's get goin':
8. Press the power on button for the first time.
9. The new Mac may ask for help "finding" the keyboard, just follow instructions.
10. Begin setup. At the appropriate moment, setup assistant will ask if you wish to migrate from another Mac or drive. YES, you want to do this.
11. "Aim" setup assistant at the external backup. Setup assistant will need a little time to "digest it all". BE PATIENT and give setup assistant the time it needs.
12. You will now see a list of things that can be migrated, such as applications, accounts, settings and data.
13. I suggest that you select ALL of them.
14. Let setup assistant "do its thing". It's going to TAKE A WHILE to move things over. Again, be patient. If you have a lot "of stuff", it will take a lot of time!
15. When done, you should see the login screen. Go ahead and login.
16. Once logged in, things should look pretty much as they looked on your old Mac.
17. You should check all your apps. Some may not run, and may require upgrading.
18. You can set aside the old backup, or ... "repurpose it" to become the backup for the new Mac. I'd keep the old one around for a week or so, at least.
 

calliex

macrumors 6502
Aug 16, 2018
397
173
Pittsburgh, Pa
Can you migrate everything but apps? I am running sierra on 2012 MacBook Pro that I have backed up with TM. When I get the new machine I want to start fresh and bring everything over but the apps.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
25,357
10,355
In setup assistant (and migration assistant) you can UNcheck the selection to migrate apps.
Then they won't be a part of the migration.
 
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slobizman

macrumors regular
Jun 16, 2008
111
9
Fishrrman's "you can do it!" routine for migrating to a new Mac:

If you follow my instructions below, I guarantee a success rate of 98%:
PRINT OUT these instructions and check them off as you go along.

1. BEFORE you do anything else, run a "final" backup on your old Mac. Use an external drive for this. It can be either TM or a cloned backup using CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper. I prefer CCC.
I STRONGLY RECOMMEND THAT YOU DO NOT USE TM AS YOUR "MIGRATION EXTERNAL DRIVE". INSTEAD, USE EITHER CCC OR SD. Things will go better this way!
2. Shut down the old Mac and disconnect the external drive
3. Take the new Mac out of the box and set it up on the table. DO NOT PRESS THE POWER ON BUTTON until step 8 (read on). You don't want to begin setup until "the right moment".
4. If you're using an external display, connect the display using the usb-c/VGA adapter/cable that you have
5. Connect the keyboard and mouse if you use them. I STRONGLY SUGGEST that you connect them DIRECTLY to the Mac.
6. If you use a hub, leave it DISCONNECTED for now
7. Connect your backup drive -- use a usb-c adapter if needed.

OK, we're ready-to-go, so let's get goin':
8. Press the power on button for the first time.
9. The new Mac may ask for help "finding" the keyboard, just follow instructions.
10. Begin setup. At the appropriate moment, setup assistant will ask if you wish to migrate from another Mac or drive. YES, you want to do this.
11. "Aim" setup assistant at the external backup. Setup assistant will need a little time to "digest it all". BE PATIENT and give setup assistant the time it needs.
12. You will now see a list of things that can be migrated, such as applications, accounts, settings and data.
13. I suggest that you select ALL of them.
14. Let setup assistant "do its thing". It's going to TAKE A WHILE to move things over. Again, be patient. If you have a lot "of stuff", it will take a lot of time!
15. When done, you should see the login screen. Go ahead and login.
16. Once logged in, things should look pretty much as they looked on your old Mac.
17. You should check all your apps. Some may not run, and may require upgrading.
18. You can set aside the old backup, or ... "repurpose it" to become the backup for the new Mac. I'd keep the old one around for a week or so, at least.
I'm in the same situation, getting a new M1 Macbook Air this week to replace my 2014 Macbook Air. Is there a reason that I could not turn on my new Macbook first, and then after that use the Migration Assistant to migrate?
 

Rick_2020

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 12, 2020
23
5
I'm in the same situation, getting a new M1 Macbook Air this week to replace my 2014 Macbook Air. Is there a reason that I could not turn on my new Macbook first, and then after that use the Migration Assistant to migrate?
I'm thinking the backup to an external drive is done first just in case migration assistant goes bad and your files are not all transferred? I looked into Carbon Copy Cloner but its $50 from what I see so Time Machine is free. I guess I'll do a backup with this, even though many don't like it.
 

slobizman

macrumors regular
Jun 16, 2008
111
9
I'm thinking the backup to an external drive is done first just in case migration assistant goes bad and your files are not all transferred? I looked into Carbon Copy Cloner but its $50 from what I see so Time Machine is free. I guess I'll do a backup with this, even though many don't like it.
Almost everything I do is cloud-based now anyway. The data is all in the cloud. Very little in the way of files on my drive. I don't think migration assistant has a lot to do for me, anyway. I'm sure the files will transfer just fine. If there is an issue migrating an app, I can always just download and replace it. What else is there? Settings? As for browser bookmarks and such will it migrate what I have in Chrome?
 

