Does Migration Assistant Transfer Everything? A Comprehensive Guide

Apple offers Migration Assistant as a tool to assist users in moving data from an old Mac computer to a new one. While Migration Assistant is designed to transfer a wide range of data, it may not transfer everything in all cases.

When using Migration Assistant, you can typically expect it to transfer your user accounts, applications, documents, settings, and other files from your old Mac to the new one. 

It can also transfer your email accounts, contacts, calendars, and Safari bookmarks. Additionally, it will attempt to transfer your photos, music, movies, and other media files.

However, there are some limitations to what Migration Assistant can transfer. It may not transfer certain third-party applications or software that is incompatible with the new Mac.

It may also exclude files that are damaged or corrupted. Furthermore, Migration Assistant does not transfer the operating system itself, so you need to ensure that the new Mac is running a compatible version of macOS.

You will have an improved understanding of Does Migration Assistant Transfer Everything? and its part in supporting a thorough transfer of your data and settings by the conclusion of this tutorial. So let’s dig in and learn more about Migration Assistant to make sure your switch to a new Mac is smooth!

What Exactly Does a Migration Assistant Transfer?

So you’re making the switch to a new Mac and wondering exactly what Migration Assistant will transfer over for you does Migration Assistant transfer everything? The good news is, it can transfer a lot to get you up and running on your new system quickly.

The Migration Assistant will transfer:

  • Your user accounts, including saved passwords, browsing history, and email accounts So you won’t have to re-sign into all your accounts or re-enter all those passwords again.
  • Your applications and settings Things like your browser extensions, plugins, bookmarks, and preferences will all transfer over, so you can pick up right where you left off.
  • Your documents, photos, music, movies, and desktop folders All your important files will make their way to your new Mac, so you won’t lose anything in the move.
  • System settings and preferences Things like your keyboard shortcuts, mouse speed, WiFi networks, and Bluetooth pairings will transfer, so your new Mac will feel familiar right from the start.

While Migration Assistant transfers a tonne to get you up and running quickly, it won’t transfer absolutely everything. It leaves behind cache files, logs, and other clutter to give you a fresh start. It also won’t transfer any malware or viruses you may have had, so your new Mac will be squeaky clean!

With Migration Assistant handling the bulk of your transfer, switching to a new Mac really couldn’t be easier. In just a few clicks, your new system will feel like your old, familiar friend. Welcome to your new Mac!

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Migrating Your Files and Folders

So you’ve decided to make the move to a new Mac. The big question is, will Migration Assistant transfer everything from your old computer? The short answer is mostly, but there are a few things you should know.

Migration Assistant will transfer your documents, photos, music, movies, desktop files, document folders, and email. It will also bring over many of your apps and preferences, so your new Mac will feel familiar right away.

However, some things won’t make the move. Migration Assistant won’t transfer your browser bookmarks, cached website data, or cookies. So save those bookmarks before migrating! It also won’t bring any malware or viruses you may have picked up, so migrating is a chance for a fresh, clean start.

Migration Assistant may encounter issues transferring some third-party apps. It’s best to reinstall the latest versions of those apps on your new Mac. And remember, your new Mac may not have the same amount of storage as your old one, so you’ll want to do some spring cleaning first and delete anything you no longer need.

Once the migration is done, you may need to sign in again to websites, services, and some apps. You should also double-check that all your files and folders are transferred properly. But otherwise, your new Mac should feel instantly familiar, with your digital life fully intact and ready for new adventures.

Overall, Migration Assistant does an amazing job of transferring nearly everything to your new Mac. But with a few extra steps on your part, like saving your bookmarks, deleting unused files, and reinstalling some apps, you’ll feel right at home on your new computer in no time. The move was worth it!

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Transferring Your Apps and Settings

Transferring Your Apps and Settings

When using Migration Assistant to transfer data from your old Mac to a new one, the big question is: does it transfer everything? The short answer is mostly, but not always. Migration Assistant is designed to transfer your accounts, apps, settings, and files, but there are a few exceptions you should be aware of.

Apps and Settings

Migration Assistant will transfer most of your installed apps and their settings. Things like your desktop layout, Dock configuration, wallpaper, and widget settings will carry over to your new Mac. However, some apps may need to be reinstalled or have their licence keys re-entered. It’s a good idea to make a list of your installed apps ahead of time in case any get missed in the transfer.

Files and Documents

Your files, documents, photos, music, and downloads will all make the move to your new Mac. Migration Assistant will transfer everything in your user folders, like Desktop, Documents, Downloads and uploads,s as well as anything saved to external drives or cloud services like iCloud Drive or Dropbox. Make sure any external drives are connected during the transfer process.


Migration Assistant will sign you in and transfer your Apple ID, iCloud account, and other internet accounts. However, you may need to re-enter passwords for some accounts, like email, social networks, or streaming services. It’s best to make a list of all your account logins ahead of time to simplify the transition.


Some data just won’t transfer. This includes your Safari web browsing history, widgets, iTunes library, and any software licence keys. You’ll need to reload those on your new Mac manually. Migration Assistant also won’t transfer data from Time Machine backups; you’ll need to restore that data separately after the Migration Assistant process completes.

While Migration Assistant does an excellent job of transferring most of your apps, settings, and files to a new Mac, it’s not perfect. Doing some prep work beforehand and knowing its limitations will help ensure a smooth transition to your new machine. With a little manual reconfiguration of certain apps and accounts, your new Mac will feel like home in no time.

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Moving Your Emails, Contacts, Calendars and Reminders

Moving Your Emails, Contacts, Calendars and Reminders

Migration Assistant can transfer a lot from your old Mac to a new one, but unfortunately, it won’t move everything. Some data just isn’t compatible or able to be transferred for technical reasons. One area that is partially transferred is your personal information, like emails, contacts, calendars, and reminders.


Migration Assistant will transfer your email accounts and messages, but only for certain email services like Apple Mail, Outlook, and some IMAP email accounts. Gmail, Yahoo Mail, and Exchange accounts aren’t supported. For unsupported accounts, you’ll need to manually add them to your new Mac and download messages.


Your contacts will transfer seamlessly to the Contacts app on your new Mac. All contact details, notes, groups, and photos will move over during the migration process, so you won’t lose any information about friends, family, colleagues, or clients.


Calendars synced with iCloud, Exchange, or CalDAV servers will transfer to the Calendar app on your new Mac. Local calendar files aren’t supported and won’t make the move. Double-check that all your events and appointments appear in the Calendar app after the migration and make manual entries for any missing local calendar data.


Reminders synced via iCloud will transfer to the Reminders app on your new Mac. However, reminder information stored only on your old Mac won’t migrate over. Be prepared to re-enter any reminders, to-do lists, or tasks that were saved locally on your previous computer.

While Migration Assistant does its best to transfer key personal data like emails, contacts, calendars, and reminders, there are limitations. Do a quick check of all these apps after the migration process completes to ensure everything moved over properly, and enter any information that didn’t make it manually on your new Mac.

With a few minutes of effort, you’ll be all setup and ready to go!

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So there you have it, the truth about whether Migration Assistant transfers everything or not. As you’ve discovered, while it does move a lot of your important files, apps, and settings, it’s not perfect.

Some things will inevitably get left behind in the move from your old Mac to your new one. The key is not to panic. With a little time and patience, you can get your new Mac set up just the way you like it.

And remember, Migration Assistant is really there to give you a head start, not do everything for you. Part of the fun of a new computer is customizing it and making it your own. So take a deep breath and dive in. Your new Mac is waiting for you to make your mark! Before you know it, this will feel like home.


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