Have you just bought yourself a new Mac or MacBook.
Or are you in the process of thinking about getting yourself a new Mac?
But there is just one thing nagging at the back of your mind.
When you transfer your files. What happens to the files on your old Mac?
Are they deleted or changed?
Read on for a speedy answer.
Does Migration Assistant Delete Files From Old Mac?
No, Migration Assistant does not delete any files from your old Mac.
When you use Mac Migration Assistant to migrate. Your transfer files are copied from your old Mac to your new Mac.
Your old Mac stays exactly the same after your transfer is complete.
The same thing is true of Windows Migration Assistant. Windows Migration Assistant does not delete any files from your old Windows PC. It copies your files from Windows to your new Mac.
More Examples On Migration Assistant And Deleting Files From Old Mac
Although the documentation at Apple Inc. on Migration Assistant talks about migrating. And transfer of files.
When you use Migration Assistant you’ll find it copies your data from your old Mac to the new Mac.
Download Apple’s Migration Assistant from the Apple App Store for Windows. And install it on your old PC and you find it copies your files from there too.
You will still have your old computer with its set up and files that you can use.
Your free to use your old computer as a spare. Just in case something happens to your new Mac.
Just note that. If you want to give away your old Mac or sell it. Or your old PC and sell that. You’ll need to wipe your data securely from it before you get rid of your old machine.
Migration Assistant Copies, Not Delete Your Apps From Old Mac
Open Migration Assistant on your new Mac. And on the page where you ‘Select the information to transfer’
Put a check in the box against your Applications. And Migration Assistant copies, it does not delete your Applications from your Mac in its Mac migration.
Apple Migration Assistant only transfers the Apps that will run on your new computer. Not incompatible Apps.
Migration Assistant Does Not Delete Your User Files From Old Mac
Put a check in the box against your user name and user account. And Migration Assistant copies from your old Mac. It doesn’t delete the files associated with your Apple id.
The Migration Assistant app transfers your documents, photos, music, books, calendar information, contacts. Everything that’s in the home folder of that user from your old Mac to your new.
What About Migration Assistant Other Files And Folders?
Migration Assistant finds and copies. Not delete, user data it finds outside of a user account’s home folder.
Any file on the old Mac outside of the normal place a file is stored it copies. But not any file that’s part of the Mac operating system.
Migration Assistant System & Network Settings
Migration Assistant takes your system and network settings and copies. It doesn’t delete your system preference from your old machine. It copies them over.
This lets your new Mac know about how you like your system set up. And recognize the networks your old Mac used.
Does How You Migrate With Migration Assistant Affect The Files On Old Mac?
No, it doesn’t. Whether you migrate from your old Mac or PC to a new MacBook. Whether it’s an M1 Mac or new iMac. Apples Migration Assistant doesn’t delete your files it leaves them just as they are.
It doesn’t matter if you transfer data from old Mac to new Mac over WIFI.
Or a direct Mac to Mac connection using a cable.
Use either Gb Ethernet or Thunderbolt 3 or 4 USB cable. Just have your old Mac set up in target disk mode for the transfer.
Or you can transfer from a Mac Time Machine backup drive. Either using an external hard drive or an external drive that’s SSD based.
The Migration Assistant App makes no changes to your old Mac.
Would Migration Assistant Remove Your Mac’s Operating System?
No, Migration Assistant doesn’t. And it doesn’t matter if it’s your old Mac or new Mac.
On your new Mac you use Setup Assistant to build and set up your new Mac. Run Setup Assistant and put in your new Mac’s system preferences and your Apple id.
Mac OS x is not transferred from your old Mac to your new Mac. And it’s a good thing too. Lots of issues were caused previously when Migration Assistant transferred the old Mac’s operating system.
And when you think about it. Newer Mac’s are unlikely to run the same OS as your 6 year old Mac.
Apple Migration Assistant makes no changes or deletes any Mac OS x files. Either on your new Mac computer or old.
What About The Lenovo App With A similar Name?
Lenovo has a software tool called Lenovo Migration Assistant. It’s made for Microsoft Windows and you’d use it to transfer files from a Lenovo PC to another Lenovo PC.
It has nothing to do with Apples Migration Assistant. And doesn’t transfer files to Mac.
You can find out more about it here.
And now you know. Migration Assistant reads the files from your old Mac and copies them to the new.
Leaving your old Mac just the same. So, you can do what you want with it after your transfer.
While you’re here, if you have other Migration Assistant questions. Why not take a look at our other articles all about it on the site?
About Simon Irons
As an admin I spend my day helping folks with their Mac issues. From the guy at work, through to unofficial 911 support for family and friends. I swear they have me on speed dial.
For fun I like testing out and playing with new stuff. I think Apple make the best products on the planet.
In my spare time I like to fish and play around with boats.