Transfer individual apps on new MBP from Time Machine?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by NDantone, Dec 27, 2015.

  1. NDantone macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2015
    #1
    I just bought a new (still in box) Mid-2014 MacBook Pro Retina. I have my current computer backed up through Time Machine. I would like to pick and choose the apps and folders I bring over from my old computer.

    For example, I want to bring over Google Chrome, Apple Email and Adobe Lightroom (with everything exactly as it is now) but not some older Adobe apps and other random apps I downloaded for one reason or another.

    What's the best way to do this?

    My current MBP is running 10.10.3 Yosemite and the new one is (presumably) running 10.9 Mavericks. I haven't turned on my new MBP yet.

    I'm decent with getting into the technical side of things but let's assume I know nothing when you respond.

    Thanks!
     
  2. KUguardgrl13 macrumors 68020

    KUguardgrl13

    Joined:
    May 16, 2013
    Location:
    Kansas, USA
    #2
    When you start up your new Mac it will take you through a set up menu. You'll login to your wifi and iCloud and then it will ask if you use want to transfer any data from another machine (after inviting you to update to El Capitan most likely). You should be able to connect to your Time Machine drive and either select the whole backup to restore or select certain folders. Unfortunately it may only let you get as specific as "Applications" and "Documents". So either you can delete the unwanted apps and files once they've been moved over or you may have to temporarily move them to another hard drive and create a backup without them. I don't recommend setting up your Mac completely as new and dragging and dropping files from your Time Machine. Apps can't easily be moved that way since they tend to store needed files and information in multiple places. I know from personal experience it doesn't work with MS Office.
     
  3. treekram macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2015
    Location:
    Honolulu HI
    #3
    I would suggest restoring the new MBP from your TM backup and then deleting the applications you don't want. As KUguardgrl13 says, Applications will store stuff in multiple places, it's own folder in /Applications (unless you installed it in ~/Applications (~ = your home directory). Also, typically /Library/Application Support, ~/Library/Application Support but some applications may store it elsewhere.

    Different applications will have different steps in deleting it, some simple, some not. You should see if there are any specific programs and/or steps for deleting an application. If not, then you'll have to guess. To me, what makes this process simpler is that you make a TM backup every time after you make a change and if you make a mistake, it's easy to revert back. The other way, if there's a problem, you need to go back to TM and hunt for whatever files/directories you missed and you have to make sure whatever you restore from the old backup doesn't mess up what you already have. With the way I suggest, you always have the full functionality on the new computer of what you had with your old computer. Doing it the additive way, you're going to have to restore the new application before using it or use it on the old computer. Not a problem if things go as planned, but if something goes wrong and takes longer than expected and you need to use an application that you haven't restored yet, you need to use it on your old computer and if you save data, you'll need to transfer that over.
     
  4. NDantone thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2015
    #4
    Thanks for all of the responses.

    So, if I choose to only bring over "Applications" (as a whole), would it bring over the necessary files and folders to run those apps properly and as I have them set up now?

    In other words, I'm thinking of restoring just "Applications" and then manually bringing over the folders I want.

    One of the problems I have is that my old laptop hard drive is bigger than my new one.
     
  5. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #5
    It depends.... some apps like Chrome where just install them by drag and drop from a DMG file will work fine. Other like the Adobe apps use an installer that places support files in other folder, so if you only bring over /Applications you won't get those.

    Also, no matter how you do this, some apps (notable Adobe and MS Office) will see they are in new hardware and make you reregister anyway.
     
  6. treekram macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 9, 2015
    Location:
    Honolulu HI
    #6
    If Lightroom is like other Adobe applications I've seen, it uses /Library/Application Support. If there's a key, again, like other non-free Adobe applications I'm aware of, there are steps that have to be taken regardless of how you migrate. If your new MBP has less disk capacity than your old Mac, the question you really have is how much disk space is used on your old computer vs. the total disk of the new MBP. Then, how much of your files are data files. You may find that trimming the applications you have won't be enough because most of the disk space may be taken by data for the applications you keep, not the applications themselves.
     
  7. KUguardgrl13 macrumors 68020

    KUguardgrl13

    Joined:
    May 16, 2013
    Location:
    Kansas, USA
    #7
    All of the necessary data should move if you migrate "Applications". I believe in terms of Time Machine migration it refers to everything related to apps, not just everything in the Applications folder. It worked for me when I moved from my old 2009 MBP to my late-2013 rMBP. I restored apps, docs, photos, music, videos, etc. I left settings unchecked and left them as factory and adjusted as needed. It all worked, I just had to re-enter the key for MS Office. In your case I think it makes sense to migrate apps as a whole and drag and drop documents and other files as needed.
     
  8. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #8
    Personally, I opt for setting up my new Mac as a new machine and I only restore my data. That is I reinstall the apps I want to bring over. Its a lot more work but it saves me space and gives me a peace of mind that I have a fresh new computer. Stuff builds up over time, and I feel like I want to avoid such things - I know I'm weird :)
     
  9. priitv8 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2011
    Location:
    Estonia
    #9
    More often than not, apps that use installer packages, either install own drivers (kexts), some Apple packages may even install their frameworks to system locations. If you want to just copy them back from a T M backup, you would also need to restore all your system files (ie the whole os x).
     

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