1. Technology
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

Switch to Mac - Lion's Migration Assistant Can Move Your PC Data to Your Mac


2 of 2

Switch to Mac - Using Lion's Migration Assistant

The OS X Lion Migration Assistant requires that the Mac and the PC be connected to the same local network. You don't need to worry about setting up any type of file sharing on either computer; they just need to be on the same network.

The transfer process involves running a copy of the Migration Assistant on your Mac and a copy on your PC. Since you'll be working with two different computers, and two applications that have the same name, we'll preface each step in this guide to using the Migration Assistant with either PC or Mac, to make it clear which application the instructions refer to.

Installing the Lion Migration Assistant

Your Mac includes the main Migration Assistant application, but you'll also need to install a helper application on your Windows PC. You can download the Windows Migration Assistant from Apple's web site at:

Windows Migration Assistant for Lion

Using the OS X Lion Migration Assistant


  1. Before proceeding with the migration process, turn off the automatic Windows Update. There's a remote possibility that if the Windows Update starts installing new packages, the Migration Assistant will be interrupted, and won't be able to complete the process.

  2. Once you download it to your PC, launch the Windows Migration Assistant installer and follow the onscreen instructions to complete the installation.

  3. When the installation is complete, the Migration Assistant will auto-start.

  4. When the Migration Assistant launches on your PC, click through the welcome screen, until you're asked to start the Migration Assistant on your Mac.


  1. Launch the Migration Assistant, which is located at /Applications/Utilities, or from the Go menu, select Utilities.

  2. The Migration Assistant may ask you to enter the name and password of a user with an administrator account. Click Continue, enter an admin name and password, and click OK.

  3. The Migration Assistant will display options for the source of information to copy to your Mac. Select "From another Mac, PC, Time Machine backup, or other disk," and click Continue.

  4. The Migration Assistant will display additional source options. Select "From another Mac or PC," and click Continue.

  5. In order for the Migration Assistant to continue, it must close any other applications that are running on your Mac. Click Continue to close any open apps and proceed with the migration process.

  6. The Migration Assistant will scan your local network for any PC or Mac that is running the Migration Assistant application. Your PC's icon and name should display in the Migration Assistant window. When it does, click Continue.

  7. The display will now show you a multi-digit passcode. Write this number down, and take it to your PC.


  1. The Migration Assistant will display a passcode. It should match the one that was shown on your Mac. If the passcode matches, click Continue, and then return to your Mac.


  1. The Migration Assistant will display a list of items you can migrate to your Mac. The list will include the PC's currently logged-in user account, and all associated data, such as Music, Pictures, Movies, Desktop items, Downloads, Documents, Contacts, Bookmarks, and User Settings. The Migration Assistant can also copy additional files, such as shared files, logs, and other files and documents it finds on your PC.

  2. Select the items you wish to copy, and click Continue.

PC & Mac:

  1. Both Migration Assistants will display the ongoing progress of the copy operation. Once the copying process is complete, you can quit the Migration Assistant application on both machines.

The Migration Assistant can only copy the user data of the account that is currently logged in on the PC. If there are multiple user accounts that you wish to copy to your Mac, you'll need to log out of your PC, log in with the next account, and then repeat the migration process.

  1. About.com
  2. Technology
  3. Macs
  4. Switchers & New Users
  5. Switch to Mac - Using Lion's Migration Assistant

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.