Settling in to your new Mac home
You’ve found the coffee and sugar, now you need to get Mail, Music and Messages up and running. But how?
FOR THOSE WHO have used Migration Assistant to transfer some or all of your things, happy days! Logging in and using your new Mac should be just like the old one, but even faster and more efficient. But while Migration Assistant does a great job of copying from one Mac to another, there are some things it can’t do. That’s one reason why you shouldn’t erase or get rid of your existing Mac until you’re sure you have absolutely everything you need — something we've learned the hard way!
As with any Apple device, when you use your new Mac you’ll be asked to sign into iCloud. If you’re coming from another Mac or have other Apple devices using iCloud it will take care of the essential stuff such as your contacts,
your Keychain for passwords, your calendar and so on. In order to use an existing iCloud account with a new device, you’ll need to authorize it from another device: your old Mac, perhaps, or iPhone or iPad. This will give you an authorization code to enter.
If you use third–party services for anything on your Mac, such as Gmail, you’ll need to set up those accounts again — or if Migration Assistant has carried them across, to re–authorize them. For example if you use two–factor authentication in apps, where in addition to a username and password you need to enter a code sent to you by text message, you’ll need to go through that before you can use your Gmail or similar service. Some apps may use an app–specific password to access your iCloud services: you can create new ones in the Security section of iCloud.com.
If your new Mac has Touch ID you’ll need to re–register your fingers, and if you use Apple Pay you’ll also need to re– authorize your saved bank cards. These are tied to a particular device as an anti– fraud measure so when you move from one Mac to another you’ll need to confirm your identity with a call to or text message from your card issuer.
Many apps and iTunes purchases are limited to a specific number of devices. Your Apple ID can be associated with up to 10 devices, including a maximum of five computers at a time; a single–user Apple Music subscription is limited to six devices per Apple ID. Whenever you move to a new device it’s wise to de– authorize the old one (unless of course you intend to keep using it). Do that in the Music app by clicking Account >
Authorizations. It’s also a good idea to go into System Prefs > Apple ID or use Music > Account > View My Account > Manage Devices to see if you have any other old devices connected to your Apple ID and remove the ones you no longer have.
You may also find that some apps or plug–ins for apps use online activation as an anti–piracy measure. The specifics will differ from app to app, but typically you’ll need to open the app or plug–in, enter a serial number or license key, and then get it to check whether the number and/ or key is valid before you can use it. In some cases you may need to de–authorize the old Mac before you can use the app or plug–in on your new one.
With any cloud–based services such as iCloud Drive, Photos, iTunes Match or similar, anything that wasn’t previously downloaded to your original Mac (or included in your Time Machine backup or Mac clone) won’t be copied across: Migration Assistant doesn’t copy cloud data. If a lot of your media is in the cloud, make sure you make a new Mac resolution to back up that data regularly too in case disaster strikes.
THE MANUAL RESTORE
If you didn’t use Migration Assistant, you’ll have to do all of the above plus a few more things. Your iCloud login will take care of your Apple data, passwords and contacts, but you’ll need to download, install, set preferences for and in some cases re–register the apps that don’t come bundled with your Mac. You may also need to change the default apps for particular file types by Ctrl–clicking or Opt–clicking on a file and selecting Open With > Other and choosing your preferred app. Make sure that you select the Always Open With checkbox.
“IF A LOT OF YOUR MEDIA IS IN THE CLOUD, MAKE A NEW MAC RESOLUTION TO BACK UP THAT DATA REGULARLY”