Rick_2020

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 12, 2020
23
5
Almost everything I do is cloud-based now anyway. The data is all in the cloud. Very little in the way of files on my drive. I don't think migration assistant has a lot to do for me, anyway. I'm sure the files will transfer just fine. If there is an issue migrating an app, I can always just download and replace it. What else is there? Settings? As for browser bookmarks and such will it migrate what I have in Chrome?
I think if you check your iCould settings, it will say what things are stored there. You also have iCloud Drive. I'm a novice at this but the photos is mostly all I care about. Check out some YouTube videos, I find those to be helpful as you can see what they are doing as you listen.
 

iMi

Suspended
Sep 13, 2014
1,624
3,200
I am doing the same and I have personally upgraded to Big Sur to make any migration issues less likely. Jus try two cents. I’ve had issues in the past trying to migrate between OS versions.
 
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slobizman

macrumors regular
Jun 16, 2008
111
9
I think if you check your iCould settings, it will say what things are stored there. You also have iCloud Drive. I'm a novice at this but the photos is mostly all I care about. Check out some YouTube videos, I find those to be helpful as you can see what they are doing as you listen.
I've got my photos in icloud, so they won't be an issue as they will all download to my new Mac. The more I think about this, the more I think I will start with a fresh install on my new Macbook Air, and not migrate over any old files and junk I don't need. Then I'll just download fresh copies of the 8-10 apps I use, which are all cloud based, and reset whatever settings I want. Any misc files I may have missed can be easily copied over to the new macbook air. As for Chrome bookmarks, I am syncing everything, so all my bookmarks, apps, extensions will sync automatically. I'm still going to have my current macbook air available so I can always pull anything off it if need be.
 
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PO2345

macrumors member
Oct 6, 2012
45
34
Houston
Fishrrman's "you can do it!" routine for migrating to a new Mac:

If you follow my instructions below, I guarantee a success rate of 98%:
PRINT OUT these instructions and check them off as you go along.

1. BEFORE you do anything else, run a "final" backup on your old Mac. Use an external drive for this. It can be either TM or a cloned backup using CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper. I prefer CCC.
I STRONGLY RECOMMEND THAT YOU DO NOT USE TM AS YOUR "MIGRATION EXTERNAL DRIVE". INSTEAD, USE EITHER CCC OR SD. Things will go better this way!
2. Shut down the old Mac and disconnect the external drive
3. Take the new Mac out of the box and set it up on the table. DO NOT PRESS THE POWER ON BUTTON until step 8 (read on). You don't want to begin setup until "the right moment".
4. If you're using an external display, connect the display using the usb-c/VGA adapter/cable that you have
5. Connect the keyboard and mouse if you use them. I STRONGLY SUGGEST that you connect them DIRECTLY to the Mac.
6. If you use a hub, leave it DISCONNECTED for now
7. Connect your backup drive -- use a usb-c adapter if needed.

OK, we're ready-to-go, so let's get goin':
8. Press the power on button for the first time.
9. The new Mac may ask for help "finding" the keyboard, just follow instructions.
10. Begin setup. At the appropriate moment, setup assistant will ask if you wish to migrate from another Mac or drive. YES, you want to do this.
11. "Aim" setup assistant at the external backup. Setup assistant will need a little time to "digest it all". BE PATIENT and give setup assistant the time it needs.
12. You will now see a list of things that can be migrated, such as applications, accounts, settings and data.
13. I suggest that you select ALL of them.
14. Let setup assistant "do its thing". It's going to TAKE A WHILE to move things over. Again, be patient. If you have a lot "of stuff", it will take a lot of time!
15. When done, you should see the login screen. Go ahead and login.
16. Once logged in, things should look pretty much as they looked on your old Mac.
17. You should check all your apps. Some may not run, and may require upgrading.
18. You can set aside the old backup, or ... "repurpose it" to become the backup for the new Mac. I'd keep the old one around for a week or so, at least.
Hi there, I backup my current MBP on an external using Time Machine? I plan to buy a new MBP soon. (Most likely M1)

Are you saying I will have trouble transferring over files with time machine? My goal is when i log on the new one it will be just like this current MBP. Kinda like how when you buy a new iPhone and just set up from backup. Thanks for any advice.
 

Rick_2020

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 12, 2020
23
5
UPDATE: I used Time Machine to do a backup to an external drive. Then, I had to update the new MacBook so it was the same as my existing. Migration assistant flagged this issue. Then, after I updated, I used migration assistant for the first time. It went about 21 MB/s and took about 2 hours for my transfer. I had a 256 GB SSD with about 60 GB free for context. Ran my first benchmark on Geekbench and single core was 87% faster and multi-core 85% faster. Both machines have 8 GB of memory.
 

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4sallypat

macrumors 68030
Sep 16, 2016
2,663
2,386
So Calif
....
No, you don't need to update your current laptop to the same version.

