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Mac to Mac Transfer - Move Your Important Mac Data

Back Up or Move Mail, Bookmarks, Address Book, iCal to a New Mac

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Your Mac contains tons of personal data, from your saved emails to your calendar events. Backing up this data, whether just to have a backup on hand or to move the data to a new Mac, is actually pretty easy. The problem is it's not always an intuitive process.

I’ve gathered detailed instructions on moving this important info to your new Mac, as well as how to create backups of individual application data.

 

1. Moving Apple Mail: Transfer Your Apple Mail to a New Mac

Back Up or Move Your Important Mac Data - Transfer Your Apple Mail to a New Mac

Moving your Apple Mail to a new Mac, or to a new, clean install of the OS, may seem like a difficult task but it actually only requires saving three items and moving them to the new destination.

There are a few ways to perform the move. By far the easiest and most often suggested method is to use Apple’s Migration Assistant. This method works well in most cases, but there’s one drawback to the Migration Assistant. Its approach is mostly all-or-nothing when it comes to moving data.

 

2. Back Up or Move Your Safari Bookmarks to a New Mac

Back Up or Move Your Important Mac Data - Move Your Safari Bookmarks to a New Mac

Safari, Apple's popular web browser, has a lot going for it. It's easy to use, fast, and versatile, and it adheres to web standards. It does, however, have one slightly annoying feature, or should I say it lacks a feature: a convenient way to import and export bookmarks.

Yes, there are 'Import Bookmarks' and 'Export Bookmarks' options in the Safari File menu. But if you have ever used these Import or Export options, you probably didn't get what you expected. The method outlined in this article makes it easy to save and restore Safari bookmarks.

 

3. Back Up or Move Your Address Book Contacts to a New Mac

Back Up or Move Your Important Mac Data - Move Your Address Book Contacts to a New Mac

You've spent a long time building your Address Book contact list, so why aren't you backing it up? Sure, Apple's Time Machine will back up your contact list, but it's not easy to restore just your Address Book data from a Time Machine backup.

The method I'm going to describe will allow you to copy the Address Book contact list into a single file that you can easily move to another Mac or use as a backup.

 

4. Back Up or Move Your iCal Calendars to a New Mac

Back Up or Move Your Important Mac Data - Move Your iCal Calendars to a New Mac

If you use Apple's iCal calendar application, then you probably have a multitude of calendars and events to track. Do you maintain a backup of this important data? Time Machine doesn't count. Sure, Apple's Time Machine will back up your iCal calendars, but it's not easy to restore just your iCal data from a Time Machine backup.

Luckily, Apple provides a simple solution to save your iCal calendars, which you can then use as backups, or as an easy way to move your calendars to another Mac, perhaps the new iMac you just purchased.

 

5. Moving Time Machine to a New Hard Drive

Moving Time Machine to a New Hard Drive

Starting with Snow Leopard (OS X 10.6.x), Apple simplified what's required to successfully transfer a Time Machine backup. If you follow the steps below, you can move your current Time Machine backup to a new disk. Time Machine will then have enough room to save a larger number of backups, until it eventually fills up the available space on the new drive.

6. Use Migration Assistant to Copy Data from a Previous OS

Apple’s Migration Assistant makes it easy to copy user data, user accounts, applications, and computer settings from an earlier version of OS X.

Migration Assistant supports numerous ways of transferring the necessary data to your new installation of OS X Leopard. The method used in this guide will allow you to transfer data from an existing hard drive volume that contains an earlier version of OS X to a new Leopard installation that’s located on a separate hard drive volume on the same computer.

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  6. Transfer Files (Mail, Bookmarks, Address Book) to a New Mac

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