Migrating data directly from a Mac

Follow these steps to transfer user files and other data between Macs connected by Thunderbolt or Firewire. Both computers should be connected to a power outlet. If you have a USB keyboard, connect it to the source Mac. Not sure if this is the right method for you? See Using Migration Assistant.

  1. Power up the destination (new) Mac.
  2. If the computer has never been used, click Transfer now and skip to step 5.
  3. Click the Launchpad and open Migration Assistant. Or click the Finder (desktop), then the Go menu at the top of the screen, choose Utilities and open Migration Assistant.
  4. Click Continue and type an administrator user name and password to quit all other apps and log out the current user.
  5. Place the source (old) Mac next to the destination (new) Mac. 
  6. Turn on the source Mac. As soon as you hear the startup tone, hold the T key. Wait 15 seconds or until the transfer symbol to appears on the screen, then release the key. If you see an Apple logo instead, wait for the Mac to complete startup, then shut down and repeat this step.
  7. Connect a Thunderbolt or Firewire cable between the computers.
  8. On the destination Mac, select From a Mac, Time Machine backup or other disk and click continue.
  9. Select the source Mac and click Continue. Source Mac not shown? Click Quit, unplug the cable, hold the power button on the source Mac for 5 seconds, then restart the migration.
  10. Select the data to migrate and complete the transfer.
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