Migration Assistant is a data transfer software product provided by Apple Inc. to Mac users, for easy migration of data and settings across different Macs. Using this utility, the user can transfer user accounts, network settings, printer and fax drivers, computer settings, applications and other files from one Macintosh computer to another. Migration assistant also enables migration of data from a full drive backup to a Mac computer.
If you have purchased a new computer, you can install the Migration assistant into it during the time of initial system setup. If you intend to use Migration assistant on your already set up Mac, you can simply run the Migration assistant manually. Migration assistant is operated through four different modes namely:
- Time machine backup or other external disk
However, transfer of data from one Mac computer to another using the Migration Assistant happens mostly through connection with an Ethernet cable or FireWire cable. If you do not have access to an Ethernet or FireWire cable, wireless migration can be employed.
Using the Migration Assistant for Mac-to-Mac migration
Apple’s Migration Assistant has made transfer of files and settings from one Mac to another simpler, in numerous ways. To secure important documents and settings in a quick, flexible and efficient manner, you can use the migration assistant to choose and transfer specific files and folders. The Migration assistant utility is located at /Applications/Utilities/Migration Assistant.app. Before attempting any migration with the migration assistant, you need to make sure that the Mac computers, which you choose to conduct transfer of data, are connected properly via wired or wireless connections.
Before starting the migration
The following are a few important points to consider, before starting the process of migration using the migration assistant:
- Make sure that the Macs are powered on and that the source computer has the latest version of any third-party software installed in it.
- Do not keep either of the Mac computers in sleep mode while migration assistant is running.
- It is always best to transfer data using an Ethernet cable because it speeds up the transfer.
- If you are choosing network migration to transfer settings, ensure that the source computer has the DVD or CD Sharing software installed.
- If you are transferring files using wireless migration, ensure that the wireless connections are flawless. Eliminate interferences and check the Signal Strength meter to find the best signals for transfer. If the signal strength is high, it will help you transfer the data faster.
- While using Ethernet connection, use a single Ethernet cable to connect the two Macs. Do not connect the computers via any hub, switch or router.
Using Migration Assistant through FireWire
To transfer data through Migration Assistant over Firewire, connect the source and target computers using FireWire. Restart the source computer by pressing and holding the ‘T’ key. Open the Migration Assistant utility on the target Mac computer and type in your username and password when asked for. Another box pops up and prompts you to choose the mode of migration. Select the option ‘From another Mac’ and click ‘continue’. The following dialog box prompts you to choose whether to use a firmware cable or an Ethernet cable/ wireless network to migrate data. Select ‘Use firmware’ and click ‘continue’. Now on your target Mac, close all other applications and start the migration process. If you need to transfer specific files, select the items you wish to migrate. The migration assistant then starts the process of transferring data. The time taken for the completion of migration depends upon the amount of data selected. After the migration process ends, your new Mac is loaded and ready with the data and settings migrated from the previous system.
Using Migration Assistant through Ethernet or Wireless modes
Using the Migration Assistant through an Ethernet or wireless medium is quite simple. Certain operating systems from Mac do not support the Migration assistant. Therefore, before starting the migration of files from one system to another, ensure that the OS in the source computer is updated so that it is compatible with the Migration Assistant utility.
To begin the process of migration, connect the two Mac computers to the same network wirelessly or through an Ethernet cable. On the target Mac, open Migration Assistant and when prompted for, provide the username and password. When you are asked to choose the desired mode of migration, select ‘From another Mac’ and click ‘continue’. Since you are transferring wirelessly or via an Ethernet cable, select ‘Use Network’. Now open Migration Assistant on the source Mac. Type the admin username and password. On submitting the admin details, the source Mac allows you to choose the preferred mode of migration. Select ‘To another Mac’ and continue. The target Mac pops up a dialog box indicating a passcode along with the instruction ‘Connect your computers’. Type this passcode on the source Mac. Close all other applications running on the source Mac and click ‘continue’ to start the migration process. Select the items you wish to migrate to the target Mac. After you click continue, the Migration Assistant starts the migration process. Depending upon the amount of data you have selected for migration, the Migration Assistant takes several minutes to transfer data among the computers.
Using Migration Assistant through Time machine backup or external disk
To transfer files and applications between two Macs via the Time machine backup or any other external disk, open the Migration Assistant utility on the target computer. Connect the external hard drive and give your admin details. When asked for the preferred migration mode, choose ‘From a Time machine backup or other disk’. Continue to choose your migration option and start the migration process by selecting the items you wish to migrate. Remember to close all other running applications on the source Mac. After selection of files, the Migration Assistant starts to begin the file transfer. The speed of migration depends on the amount of data selected and the speed of network.
With the Migration Assistant Utility, Apple enables easy syncing and transfer of settings between different Mac computers. So, if you have just bought a new Mac and need to get your settings and files transferred easily and efficiently, start using the Migration Assistant.