Back in the day, Katie & David did shows on how they approached setting up a new laptop, nuke & pave vs migration, etc. But the universe has changed with iCloud and subscriptions, and lots else. SO, I’m wondering where the latest advice is about how to do a mindful transfer rather than dragging all the old garbage with me. I’ve had to buy a new laptop because I’m leaving my job, so I can’t count on being able to open up the old one if something is missing. (I’ve not listened to MPU in a while, so maybe I’ve missed a more recent discussion…)
I very nearly always use Migration Assistant from a clone or TimeMachine backup during OS installation/initial setup. On the very, very rare occasions that I go the nuke and repave route, I buy an external drive and use Carbon Copy Cloner to create an encrypted, non-bootable clone of my Mac that I keep indefinitely.
For me, one of the almost overwhelmingly enormous advantages of using Macs is the fact that I can replace hardware without losing all of the ways in which I’m made a Mac my own by transferring the complete state of one machine to another.
If I were trying to be a little more mindful, I’d still use Migration Assistant as above and omit the applications, and then install those by hand as needed.
All of that is just me though
What I’ve done the last two times was, in addition to my Time Machine backup, made a disc image, and also back up irreplaceable files to an external hard drive by hand.
I then cleaned up the old machine, removing apps and files and logs etc. I nuked apps I wouldn’t / hadn’t used. I did some minor reorganization of files. Then I used Migration assistant.