Transferring files between old iMac and new

Discussion in 'iMac' started by slyskittle, Feb 20, 2014.

  1. slyskittle macrumors newbie

    Feb 26, 2011
    I've just bought a new iMac (well, secondhand 2010 model) and I wanted to transfer some files from my older iMac but not all of them. I have everything backed up on an external drive (using Time Machine), so I'm just wondering if I can transfer the files that I use quite a lot and then, if I ever need any of the older files, can I just plug in my external drive into my new iMac and search for the file I need in Time Machine (and then download it onto my new mac)?

    I just don't want all of my old files clogging up my new computer, but I still want to be able to access them in case I ever need them later on.

    Does anyone know the best way to do this?
  2. rkaufmann87 macrumors 68000


    Dec 17, 2009
    Folsom, CA
    You can only use the TM from the older machine with Setup Assistant and Migration Assistant which is an all or nothing prospect meaning if you select data it will migrate all data files.

    I'd suggest connecting both machines using System Preferences - Sharing - and select file sharing. The simply copy and paste the documents you want from the older machine to the newer one. You can also burn them to DVD or put them on another EHD for manual transfer.
  3. petercl macrumors newbie


    Aug 22, 2010
    Can you move selected Apps and their data that way? Ie Office, Aperture...
  4. slyskittle thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 26, 2011
    Thanks for this. I want to keep a copy of every file just in case I need one later, so I think I'll transfer every file with Migration Assistant and then move the majority of my files into a single folder (probably label it Old Computer) and then keep the files I need out on my desktop. Thanks for the help!
  5. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Yes you can do that. Just plug in the old TM disk and hold the option key while you click the Time Machine menulet then click "browse other backup disks", and select your old TM disk. Then just find the document(s) you want and copy them to the iMac.


    You can move data with this method no problem... but apps will vary. Some simple, completely self contained apps you can just drag over. Others like Office and I think Aperture also have support files in other folders that would not be there if you just dragged the app over, so the app would not work.
  6. ElectronGuru macrumors 65816

    Sep 5, 2013
    Oregon, USA
    Long term, the files should be as uncontained as possible. You don't want some new version of TM to be unable to read that version of TM when you weren't looking.

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