How to Move Your Time Machine Backups to a New Mac


When you get a new Mac, the first thing you will do is configure it to fit your needs. But what if you want to move all the content from a old Mac to a brand new one? Well, if you have already made a Time Machine backup for the old Mac, you can easily import the data to your new Mac by using the built-in Migration Assistant app.

This post will show you how to move your content to a new Mac by Migration Assistant and Time Machine, both of which are native apps coming with every Mac. To begin with, you may need to update the backup file via Time Machine for the old Mac, and then you can start the transferring to new Mac by the following steps:

  • Connect the external drive that contains the backup file to the new Mac.
  • Launch Migration Assistant from Launchpad, via Spotlight, or in Finder.
  • When you are prompted to quit all open apps, allows it to do so.
  • In the interface of Migration Assistant, choose the option that reads From a Mac, Time Machine Backup, or Startup Disk, and then click Continue to go on.
  • Choose the drive that stores your backup file, and click Continue to proceed.
  • If you are prompted to enter an password, make sure to enter your Time Machine password instead of Admin or Wi-Fi password, and then click Connect.
  • When you are presented a list of backup archives which the drive holds, choose the one you want to copy to the new Mac, and click Continue. And when you are asked to choose a volume from within the selected backup archive, do so and click Continue.
  • When asked which information you want to transfer to the new Mac, select the user account you want to restore, and click Continue to start the data migration.


You can also choose the options for Applications, Computer & Network Settings and Other Files and Folders so as to move them all to your new Mac. Note: If you transfer an account that has the same name as an account on your new Mac, you will be asked to rename the old account or replace the one on your new Mac.

If you choose to rename it, the old account appears as a separate user on your new Mac, with a separate home folder and login. If you choose to replace, the old account overwrites the account on your new Mac, including everything in its home folder.

After the transferring is complete, exit out of Migration Assistant, and log in to the migrated account on your new Mac to check if the files you want appear. Now you can use your brand new Mac without worrying about losing crucial backup.

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