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Mac migration assistant too slow

Should that happens to you, boot the new machine up into macOS Recovery , use Disk Utility to erase the startup disk , and then reinstall macOS. Afterward, you can attempt the migration again.

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This time, however, try doing it from a backup if you did it Mac-to-Mac the first time. Or try Target Disk Mode, as I mentioned. I used the migration assistant to try and install my backup files from a hard disk that was manually created not using Time Machine from my Macbook to a new High Sierra Macbook. Migration Assistant never stopped, even after letting it run overnight. Then, after disconnecting, it appeared the hard disk was completely empty.

First of all, wrong way… Full of enthusiasm, I turned on my old laptop and my new one. Hmmm… Then, I noticed that my old laptop seemed inclined to go to sleep.

How Not to do Migration Assistant

Three hours later, we were still at about 15 hours on that countdown! Now… right way. You can stop it and start all over. Now, you can jump right into the following instructions. On your old computer , be sure your computer is plugged in and not on battery. Go to System Preferences in the Apple Menu.

Transfer Files Mac to Mac - Time Machine Backup vs Migration Assistant vs Target Disk Mode

Click on Energy Saver. That will keep your computer from taking a nap during the migration. If your old computer has a Thunderbolt port, connect the two computers to each other using a Thunderbolt cable.

Apple Footer

Apple has already thought of that and you can buy a Thunderbolt to Firewire Adapter, either on their website or at the Apple Store. There is also an Ethernet Adapter available, in case your old computer is really old… Or in case you prefer to use ethernet to connect to the internet when you travel. Once your computers are connected, you will need to restart the old computer in Target Disk Mode. You do that by restarting it while you hold down the T key. And waiting for the migration to complete. In my case, it took less than four hours.


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If you have trouble turning off the old computer and restarting it, after the migration is done, just hold down the power button for about 6 seconds. Apple has detailed instructions on using Migration Assistant on its website here.

Welcome Image and Text

Instead, they advocate manually moving and installing your data from one computer to another. Honestly, for the average computer user, Migration Assistant is a tremendous help! It saves time and is much easier.


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  4. Caroline, thank you for documenting the simple way complete success after following this compared to days of trying to follow discussion board suggestions. And thank you for keeping an old blog post fresh -R. Thanks, Roger! It was absolutely seamless! Lucky you! I have found Migration assistant pretty useless the past, even more so now.

    Apple Loses Control of Product Migration | HuffPost

    At present I am trying to use it to migrate from a MacbookAir It hangs every time. I asked for advice on Apple site, none of which worked. I have used disk utility — it reports no problems on either machine. I am now trying to transfer without Settings and Other files…on advice from the Apple site. Still hanging. Looks like a manual transfer, and connecting a Super Drive thanks Apple for getting rid of that to transfer apps. Should have done that in the first place….