Pre­par­ing to mi­grate to a new Mac

I am plan­ning on buy­ing a new iMac, pre­sum­ably run­ning High Sierra. How can I best move apps, doc­u­ments, and data (such as saved pass­words) from my cur­rent Sierra sys­tem to the new iMac?

Mac|Life - - ASK -

Be­fore your new Mac ar­rives, have a thor­ough clear out of the apps and per­sonal files stored on your old Mac, re­mov­ing any­thing that you no longer need. En­sure there aren’t any old ex­ten­sions or other soft­ware left be­hind that might not be fully com­pat­i­ble with High Sierra. Note that some apps, such as Adobe CC, must be deau­tho­rized on the old Mac and then reau­tho­rized on the new one; an­tic­i­pate the apps that may be af­fected so you can work this out early.

When you set up your new Mac, en­sure it’s on a high-speed net­work con­nec­tion with your old one. For a re­ally quick trans­fer, you might be able to con­nect both machines di­rectly us­ing tar­get disk mode over Thun­der­bolt; start your old Mac with the T key held down to ef­fec­tively make its in­ter­nal stor­age an ex­ter­nal drive to your new Mac.

When you start up and run through the Setup As­sis­tant on your new Mac, you’ll be in­vited to mi­grate your apps, doc­u­ments, and set­tings from the old sys­tem. Ac­cept the in­vi­ta­tion, and se­lect what you want to mi­grate. If you don’t want to do it all at once, you can al­ways run Mi­gra­tion As­sis­tant at a later date to bring across what­ever you leave out.

Mi­gra­tion can take a very long time — some­times a day or more — de­pend­ing on how much there is to copy across, so a fast con­nec­tion between the two com­put­ers is im­por­tant. You also won’t be able to use ei­ther Mac un­til it’s com­plete.

You can con­nect two Macs us­ing Thun­der­bolt and ac­cess the con­tents of the old Mac from the new one by start­ing it up in tar­get disk mode.

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