When you download and install macOS Big Sur without starting from scratch, all of your apps, settings, files, and documents will be in the exact same spot that they were before. It feels good to have a fresh start. Download the relevant macOS or OS X installer from Apple, then use Terminal to create a USB installer you can boot up from. With us, you will see how simple and easy you can do this and what advantages you will get. I've done both. That being said, if you mainly use your computer for browsing the internet, checking mail, or other non-work heavy activities, you might want to try a clean install. Give the author +30 points! You don’t want to copy the folders at the top level of your home folder—Desktop, Documents, Downloads, Movies, Music, and Pictures—but rather the contents of these folders into the identically-named folders on the new Mac. If you don't have CleanMyPC installation file, download it from our website first. In another Finder window, navigate to the old Library folder. I would like to receive news and offers from other Future brands. Sign up for a Free Mac Security Newsletter to stay updated. Backup the Mac, Files & All: Remember that performing a clean install erases everything on the Mac. Follow Intego on your favorite social and media channels: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube (click the  to get notified about new videos). This is because many apps store invisible files on your Mac for registration purposes, and you haven’t copied these. Sound alerts, display options, keyboard settings – all of it will be reset to factory settings. Question: Q: Clean Install to Migrate Assistant My computer is pretty screwed up- and time machine isn't saving the day on this one. Any apps you previously downloaded on Mac can be redownloaded right from the Mac App Store. The first Migration Assistant screen will offer three options regarding data transfer. On your new Mac Open Migration Assistant, which is in the Utilities folder of your Applications folder. Clean install is always the best option. First, you need to access this hidden folder on the new Mac. Click that header, to sort in date order. If it’s not visible, press Command-Shift-G, then enter, for example, /Volumes/backup-disk-name/Users/your-user-name/Library, and click Go. Time to upgrade! A fresh backup never hurt anyone. Download AnyTrans now on your Windows PC or Mac and follow the below steps to know how to transfer the iTunes library to a new Mac. Now, open CleanMyPC.exe and follow the instructions to install the application on your computer. When installing a major software update like macOS Big Sur, you have the choice to start over from scratch with a fresh copy – as if you've purchased a brand new computer for the first time – or to simply install as usual, allowing you to continue working with the same settings and apps you've always had. Your Home Folder: you want to copy most of the files from your home folder (that’s the folder with the house icon and your username). I got a new MacBook Air and used the migration assistant to migrate my apps, files and settings from my 2008 MacBook Pro. All of those downloads you never did anything with? (Type the appropriate names for the backup disk and your user name.) At first, you'll have to reenter passwords in Mail, sign back into iCloud and readjust your settings, redownload pictures in the Photos app (or redownload iCloud versions of them if you store the originals somewhere else), and a lot of other small, but time-consuming things. When you get a new Mac, it might be a good idea to do a clean installation; starting from scratch, with a brand-new operating system, and copy the files that you need from your old Mac manually. Deauthorize your existing Mac from all Apple services. While I like that my MBP is clean (it feels like running a brand new computer), I don't like that I have to download every app that I need for work. Apple includes a useful tool as part of macOS: Migration Assistant. Anyway, I'm super paranoid about my itunes/iphoto/iweb files and I was thinking about doing a clean install of snow leopard then using the migrate assistant to get that stuff back on using a time machine backup. It will contain the default apps that are part of macOS, but nothing more. I have used SA for 10 years with all of my Macs with zero ill effect. But don’t assume you’ll just be able to pick up exactly where you left off, since there are quite a few apps and services that require additional post-migration attention. To summarize, if you focus on computer performance, clean install Windows. You can unsubscribe at any time and we'll never share your details without your permission. If your furniture was all rearranged, you'd have to turn on the lights to see where you are going. Get an iPhone 12 mini + Unlimited Data for $60/mo, Check out iMore's favorite gadgets and accessories from CES 2021, Apple reportedly has new iMacs, a new display, and new Mac Pros coming, Review: Sonix Magnetic Link is a compelling MagSafe Charger alternative, Great video editing software for your Mac. Each week on the Intego Mac Podcast, we discuss the latest Apple news, as well as top security and privacy concerns for users of Apple products. The upgrade install is the easiest way to upgrade your Mac to macOS Sierra. And this is a good time to decide which of the many apps in your Applications folder you want to keep. Remember, when you do a clean install, you are starting from scratch. Select the first one, which reads From a Mac, Time Machine backup, or startup disk and click Continue. This article explains how to move your Apple Mail data to a new Mac or to a new clean install of the operating system. Updated November 2020: Updated for macOS Big Sur. 54 other people completed this guide. VPN Deals: Lifetime license for $16, monthly plans at $1 & more. Kirk McElhearn. Use Migration Assistant You're now ready to use Migration Assistant to move your files from the old Mac to the new one. Be sure to subscribe to make sure you never miss the latest episode. Get an iPhone 12 mini + Unlimited Data for $60/mo. this Apple support document for more on target disk mode. Just make sure to keep a backup in case there are any files you need to find that you didn’t copy over the first time around. In addition to the above folders, it’s a good idea to copy any folder whose modification date is in the past year or so. But for apps you’ve purchased directly from developers, it can easier to copy them manually. Even third-party, non-Mac App Store apps usually have a method to confirm a previous purchase (like a license download code). A clean install also means you lose everything. Trying to figure out what happened to it could take a long time. Choose Upgrade Method: Migration or Clean Installation There are two ways to upgrade a Mac. So make sure you know where your serial numbers are. When you do this, you may be surprised to find how much you can ignore from your old Mac. Everything is clean and fresh and ready for a new start. Open Mail on the new Mac. But, check inside the folders to see if they contain contents with newer modification dates than those shown for the folders; this is probably a bug, but a lot of the folders in my Library folder have older modification dates than their contents. Erase… You may find dozens of apps that you rarely use. I'm in a similar situation. Here are some of the hottest video-editing software for Mac on the market today. Follow our step-by-step instruction: First, launch Disk Utility on your Mac. Here are iMore's favorite accessories that we saw come out of CES 2021. To do this, choose View > As List, then right-click the window header – where you see columns like Name and Size – and enable Date Modified. While I couldn't justify a new Mac Pro, I'm replacing my 5,1 with an iMac Pro (hasn't arrived yet). When you get a new Mac, it might be a good idea to do a clean installation; starting from scratch, with a brand-new operating system, and copy the files that you need from your old Mac manually. When you set up a new Mac, the Setup Assistant offers to copy your files. As you work on your new Mac, you may find that certain files are missing. If you go this route, you then need to manually copy files from your old Mac, or from a backup. Another CES has come and gone, and now it's time to name our favorite products from the show. Again, take this opportunity to check whether you need to keep all of the files in these folders. Maybe you just bought or built a new computer, or maybe you didn't take care of your computer as well as you thought and you have to do a clean install. But when you set up a new Mac, should you migrate your old files or do a clean installation? Connect two Macs using a Thunderbolt or Ethernet cable, or make sure they are both connected to the same wi-fi network. It's like moving to a new house, with a fresh coat of paint and new flooring. The simplest is to run the macOS Big Sur installer, which will install the new files over your existing operating system. Here are some of the folders that you want to copy from the old Library folder to the new one; though if you sync a lot of data with iCloud, then many of the folders below will already be populated with your up-to-date data: There’s a lot of important data in the Application Support folder. If you have the patience and some free time, a clean installation of macOS Big Sur can be somewhat cathartic in its own right. I would like to receive mail from Future partners. But you probably use plenty of other apps on your Mac. As you can see, Migration Assistant is easy to use. If so, don’t copy them. You can make your new home similar to your old one or completely redesign your living space. One folder you don’t need to copy is /Library/Caches; this may be quite large, and your apps will create new caches as you use them. If you are too busy to spend time re-downloading apps and retweaking your system settings, a standard installation makes more sense than starting from scratch. You will already be signed in to all of your apps and you won't have to redownload pictures from iCloud. After the installation is completed, open CleanMyPC like any regular app. Posted on Get the latest Mac security news direct to your inbox. Everything is new and you get to decide where to put the furniture. All of the tweaks and adjustments you've made over the years to your computer will be gone. Lory is a renaissance woman, writing news, reviews, and how-to guides for iMore. A clean install means erasing all data on a hard drive, and then installing a fresh new installation of MacOS Mojave to that Mac. You can make your new home similar to your old one or completely redesign your living space. All of those apps you tried once but decided you don't like? Resetting CleanMyMac X license Make a backup of your Mail data before attempting a transfer. Drivers for third-party devices should be updated before migrating. You may need to go back into that folder and copy some other files to the new Mac. In that case, as long as you still have the Mac OS Installer, you can skip the backup step. You should also run a quick backup on your new Mac for safety sake. If so, … Also, if you see folders with names for apps that you know you no longer use, then don’t copy them. If she's not typing away at her keyboard, you can probably find her at Disneyland or watching Star Wars (or both). All of those apps you tried once but decided you don't like? Erased. Use Migration Assistant You're now ready to use Migration Assistant to move your files from the old Mac to the new one. It copies all your files, and you can choose which user accounts get copied over to the new Mac. You’ll notice, as you start working with the new Mac, that you will need to enter serial numbers for all of the apps that you did not purchase from the Mac App Store. Install applications and utilities This is the part that almost put you off making a clean, manual migration - installing your apps. Here’s how to migrate your files to your new Mac, or do a clean installation, and the pros and cons of both methods. Move manually: Copy Mail folder, Mail Preferences, and KeyChain from the current Mac to the new Mac. etc. It might seem redundant, but the file you need may not have been backed up before you switched over. While I don’t recommend doing a clean installation for each new Mac you get, or for each macOS update, it’s a good idea to do it every few years. On your new Mac Open Migration Assistant, which is in the Utilities folder of your Applications folder. Setting Up a New Mac: Should You Migrate or Do a Clean Installation? This part of the process can be time-consuming, but it can allow you to sift through your files to find what you really need, and slim down your Mac. etc. It is much faster to go from installation to being productive again when all of your apps and files are right where you left them. Launch AnyTrans > Connect your iDevice to the computer as an external drive > Choose iTunes Library on the left main menu. No spam, we promise. My plan, as others have suggested, is for a clean install. When you buy a new Mac, it might be a good idea to do a clean installation; starting from scratch, with a brand-new operating system, and adding the files that you need manually. macOS Sierra: Clean vs. Upgrade Install . Similar to moving to a new house, there may have been a box in the garage that you never opened, but once you move, if you didn't take it with you, it's gone. But if you do not want to do extra work, cloning disk or migrating system might be the better choices. You’ll have two windows open. Setting up a new Mac, while easier than in the past, still requires thought. The moral of the story is: When you get a new Mac, or when you do a clean installation of macOS, the optimal time to migrate your old stuff (in order to keep account names intact) is right away, during that first run of Setup Assistant, instead of later, using Migration Assistant. In this article we will tell you how to move OS X El Capitan to a new SSD disk. During setup, you'll be asked if you want to restore your new Mac from a Time Machine backup of another Mac through Migration Assistant. All of those downloads you never did anything with? During the process, you enter some information, such as your Apple ID, so your iCloud account is activated, but, for the most part, your Mac will be a tabula rasa—a blank slate. Here’s how to migrate your files to your new Mac, or do a clean installation, and the pros and cons of both methods. Next, choose the SSD disk and go to the Erase tab. You don't need to buy expensive video-editing software to get the job done. What have you done previously? Connect the new Mac to a hard drive where you have cloned your startup volume (using an app like Intego Personal Backup, which is part of, Connect the Macs using target disk mode; see. Install macOS or OS X from Internet Recovery Mode, which you can boot into by holding option+command+R while your Mac powers up. I wish Apple would make it easier to do. If you know where your bed is, your head will hit the pillow without you even having to think about it. Install your CleanMyPC. I usually install macOS updates from scratch on my MacBook Pro and install from a backup on my iMac. Check out today’s Tech News headlines at https://TechCoreNews.com How to perform a clean fresh install of macOS Sierra. However, the disadvantage of using the Migration Assistant is that all your files get copied. Thanks to services like Dropbox and iCloud, you can easily track down files and documents that you've kept backed up in the cloud. Which is better: starting fresh with macOS Big Sur, or keeping your current settings? However, you may just want to manually reset the preferences for your apps; this is a good way to rediscover your apps and their interfaces. From this point of view, a clean install gives you the best performance compared with disk cloning and OS migration. This feature is similar to Setup Assistant, which only runs during the setup of a new Mac; therefore, if you have set up your Mac is new, you will have to use Migration Assistant to copy files from either a backup or a different Mac. Everything is new and you get to decide where to put the furniture. If you’ve just bought a new Mac, and you’re upgrading from an older computer, you want all of your files and data to be accessible on the new machine. The idea behind a clean install is to start with a completely bare machine, getting rid of any old data, files, preferences, settings, old drivers, apps you no longer use, and so on. Missing apps like 1Password and Dropbox immediately take me out of the game and drag my productivity to a crawl until I have what I need again. Apple is said to be working on all kinds of things, including something akin to the G4 Cube! Here’s what you need to copy after a clean installation: Applications: macOS installs a number of applications, many of which you probably use every day. Step 1. 