Transferring Files and Apps to a New Mac

Today my new Mac Mini M2 pro arrived. :slight_smile:
I would like to do a clean install, because I want to take the opportunity to put some order in folders and apps, but I am worried about migrating some apps (e.g. Devonthink and Keyboard Maestro)
Do you have any tips for making this operation go smoothly?
Are there any steps I need to pay special attention to?
I guess using the Migration Assistant would simplify my life …

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You can re-download apps for which you have licenses. Yes, Migration Assistant is the easy way, but it also drags along cruft that you’d like to eliminate.

I will try migrating files and apps manually.
I think if I have problems I can always fall back on the Migration Assistant.

I do not like to run migration assistant on computers because I fear for a lot of cruft being migrated. For these types of “migrations”, it makes sense to write a list of the apps in the older device you really use, and then investigate the migration possibilities for each one. For DT, you could sync via its own sync mechanism or with a export. It is not as hard as it seems because most apps have some kind of syncing either built in or via iCloud, but one needs to be methodic.


Or for DEVONthink databases, simply connect across the local network and drag and drop, or copy via USB device.


Also, another important thing! Take note of apps that have seat based licenses and be sure to deactivate it in the older computer!


Have the old Mac accessible over the network. Don’t migrate anything. Then, whenever you need something you pull it over, making a copy.

That way on the new machine you automatically have 100% order, because only the stuff you really use is there.

Over time you will find your need to access the old machine to diminish to near zero.


Also, for DEVONthink, you’ll likely have to reinstall the plug-ins, and set Apple Mail to allow that plug-in (if you use it).

I had a corrupted Sonoma OS on my MBP that reinstalling the OS over itself could not fix. I had to create a new volume on my same internal hard drive, and install the Sonoma on it to see if it was fixed. It was.

I made a spreadsheet of 78 apps that I needed to bring over. I investigated how to manually move the data for each one. But then I used Migration Assistant to bring over the data and settings, but not the apps. I could not believe how easy and fast it was to get everything back up and running. It just took a few hours. All the settings and data my apps used was already there when I reinstalled the apps. It was as if I was using the apps identically to how they were before.

But here is the trade-off: my bare, new system was noticeably faster than my loaded, power user system. So if you don’t have very many apps you need to transfer, you might want to back up their data and settings, not use Migration Assistant, and get as clean a system as possible without the cruft that was talked about above in this thread.

Especially if you use that second technique (or even if you use Migration Assistant), I would still maintain your old hard drive until you know that there is nothing you need from it for the new system.

Thank you, you have given me many useful suggestions.
From tomorrow we start with the “migration”!

It’s funny, I was just going to ask a similar question, especially since I just heard on ATP both Marco and Casey extol the virtues of Migration assistant.

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So far here is my list of migration hints:[]=migrate#How_do_I_backupmigratetransfer_my_installation_to_another_Mac

Drafts - syncs settings through iCloud

When migrating to a new Mac consider using homebrew to speed the process: Easy macOS Loads By Way of Homebrew Bundle — Liss is More

brew bundle dump

Will create a BrewFile of the current state of the apps. Then on the new compute:

brew bundle install
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