Moving data between Macs

Avatar Rick Churchill
There is a possibility that my Mac is coming to the end of its life. My next Mac is likely to have less internal storage than this one which I was able to upgrade myself to 1 TB.

Will there be a problem in restoring data from a Time Machine backup when it exceeds the capacity of the new Mac? Is there something I should do now to mitigate the circumstances?

Re: Moving data between Macs

Avatar Euan Williams
Not sure why you would want to copy all your T-M/C backup to your new Mac, there would be no problem with individual or groups of files. T-M/C backups never belong on your Mac, but always on a separate drive for safety. The best way forward is several external drives, and there are now a number of extremely fast SSDs running through USB-C which make large file transfers and access (video editing?) convenient. Just sayin' :))

Re: Moving data between Macs

Avatar Richard I
I feel Euan has the wrong end of the stick. It sounds like data from a one terabyte Mac has to be put on a say 512 GB Mac. (Using time machine as the transport medium ) Clearly it won’t go, but it will go if an extra external drive is attached to the new Mac during migration. However will Time Machine cope with having to put data which was on one partition onto two??

Re: Moving data between Macs

Avatar Tony Still
A variant on what Euan & Richard suggested: possibly invest in a 1TB external (USB3.1/3.2/USB-C) drive, preferably an SSD, and transfer from the current Mac at an appropriate moment. That would enable you to pick and choose what you want on the new machine's internal drive when you want it.

The drive could then be kept for fast external access (as Euan suggested) or re-roled as a faster/second TM drive. The existing TM drive gives you a security copy and the latest of any volatile files to be cherry-picked as required.

If the old Mac is still working when you get the new one, you may be able use it in Target Disk mode and just copy stuff. I used Migration Assistant in a similar way (but didn't have the need to be selective). If you're going this way, make sure you have a fast cable (USB 3.1/3.2 or TB if the old machine supports it).Migration Assistant is good for moving your apps regardless.