Just plug in the drive with your Time Machine backup. On the first boot of the new Mac it'll ask you if you want to migrate data and give you options as to how. You can then select your backup drive and restore it. You may also migrate directly from one laptop to another over WiFi or Ethernet (with Ethernet dongles of course). There's other migration options you'll see.

I prefer manually moving files and don't use Time Machine for backups. But using the Migration Assistant at first boot from a Time Machine backup is the easiest.
Do you know if I can transfer my files & apps by using Thunderbolt 2 from my 2015 MBP to the M1 using the Apple TB3 / TB2 adapter ?
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
25,357
10,355
slobiz wrote:
"Is there a reason that I could not turn on my new Macbook first, and then after that use the Migration Assistant to migrate?"

The reason I recommend doing it the way I do is...

If you setup a new Mac (and that means you create a new account as part of the setup process), and then plug in a drive to migrate, now you have TWO accounts with "your name". The Mac may think these are DIFFERENT accounts.

If you do it "my way", the first account that is created on the new Mac, is using your "old" account on your backup. No "account conflicts".

I saw a report here from someone else who said that if you try to migrate an old account (presumably with the same name and password) as a new account, migration assistant will now offer to "replace" the existing account with the one that's being migrated. I've never seen this dialog myself, but I sense that could get confusing to someone "in the middle of migrating".

I recommend "my way" because for someone who may not be familiar with the ins-and-outs of migration, it will work without problems (at least, most of the time).
 
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Rick_2020

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 12, 2020
23
5
slobiz wrote:
"Is there a reason that I could not turn on my new Macbook first, and then after that use the Migration Assistant to migrate?"

The reason I recommend doing it the way I do is...

If you setup a new Mac (and that means you create a new account as part of the setup process), and then plug in a drive to migrate, now you have TWO accounts with "your name". The Mac may think these are DIFFERENT accounts.

If you do it "my way", the first account that is created on the new Mac, is using your "old" account on your backup. No "account conflicts".

I saw a report here from someone else who said that if you try to migrate an old account (presumably with the same name and password) as a new account, migration assistant will now offer to "replace" the existing account with the one that's being migrated. I've never seen this dialog myself, but I sense that could get confusing to someone "in the middle of migrating".

I recommend "my way" because for someone who may not be familiar with the ins-and-outs of migration, it will work without problems (at least, most of the time).

I had to go into the new Mac and set up a user to update the OS to the latest before Migration Assistant would let me use it. On the new Mac, I created a user FIRST NAME LAST NAME. However, on my old Mac, my user name was FIRST NAME_LAST NAME. A message came up and asked me if I wanted to create a new user or overwrite the one on the new Mac with the one on my existing Mac. Therefore, it worked perfect. I probably lucked into it but had a good success with it. Perhaps Apple made changes due to your experience, as it likely affected others.
 
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pop2video

macrumors member
Mar 31, 2016
60
79
I’m getting my m1 MBA soon. Has anyone successfully transfer from a USB 3.0 external drive with dongle? I hope it works when I got the mac...
 

Rick_2020

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 12, 2020
23
5
I think it will
I’m getting my m1 MBA soon. Has anyone successfully transfer from a USB 3.0 external drive with dongle? I hope it works when I got the mac...
I think it will work no problem. However, I backed up on my USB external drive and then used Migration Assistant over wi-fi with no issues. My thought was that if that went wrong, I could then use my Time Machine backup on the drive and try again! Good luck whatever you choose.
 
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deeddawg

macrumors G4
Jun 14, 2010
11,975
6,106
US
I’m getting my m1 MBA soon. Has anyone successfully transfer from a USB 3.0 external drive with dongle? I hope it works when I got the mac...
See my answer to one of the other two times you've asked this question today.

 

pop2video

macrumors member
Mar 31, 2016
60
79
I think it will

I think it will work no problem. However, I backed up on my USB external drive and then used Migration Assistant over wi-fi with no issues. My thought was that if that went wrong, I could then use my Time Machine backup on the drive and try again! Good luck whatever you choose.
My external drive is usb 3.0, I’ll need to connect it with a dongle so I can restore time machine into the new m1 mac... not sure if this going to work. I hope so tho!
 

deeddawg

macrumors G4
Jun 14, 2010
11,975
6,106
US
My external drive is usb 3.0, I’ll need to connect it with a dongle so I can restore time machine into the new m1 mac... not sure if this going to work. I hope so tho!
FYI these are pretty handy for converting existing USBA male plugs to USBC: https://www.amazon.com/nonda-Adapter-Thunderbolt-MacBook-Surface/dp/B07XYTHCXV

Though if you plan to keep the external drive, maybe just get a microB to USBC cable for it? I have this one. https://www.amazon.com/CableCreation-10Gbps-External-Compatible-MacBook/dp/B012V56992
 
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pop2video

macrumors member
Mar 31, 2016
60
79
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tomabacic

macrumors newbie
May 19, 2021
3
1
OK, I understand migrating files from MacBookPro (mine is from 2014, with Mojave 10.14.3), but how to migrate apps?
Any help is welcomed!
Thnx!
 
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