Use Migration Assistant to transfer files periodically?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Cooperfamily88, Jun 26, 2014.

  1. Cooperfamily88 macrumors newbie

    Jun 26, 2014
    Hi, I have two Imacs. I use one exclusively for a few months then switch to the other one and use that exclusively for a few months. I know you can use Migration Assistant to transfer files when you get a NEW mac. But I want to transfer some folders (photos, music, docs) from one to the other each time I switch. Can I do the periodic switch with Migration Assistant too, just select which folders I want?

    Using Mavericks on both. Used Setup Assistant to populate the second one when I got it.
  2. rkaufmann87 macrumors 68000


    Dec 17, 2009
    Folsom, CA
    Not a good idea at all, each time MA is used it creates a new user account, therefore every time you used it you would manually have to move files to the user account you want. It's smarter to use iCloud or create a Drop Box account and use that to sync files.
  3. Cooperfamily88 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 26, 2014
    Thank you. I didn't know that was going on in the background. Was hoping not to use ICloud but perhaps it's not that hard.
  4. Cooperfamily88 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 26, 2014
    One more thought

    What if I completely reset the dormant mac (erase like I was selling it) and then use Set Up assistant to upload from the Time Machine backup of the active mac?

    Then I could reverse that process when I switch machines again. I'd only need to do it a couple of times a year. Does that sound workable?

  5. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Yes that would work.
  6. bradl macrumors 68040


    Jun 16, 2008
    Too much of a hassle for that..

    Sounds like what you need is a centralized location that you can keep and manager your data. While cloud services will work (iCloud, DropBox, etc.), it all depends on how comfortable you are with security for those files (read: NSA, etc.). If they are too sensitive, I'd suggest either rolling your own server to use as a network share; something like FreeNAS would work. Otherwise, you could grab something like a Synology Diskstation, create a share there, and map it to both your macs, so you won't have to worry about copying files back/forth. Plus, it could run as your own personal cloud. That may be better for you.

  7. hfg macrumors 68040


    Dec 1, 2006
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    Why don't you get "DropBox" and install it on both machines and put your work files there. Then, they will be automatically synced every time you boot the other machine, no extra hardware needed (i.e. NAS).

    You might be able to do the same thing with iCloud now, but I have been using DropBox to keep all my Macs and Windows installations in sync for years now, so I have no intention of switching now. I like that the user file is physically on my hard drive in case the cloud storage isn't available at that moment.
  8. Vanilla Face, Jun 26, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 2, 2014

    Vanilla Face macrumors 6502

    Aug 11, 2013
    I use a NAS to automatically sync the home folder on my macs as well as create a back up of everything. It connects via the internet from anywhere to automatically save any changes that are made to any of the files.
  9. BrianBaughn macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2011
    Baltimore, Maryland
    I'd also recommend a Dropbox/Box/OneDrive/Google Drive type solution.

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