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You'll see it when you first start up your Mac, when your Mac asks you if you want to transfer data over from another Mac, a Time Machine backup, or a PC. Both should be on the same network, in order to find each other. The data migration may take several hours depending on what's being transferred and what means are used: Wi-Fi is slower, a wired Ethernet connection is faster.
But one way or the other, your patience will be rewarded. What actual data gets transferred will depend on which version of Windows you're using, and what programs created your data. Bookmarks from Internet Explorer and Firefox will be brought into Safari, for example. System settings will get pulled over.
You'll be able to specify what other files you'd like to bring over, too. Email, contacts, and calendar information are where it gets a bit tricky. The bottom line is that Migration Assistant will pull over your email account information, and if you're using Microsoft Outlook, it should pull over your email messages, your contacts, and your calendars.
Other programs may vary. First, connect your Mac to your PC either through Ethernet, or by making sure both computers are on the same local Wi-Fi network. Obviously, there are other ways to move files between Macs and PCs. Thumb drives will work on both machines, so you can manually transfer whatever files you want to use, for example. But Migration Assistant provides an elegant, convenient and absolutely free way of managing the transition to becoming a Mac user, as long as you have the time to use it.
If you are migrating a old Mac to and new Mac click here for instructions. On your new Mac: Launch a Finder window. Click on Applications in the sidebar. Click Continue to start the transfer. Large transfers might need several hours to complete. When done, log in to the new user account on your Mac. The account uses the same name and password as the account on your PC. Authorize your Mac for iTunes Store purchases. What data is moved, and where? Moved to the Contacts app: Contacts from People Windows 10 or later , Outlook, and the Contacts folder in your home directory.
Moved to the Reminders app: Tasks from Outlook. Requires migrating to a Mac with macOS Ventura. Moved to System Settings or System Preferences: Custom desktop pictures, language settings, and location settings. Moved to your home folder : Documents and other files from your home directory. And photos, which you can add to the Photos app manually, or let Photos search your Mac for photos to import.
Moved to the Shared folder of your home folder: Non-system files and documents from the system disk typically the C drive and other available disks.
Requires using Migration Assistant while logged in to your PC as an administrator. If you have issues moving your data You can use the check disk chkdsk utility on your PC to check for issues that might prevent successful migration of your data. Right-click the Start button, then click Run. Type cmd and press Enter. Command Prompt opens.
At the prompt, type chkdsk and press Enter. Press Enter. At the prompt, type Y , then restart your PC. Repeat this process until the check disk utility reports no issues.
If the utility can't fix every issue that it found, you might need to have your PC serviced. Published Date: October 24, Yes No.
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The account uses the same name and password as the account on your PC. Authorize your Mac for iTunes Store purchases. What data is moved, and where? Moved to the Contacts app: Contacts from People Windows 10 or later , Outlook, and the Contacts folder in your home directory.
Moved to the Reminders app: Tasks from Outlook. Requires migrating to a Mac with macOS Ventura. Moved to System Settings or System Preferences: Custom desktop pictures, language settings, and location settings. Moved to your home folder : Documents and other files from your home directory.
And photos, which you can add to the Photos app manually, or let Photos search your Mac for photos to import. Moved to the Shared folder of your home folder: Non-system files and documents from the system disk typically the C drive and other available disks. Requires using Migration Assistant while logged in to your PC as an administrator. If you have issues moving your data You can use the check disk chkdsk utility on your PC to check for issues that might prevent successful migration of your data.
Right-click the Start button, then click Run. Type cmd and press Enter. Command Prompt opens. At the prompt, type chkdsk and press Enter. Press Enter. At the prompt, type Y , then restart your PC. Repeat this process until the check disk utility reports no issues.
If the utility can't fix every issue that it found, you might need to have your PC serviced. Published Date: October 24, Yes No. Character limit: Maximum character limit is Start a discussion in Apple Support Communities.
Of course, for apps created by smaller teams, older tools, and software made just for a Windows audience, there probably isn't a Mac version available, but that is becoming a rarer thing as time moves on. In cases where there isn't a macOS app of a Windows program, there are countless alternates you can acquire that do the same job.
This isn't just limited to apps that don't have a Mac counterpart, but also many that are perfectly suitable alternates to ones that do. Apple also has a wide collection of apps included as part of macOS for free, including GarageBand for music creation, the iWork suite for productivity, and Safari and Mail for web-browsing and email.
It is highly recommended that you try out Apple's built-in apps and tools, as they may do the task you need doing without buying more apps. As for where to find apps to install, you could always use a web browser to download installers from the developers directly, but iPhone and iPad owners may be more at home using the Mac App Store, the macOS variant of Apple's App Store.
