Migrating files to new iMac

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Lord Chaos, Jun 27, 2017.

  1. Lord Chaos macrumors newbie

    Lord Chaos

    Aug 10, 2010
    I just received my new 2017 iMac 512GB SSD having upgraded from my 2010 iMac 2TB HDD.

    I sort of want a fresh start on the new iMac and manually reinstall the software I need and copy photos/music to new external drives mostly because I have a lot of junk on my old 2010 iMac that I don't want to copy over.

    Am I able to use Migration Assistant to just copy my user info and maybe stuff like browser settings and specific software without dumping a whole bunch of unwanted stuff on the new iMac?

    I'm not opposed to copying/resinstalling stuff manually but is this a wise way to move things over if I want to keep the new system clean?
  2. iMi macrumors 65816


    Sep 13, 2014
    I used to struggle with the same dilemma. On one hand, I want all must stuff in the new Mac. On the other hand, I like that new Mac feeling and don't really want to move any junk.
    What I do today is this:

    Files - OneDrive, all in the cloud. Including photos. Download OneDrive. Sync. Done.
    Music - Apple Music subscription. Sign in. Library follows.
    Software - Clean install of the software I use regularly.

    This has worked well for a while now. Hope this helps.
  3. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    What you want to do is possible, but you definitely have some work ahead.

    I would recommend that you begin by creating a bootable cloned backup of your 2010 iMac's internal drive onto an external backup drive.

    I recommend CarbonCopyCloner (or SuperDuper). Both are free to download and use for 30 days.

    You can then mount this backup drive on the NEW iMac, and use the finder to "manually migrate" the things you want. Obviously, some stuff you're going to want to bring over, but a lot of it you're going to have to "leave behind".

    Again, you've got to give this a lot of thought.
    You'll need to work slowly and carefully, with a clipboard to keep notes so that you don't "get lost".

    Also, you need to go to the "get info" box for the backup drive, and set "sharing and permissions" to "ignore ownership on this volume".
    If you DON'T do this, you're almost certainly going to have permissions problems with stuff manually copied from the old Mac to the new.

    You should also be aware that the "first level of sub-folders" in your home folder are NOT COPIABLE "as folders".
    That is to say, you can't simply copy the folders "Documents", "Pictures", "Music", and "Movies" from one Mac to the other.
    However, you CAN copy the files inside these folders.

    You CANNOT copy the "Music" folder from one Mac to the other.
    You CAN -open- the Music folder, and copy items inside (including the iTunes folder, etc.).

    Experimentation will be required.
    Do things "a little at a time".
    Example: do apps first, make sure they work. Then, do music and get that working, then pics, etc.

    Plan on 4-6 hours of your time for a good manual migration.
    It may go much faster, but you never know.

Share This Page