Quick question about my new M1

My new Macbook Pro with an M1 chip is being delivered (any minute now) and I’m really excited!
I have a dilemma though, what are the pros and cons to setting it up as new or transferring the data? I can’t decide yet and would really appreciate an outside perspective.

Thanks in advance :slight_smile:

Maybe this is more of a mental thing than a hardware thing, but for me there is something very satisfying about setting up a new Mac from scratch. Overtime I collect stuff (files, apps, app cruft, etc.), and I appreciate knowing that the new Mac is a fresh start with only the apps I am truly using and files I need on a regular basis.

Of course, this is all done with the understanding that I have backups of everything I can go to with I find I’m missing something.

Also, I use Dropbox for my document files, so simply installing Dropbox on the new machine brings all of my relevant document files to the new Mac.

Once I am happy with how things are running (usually a week or so after starting), I wipe my Time Machine drive and start with a fresh Time Machine backup.


Most of the time I think that migrating is a perfectly fine choice and there’s almost no real need to setup a new Mac as a clean install.

However… if you were considering a clean install for any reason, a processor transition does seem like a good time to do one.

I actually fully intended to migrate my 16” MacBook Pro install to my M1 MacBook but I got started setting up this thing and then that and pretty soon it was just like “Oh I guess I’m setting this up as new.”

I kept my last clone of my MacBook Pro around on an external drive and have pulled off some files from it, but mostly everything is in Dropbox, Resilio Sync, or iCloud, so I didn’t worry about losing much. I have all of my software licenses in 1Password so that’s not a big deal to re-register apps.

That being said, one thing that I have taken more notice of lately is that a lot of 3rd-party non-Mac App Store-apps are being sold through Paddle and other vendors which restrict the number of times you can use the license. Now, usually you can just email the developer and say “Hey I’m installing this on a new Mac can you reset my license” and they will, but I now go through all of those 3rd-party non-Mac App Store-apps looking for ways that I can “de-register” the apps before I retire the old computer.

(I should have made a list of which apps require that and how to do it, but I did not.)

I think that’s the only real benefit to not doing a clean install.

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Mine is coming next month, and I’ve started a list of my installation pathway as I will certainly be starting fresh just in case it helps due to the transition.

Plus I grew up on Windows,? And reinstalling fresh was something I did at least once a year (Windows was never kind on tinkerers)