Searching, buying, and downloading apps through the Mac App Store is practically as effortless as doing it on iOS or iPadOS , and anyone used to the mobile version will be able to quickly figure out and use the Mac version.
In extremely rare situations where a Mac-compatible version or a suitable alternate to a Windows app isn't available to you, there are still ways you could get that app running on your new Mac. The option isn't available on Apple Silicon Macs yet, but that will likely change down the line. The benefit is that you will have a way to run a Windows app on your Mac, because you're running actual Windows. The problem with Bootcamp is that you have to completely exit macOS to run Windows on Bootcamp, which can be a fuss for many.
Alternately, virtualization software such as Parallels and VMWare Fusion is coming out with support for Apple Silicon alongside existing Intel versions. The virtualization software can be used to install a form of Windows that can run apps while within macOS, which allows you to share data between the Windows app and macOS apps. Given that you will still have a working PC on hand, remember that you can always run your Windows-only applications on that for the moment, at least until you get a Mac equivalent running.
The immediate good news for your data is that most of your files created in Windows will be entirely readable in macOS, so long as the file has been copied across to the Mac, and you have an application capable of opening it. Given the number of applications that have both Mac and PC variants that handle the same file types, you shouldn't have any trouble opening the vast majority of files you transfer over.
Just as mentioned above, in cases where an application isn't available in macOS but an alternative can be used, that should also be an acceptable compromise. Developers tend to include compatibility for file types beyond the native ones used by their app, which is a useful thing to know. Do bear in mind that this extended compatibility doesn't usually apply to all historical versions of an app. Opening a file created in a very old version of a Windows-based program in an alternative app for macOS may not work in some cases, but it is worth trying anyway.
File foibles also exist across the same app on different ecosystems, which may need investigating for some users with mission-critical software and files they want to use. For example, as Excel for Mac uses a different base date for calculations, this could cause issues when trying to open a Windows-created Excel spreadsheet on a Mac, as the wrong results for dates may be shown.
Excel should figure out the disparity on opening the file, but it's not foolproof. A key problem is working out the best way to transfer your data across from the PC over to the Mac, and it's not necessarily as straightforward as simply copying files onto a USB thumb drive and transferring them over one by one. For a start, Apple offers what it calls the Windows Migration Assistant, a software tool for your PC that can be used to transfer data across a network to a new Mac.
Usable on Windows 7 or later, the tool will be able to transfer a plethora of data types from default data stores on the PC to their equivalents on the Mac. This data can be transferred over at the time of initially setting up the Mac via Setup Assistant, or by using the Mac's Migration Assistant.
Before doing so, ensure you have sufficient backups for your Windows PC, and that the two are on the same network. Ethernet would be best for faster file transfers. All require a PC running Windows 7 to function. The migration will do a lot of the heavy lifting for transferring important data, but it won't necessarily catch everything.
You should check through the Mac data to ensure the files you want to be transferred are now on the Mac. If there are files missing, you could use a USB thumb drive or set up a network share to transfer your files across. It is also feasible to remove the drive from the PC and place it into a USB enclosure to connect directly to the Mac, as it will be capable of reading files from drives formatted for Windows systems.
Another migration option is to take advantage of cloud storage. Applications like the Adobe Creative Cloud suite and Microsoft Office offer cloud storage elements as part of their subscriptions, which can be used to store user files that each respective system uses. In many cases, files are automatically saved to cloud storage to enable access on other devices. This means the files stored online would be immediately accessible once the Mac version of the app has been installed and user accounts authenticated.
Using cloud storage in this way is meant to be for convenience of access, but for migrations, it can also prove itself to be quite valuable, especially for work documents. Adjusting to how macOS works may take a while, and there's only so much we can cover in this article, but it is set up to be fairly straightforward and quite similar to Windows in a number of ways.
You will need to take time to learn of the differences, but that's part of the switching experience. You'll find your transferred content available to view in each of the apps, if you used the Migration Assistant. The Start button of Windows has its Mac equivalent, in the form of Launchpad, which is accessible from the Dock.
You could also use Finder, Apple's alternative to File Explorer, to access the Applications folder, which contains apps not located in the Dock. Keyboard shortcuts are generally the same as Windows equivalents, but instead of the Windows key and Alt, you'll be using Command and Option. Apple has published a list of common shortcuts you can use within macOS and its apps. If you want to change a major setting, you will have to access System Preferences, which you can access from the Apple icon in the top-right of the screen.
Since you've copied your files over to the Mac, now would be a great time to invest in an external drive and to use it for Time Machine, Apple's backup system.
The last thing you want is for your hard work from migrating your precious data to go to waste, so get a backup done as soon as you can. Lastly, if you're having trouble, look for assistance. There's support documents accessible from the Help option in the menu for most apps, while Apple has its own extensive online support pages you can search through for specific problems.
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