Data Transfer from old iMac to Retina 5K

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Getting ready to transfer data from old iMac (2008) to Retina 5K. Directions say it is easy. Any tips I should know before I begin? I have many photos on my old computer and I don't want to mess it up and accidentally erase everything! I'm a senior citizen, please give advice in layman's terms and not use too much computer "lingo." Thanks
 

chscag

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2017 27" iMac, 10.5" iPad Pro, iPhone 8, iPhone 11, iPhone 12 Mini, Numerous iPods, Monterey
Welcome to the Mac-Forums.

OK, follow along, but first.... Do not create an account on your new retina iMac. When you first turn on the new iMac the automatic migration assistant will run and ask you if you wish to transfer data from another Mac. Now follow the steps below.

1. Make a full Time Machine backup of your old iMac to an external hard drive.

2. Attach the external drive with the full Time Machine backup on it to your new iMac

3. Respond to the automatic migration assistant when it asks about transferring data from another Mac and press OK.

4. Your data from the old iMac will be transferred to your new retina iMac including your old account and name. Note: The system will not be overwritten - only data will be transferred and your applications, documents, and so forth.

5. Reboot your new iMac and you'll be ready to go.
 
M

MacInWin

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If you have already created an account, all is not lost, just let us know and we can post how to do it safely. It's not as easy as what chscag has documented, but do-able.
 
C

chas_m

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Just to clarify, the setup process does collect much of the info that's needed to create the home account before getting around to the "do you have data you want to bring over" portion of the show, but do NOT skip that part unless you absolutely have to. Migration Assistant is absolutely amazing when people go through it and follow directions.
 

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