Migration Question -2015 iMac TO Mac Mini M2 Max + Studio Display

So I took the plunge and purchased a Mac Mini M2Max + Studio Display. Mac Mini should be arriving this week. The question I have is are there any tips, tricks or ‘watch outs’ regarding migrating all of my docs and data from the old Intel based iMac to the new Apple Silicon Mac Mini? I know the Migration Assistant - which I’ve used before with other migrations in my family - can handle the migration but just wanted to make sure there are no landmines I need to be aware of.


I did something similar recently and decided to do a fresh install and install apps/copy files manually. It was a lot easier than I was expecting. All the App Store apps were really simple to download, for some of the others I had to look up licence info in emails.

Most of my files sit in iCloud so the migration was easy.

I had to configure certain apps but it did not take too long.

I’m in the same boat. my MacMini arrived and has been burning in to verify no infant mortality in the hardware.

I created an admin user and am just running that.

I’ll create another user for my real stuff and plan to migrate from my Catalina 2013 iMac to Ventura in one fell swoop. I am fully expecting some issues, mostly with a lot of apps that will suddenly need to upgrade. I can’t do upgrades in advance as they are not supported by Catalina.

My current dithering is whether to be an Admin or regular user on the new machine.

What you describe is what I am anticipating/expecting as well. I can fully handle that.

I’m going with the ‘regular user’ (me) option as the “ADMIN”. I’ve never created an additional “ADMIN” user for any of my previous Macs even though I know it is an approach some recommend.

When I migrated, I actually opted for a clean install rather than a migration. I didn’t do much research into it, but my biggest concern was making sure that I only had Apple Silicon binaries on the machine (where they existed). If I migrated from the Intel machine, I felt like it would copy over the Intel binaries which would then run in Rosetta. It definitely took more work but I was ultimately very happy with the setup. It gave me an excuse to purge some stuff that was no longer necessary.

What do you mean by this? What is ‘Rosetta’?

Apps that were packaged up and created before the release of Apple Silicon were designed to run on Intel (x86) processors. Rosetta is the translation layer that allows most Intel based apps to run on Apple Silicon. It converts the Intel based instructions to something that Apple Silicon can run. If Rosetta didn’t exist, those apps/binaries wouldn’t run as the instructions couldn’t be run by the processor. Apple did the same thing when it converted from PowerPC to Intel chips.

It is absolutely amazing how well it runs, and mostly appears transparent to users, but it’s still forcing the computer to do extra work. Here’s some more information on the matter if you’re curious.


Got it. Thank you for the clear explanation. This is a little beyond my knowledge set :slight_smile: however I will take that into consideration when I do the migration.

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I would hate to try and do a clean install. I feel like I’ve customised so many settings left right and centre that it would take days to get things back to normal.

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I don’t think there’s much concern here, most popular apps are already Apple Silicon compatible. And even if for some disgrace you were running some Intel binaries, the sheer power of the M2Max would probably make it run at the same speed as in a Intel box. Suboptimal, yes, worrisome, no.

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