How to migrate data to a new drive in macOS

Introduction

After you’ve replaced or upgraded the SSD or hard drive in your Mac, and you’ve successfully installed macOS to the new drive, you’ll need to transfer any data you want from the old drive to the new one. This guide will show you how to use Migration Assistant to restore data from an old macOS drive or a Time Machine Backup to your new drive.

Internet Recovery is only available on Apple computers made after 2009. If your computer was released in 2010 or 2011, you may need to update to the latest version of macOS to enable Internet Recovery.

Step 1
How to migrate data to a new drive in macOS

  • Before you begin, connect your old macOS drive or a Time Machine backup drive to your computer.
  • If you forgot to make a backup of your old SSD before upgrading, you can install it to an OWC Envoy Pro external SSD enclosure to transfer any data you need as shown in this guide, and then keep it as an external storage drive.


Step 2

  • Power on your Mac and open the Migration Assistant application.
  • After the Migration Assistant window opens, do not press Continue until you are ready to begin the migration process. Pushing continue will automatically force close any open applications and log you out.


Step 3

  • After you are logged out and taken to the Migration Assistant screen, select the first option: transfer From a Mac, Time Machine backup, or startup disk.
  • Click Continue.

Step 4

  • Migration Assistant will list any connected macOS or Time Machine drives across the top of the window.
  • Select the drive you want to restore from, and click Continue.

Step 5

  • If the drive you have selected is a Time Machine drive, Migration Assistant will list all the backups available from which you can transfer information.
  • Select the backup you’d like to transfer information from, and click Continue.

Step 6

  • Select all the items you’d like to transfer to your new drive.
  • Next, Migration Assistant may prompt you to enter a new password for the account on the new drive and/or the old password for the account on the old drive.


Step 7

  • Once you begin the transfer, a loading bar will appear and cycle through each of the data categories that you selected on the previous screen (applications, documents, etc.).
  • Your computer may need to restart multiple times during the transfer process.
  • When the transfer is complete, the Migration Complete window will appear.


How to use Internet Recovery to install macOS to a new SSD

Introduction

Internet Recovery has a number of useful applications. This guide will show you how to use Internet Recovery to install a fresh copy of macOS to a blank or corrupted SSD.

Internet Recovery is only available on Apple computers made after 2009. If your computer was released in 2010 or 2011, you may need to update to the latest version of macOS to enable Internet Recovery.

Step 1 How to Start Up a Mac in Internet Recovery Mode

Shut down the computer.

Step 2

Once the computer is completely shut down, press the power button, then immediately press and hold the key combination cmd + option + R

Step 3

  • When the spinning globe animation appears, you can release the keys.

  • The globe will spin while Internet Recovery starts up. If you are not using a wired internet connection, a choose network prompt will appear. Use this menu to connect the computer to a WiFi network.

Step 5

  • When Internet Recovery has loaded, you will see the macOS recovery screen.

Step 6 How to use Internet Recovery to install macOS to a new SSD

  • Before you can install macOS to the new drive, you’ll need to format the drive so the installer can recognize it.
  • Open Disk Utility from the recovery menu, select your drive, and click the Erase button toward the top of the Disk Utility window.
  • Make up a name for your drive, and make sure the format is set to Mac OS Extended (Journaled) or APFS.
  • If you don’t see your drive listed in the Disk Utility menu, select Show All Devices from the View section of the menu bar.
  • Once the new drive is formatted, press Command + Q to exit Disk Utility and return to the recovery menu.

Step 7

  • Back at the recovery menu, select Install macOS .

Step 8

  • Follow the prompts to install macOS, selecting the newly formatted disk as the target for the installation.