Transfering files / Time Machine / reinstalls / etc.

Dec 4, 2007
Reaction score
Seattle, Washington USA
Your Mac's Specs
iMac Pro, M1 MacBooks
Been reading about the various methods to transfer files to a new machine. Would like to clarify a few things with the Mac experts.

I'll be going from Snow Leopard to Snow Leopard. I have a Time Machine backup but due to some of the detritus and other stuff on my current system I'd rather not use it to do a complete transfer. I'm willing to manually transfer data as needed over the network and take the opportunity to archive or delete things as I go. Installing apps fresh is also fine. But what about the various desktop and other system preference settings? Is their an easy way to configure the new computer similar to the old without manually doing so or without doing a full Time Machine restore? Finally, when the transfer is complete what's the best way to utilize the Time Machine disk? Should I nuke it an let the system begin a new, fresh Time Machine backup? Any reason to retain the old backup since it would no longer be pertinent to the new system?

Many thanks.

Mar 4, 2008
Reaction score
Your Mac's Specs
Unibody MacBook Pro 2.26, 4gb RAM, 500gb HD
I would recommend deleting the unwanted apps from the old machine and then using the Migration Assistant to migrate to your new machine. It will transfer your apps, settings & preferences over to the new machine with no hassle.

Once the transfer is complete, tested, and fully functional, I would delete the TM backup and let it start over.

The Migration Assistant is under Applications > Utilities. It has a wizard similar to Windows software install packages.

Shop Amazon

Shop for your Apple, Mac, iPhone and other computer products on Amazon.
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites.