Importing your Desktop Environment to a New Machine

With the new Mac pro debuting today, I thought it might be the right time to ask the community if there is a way to import your customized desktop and preferences to a new machine? Let me elaborate, I want to import my desktop environment which already customized to my liking, to a new machine. I want things like:

  • Desktop image to remain the same
  • Customized dock to come in ready to go. Only the icons and apps I’ve designated appear on the dock.
  • Preferences to come in all ready to go
  • Icon sizes stay the same

Yes, I know I can recreate my environment again but I want to know if there is a way to import it ready to go?

When I get home I can show my Doc and folder style in an image.

Always thought there should be a script of some sort that can accomplish this. I know the Linux crowd has something for this feat.


  • Migrate Time machine?
  • Follow Apple’s instructions to Migrate from Mac > Mac
  • Migrate from a clone?

When doing that, I think your data is restored but settings like the Doc go back to the default Doc. Folders (i.e.Downloads and Applications) go back to grid view instead of list. My experience has only been with TM.

Make a Carbon Copy Cloner or SuperDuper clone of your current machine and then restore it on your new machine.

Will that work if the old and new Macs are on different versions of MacOS?

Errr… no. But I think that you should be able to use the clone drive to run “Migration Assistant” on the new computer, and that should work even if they are different versions of macOS.

That’s how we do it at our shop. Also we use the Target Disk Mode, mounting the drive and running Migration Assistant. Essentially the same but can save some time in the process, especially on regular hard drives since it’s only copied one time.