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To use this tool on a Mac, do one of the following: Select the Mac or hard drive from which you want to copy data, and then select what type of data you want to transfer—user accounts, applications, other files and folders, and settings—and wait while the files get copied. Sign up now to get the latest news, deals & more from iMore! Both a regular CleanMyMac license and a yearly subscription can be used on one computer only (unless you have a multi-user license). Your Library Folder: there is a special folder in your home folder called Library. This method preserves all of your current user data, documents, and apps while upgrading the existing operating system on your Mac's startup drive to macOS Sierra. She also fancies herself a bit of a rock star in her town and spends too much time reading comic books. When you buy a new Mac and migrate your old Mac’s files to it during setup, Setup Assistant moves over numerous settings and configurations. Although you’ll be wiping your old Mac, it will … On the Mac to which you want to move Alice, choose the From a Mac, Time Machine, or startup disk option and click Continue. Moving Music and Photo libraries has never been an issue in the past. Migration Assistant is good, but it will bring too many old, outdated files with it. You’ll also want to subscribe to our e-mail newsletter and keep an eye here on The Mac Security Blog for updates. I don’t recommend that you copy the Preferences folder; this probably contains lots of files for apps you no longer use. Do the same for the library folder in general. What are your plans for macOS Big Sur? By default, this folder is hidden, but it contains many files that you should copy. That's why restoring from a backup might be the best choice for you. Find out the options for simplifying application migration. Your computer may restart several times during the installation of macOS. But when you set up a new Mac, should you migrate your old files or do a clean installation? Everything from backup to manual restore after install. For this reason you should absolutely not delete your old backup, and especially the ~/Library folder. … Gone. This can be a disadvantage because if you have been upgrading your Macs over the years by installing new versions of macOS over old ones, or migrating data from old Macs to new ones, you’ll have hundreds, even thousands of old files that you no longer need taking up space. Deciding which step to take is a personal one, but there are definitely benefits to both. I do, however, suggest that you go through that folder and copy over any files or folders for apps that you do use, especially if, when you launch them, their setup is different. If you're looking for a new Mac, check out our list of our favorite MacBook models of the year. You'll need a level of patience and some extra time if you do a clean install of macOS Big Sur. August 14th, 2020 by Gone. If you still have your old Mac, go ahead and do a fresh backup with Time Machine before recovering files on your new Mac. It's like coming home late at night, in the dark. Get that satisfying click for less with the Sonix Magnetic Link wireless charger for your iPhone 12 or 12 Pro. How you use your compute res up to you, if you don't want to use Setup Assistant or MA then don't and do a clean install. (Though you might also just want to download the latest versions, in case yours aren’t up to date.) It gives you the opportunity to rid your Mac of unnecessary bloat. 2. So, even though your apps may not be on your cleanly-installed Mac, you can usually get them back without much effort. Start looking at the newest dates and work your way back. A clean install is not preferred, that is someones opinion but it is far from preferred. So if you want to run it on another Mac, you have to either buy one more license at a discount or reset your existing CleanMyMac license. When you do a clean installation, you let macOS run its Setup Assistant and create a new, empty user account. It's like moving to a new house, with a fresh coat of paint and new flooring. Moving OS X El Capitan to a new SSD. For this reason, you might want to consider doing a clean installation. The advantage is that once the upgrade is complete, your Mac is ready to go, with all of your personal data … Speaking of which: Don’t use Wi-Fi. Once the installation is complete, you can use Migration Assistant to transfer data from your old drive to the new one. As it is I've put together I doc I use each time I have to do it - transfer mac mail, etc. The exception: if you just performed a clean install of the Mac OS and haven’t made any changes yet. In many cases, a clean install can improve the performance of a sluggish Mac. In the Finder, press the Option key, and choose Go > Library. Apple points out in the support article on migrations that all you … You should have a current backup before you begin the Migration Assistant process. Apple MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2016) It won’t alter your personal data, but only those files that are part of the system, as well as bundled Apple apps. It really is nice to have a clean installation on your computer, but if you are like me, it isn't worth the hassle. Do you usually do a clean install or standard installation? Sync your iOS devices to the new Mac, allowing them to be backed up. For example, all of your email is in this folder, as is the information in the Contacts app. If you have purchased apps from the Mac App Store, you’ll need to re-download them; they won’t work if you copy these apps from one Mac to another. These include Safari, Mail, Calendar, Music, Photos, and the iWork apps (Pages, Numbers, and Keynote). It gives you the opportunity to rid your Mac of unnecessary bloat.