Migration wizard question.


macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jun 2, 2016
Cornwall UK
I got a few macs and as such each has their own TM backup drive.

Can I use migration wizard to copy across data and apps to other macs?

No paid apps as I know these will not work.

And if possible will it add to the existing data/apps or overwrite what is there already?

Thanks for any help clarifying this


macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
I can't answer regarding the Time Machine aspect (I've never used it), but if you had backups created with either CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper, this would be trivial.

Just mount the backup "in the finder", set permissions to be "ignored", and copy over what you need.


Staff member
Aug 9, 2009
Coruscant antipodal seas
You could just try it with a throw-away account. That is, create an account, change a few easily observed preferences or settings, then run Migration Assistant from that account, and direct Migration Assistant to use one of the TM'ed accounts. Since it's being done to a throw-away account, you simply delete the account after you've learned what you need.
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macrumors 68000
Apr 23, 2010
I think what you're asking is: Can I use Migration Assistant to copy some subset of existing files and apps to a completely different Mac? The answer is yes, though it will be in the user account of the source system. This is what Migration Assistant is designed to do - connect the 2 systems together, instantiate MA on the target system, and off you go.

You might be asking: Can I take a TM disk and connect it to another machine and get apps and files from it? Yes.

You can also use MA to use data from a TM backup disk.

Paid apps (MS Office) xfer just fine, though you may need to re-enter the serial number again on first use, and get that verified.

No files should be overwritten, as they are in different user directories.

In my experience these utilities are meant to help a single user move their files/apps to another environment, or recover them.
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macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jun 2, 2016
Cornwall UK
I have same user name and password on each mac.

It's only that been using my work mac more than home mac and wanted make then the same again.

I know can mount and copy files with finder but have a few apps that I have misplaced disc for.
Looking on web can only find hookie copies or I have spend out again.

I will not download hookie and cannot afford buy again.
It's not end of world if not work.

the work machine high sierra and home machine el cap.