How To Transfer Applications From One Mac To Another Title Image

Upgrading to a new Mac is great idea and we get it! The benefits of a new and improved Mac are clear to see.

But, where to start when you want to shift all your Applications software? That pesky little migration project you’ve blown out of all proportion in your head.

When you want to move your apps from your old Mac to your new Mac.

And it doesn’t matter if it’s a MacBook, MacBook Pro or MacBook Air.

Instead of struggling with just trying to figure out how to do it. How about you follow this step by step guide below. It’ll walk you through the entire process in detail, from start to finish.

And there are plenty of pictures and screenshots along the way, so that you can follow along easily.

How to Move Software Applications Mac To Mac : A Guide

When you want to move your applications off one Mac to another. You’ve already got a Mac app you can use.

It’s free. Part of MacOS called the Migration Assistant app.

Migration Assistant can move all your Mac user data, the set up on your Mac. And your network settings.

But it’s really clever in the way it moves your apps.

And it’ll move standard Mac apps like your photos app. It will move and convert iTunes to the new Apple music app. Along with your own 3rd party applications.

In reality the Apple Migration Assistant copies the applications from the old Mac to the new Mac.

It checks through all the applications on the source Mac. The Mac you want to move the applications from.

It seeks out your app settings and preferences. And the library files whether they live in your Mac’s library folder or not. And any other files your app needs.

And they may not be in an obvious place on your Mac.

Migration Assistant copies them onto the new Mac. In the places that the new Mac expects them to be.

And that for sure saves you tons of time when you’re moving to a new machine from another.

Preparation Before You Start Transferring Apps

Before you start you’ll need to decide how you’re going to do your transfer. Over local WIFI new Mac to old Mac. Or by using an Ethernet cable adaptor from the new computer to old computer.

You can choose to transfer Apple device to Apple device – Mac to Mac via USB cable.

Or by an external USB drive with your Time Machine backup on it.

And that drive can be an external hard drive or SSD. Use an SSD for speed.

If speed is important to you. Then take a look at this site article here. How Long Does Migration Assistant Take? [Real Examples]. And decide which way is best for you and the number of apps you have to move.

When moving your application over your wireless network. You’ll need the two Mac’s close together on the same WIFI.

Whether it’s Ethernet cable or USB cable a shorter cable is best.

And moving with an external drive. Take a Time Machine backup so you’ve the latest of everything.

Move an Application And It’s Settings To Another Mac

Here’s your walk through of the steps.

1. Log Into The Destination Mac. Your New Mac.

This is the Mac you’re transferring to.

If shifting your apps over WIFI or cable. Be sure the other Mac is booted up.

Check the Macs are on the same network if using WIFI.

If you’re shifting over Ethernet or USB cable plug in the cables.

When you’re transferring using an external drive. You don’t need the old Mac there. Or even close by. Just plug the backup drive into the USB port of the destination Mac.

2. Open Migration Assistant.

To open up the Migration Assistant app go to your Applications folder.

Applications Folder In Dock
Applications Folder In Dock

Then click on the Utilities folder inside the Apps folder.

Utilities Folder In Applicatiions

And then click on Migration Assistant.

Utilities Folder Migration Assistant

3. When Migration Assistant Opens.

Migration Assistant 1st Screen

You’ll be asked to save any open files on your Mac.  Click on Continue when you’re ready to start.

4. Put in Your Admin Password.

Migration Assistant asks for your administration password. And that’s because it’s going to make changes to your Mac.  Put your password in and then click OK.

Migration Assistant Enter Password

5. Pick ‘From a Mac, Time Machine Backup or Startup disk’.

This next screen is asking you how you plan to file transfer your data.

You’ll either be transferring Mac to Mac over WIFI or physical cable. Or from a Time Machine backup drive.

So you click on the first radio button.

Migration Assistant 2nd Screen

Then click on Continue.

6. Transfer Information To This Mac Screen.

Migration Assistant 3rd Screen

On this next screen if you’re transferring over WIFI or cable. Click on the Mac you’re transferring from.

If you transferring from an external drive, then click on that. (The picture above shows this.)

Then click on Continue.

When transferring from an external drive you’ll get asked which backup to use.

Pick the backup. Then click on Continue.

Migration Assistant 4th Screen

7. Pick To Move Your Applications

On the next Migration Assistant screen, you’ll see a list of things you can transfer.

A user name and all their data. Other files and folders. And system and Network settings.

Put a check mark in the box against Applications. And that’s how you pick to move your Applications only from one Mac to another.

Migration Assistant Pick Applications Only

Then click on Continue.

And Migration Assistant goes ahead. Searches through the target Mac – your old Mac. And copies your Applications to your destination Mac. The new Mac you’re logged onto.

Does An Application’s Settings Transfer To Another Mac

Yes, if you use the Apple Migration Assistant to move the application.  Migration Assistant searches through and find all the files associated with that application. And that includes the user’s setting and preferences. Moving those too.

So that when you start up your application it’s how it was on the old Mac.

In Closing

You’ve been shown how to move your applications software. And now you can move them from your old Mac to a new Mac. Walked through the entire process in detail.

If you followed these instructions, it should be a breeze for you!

Take some time while you’re here to look at other transfer related articles on our site.

Stay and look while you’re here why not?

Related Articles

Can Migration Assistant Transfer Individual Applications

Does Migration Assistant Transfer Everything [Need to Knows]

What Should I Transfer To My New Mac [Non Techie Or Techie]

Does Migration Assistant Transfer Photos? Yes! But Is It Easy

How To Transfer Photos From One Mac To Another (Expertly)


Move Your Content To A New Mac