How Long Does Migration Assistant Take?

Getting yourself a new MacBook is an incredible thing. However, switching your old Apple laptop to a new one would mean you would have to transfer all your important files and data to the new one.

Fortunately, the Apple Migration Assistant makes it easy to migrate from one Mac to another. But how long does migration Assistant take to transfer your files?

We will learn about all of that in this article.

How Long Does Migration Assistant Take – And Some Things That Affect the Migration Speed

The time it will take to transfer files from your old MacBook to the new one depends on certain factors, this will include:

  • The number of files you are transferring and how large they are.
  • The method you choose to use to transfer your data
  • If you are transferring peer to peer over Ethernet, the type of cable you use also determines the transfer speed.

To put things into perspective, we will consider the average transfer speed you could get using different transfer methods.

How long does Migration Assistant take when using WiFi?

Aside from the amount and size of files you want to transfer, your transfer speed while using WiFi will also depend on your WiFi speed.

If your WiFi is the new model that supports the 802.11ac standard, you can get almost 1GB per minute. Hence, transferring 256GB of data over the WiFi will take 2 hours and 44 minutes.

How long does Migration Assistant take when using Ethernet?

If you want to transfer your files using Ethernet, ensure you get Thunderbolt 3 or above standard cables. In case your MacBook doesn’t have an Ethernet port, get a Thunderbolt 3 to Ethernet adapter.

Using the Ethernet method will take 30 minutes to transfer 250 GB files.

Does Migration Assistant Transfer Everything – And Things You Can and Can’t Transfer

The Migration Assistant helps to transfer every necessary file on your MacBook. It copies all your user data from your old MacBook to the new one – including your settings.

However, the Migration Assistant does not copy the operating system. Since you already have an operating system on your new computer, there would be no point in copying it too.

Similarly, the Migration Assistant doesn’t copy Apple-supplied standard programs like Safari since you would already have them on your new MacBook. The things the Migration Assistant will copy from programs like Safari include Settings, bookmarks, passwords, etc.

Essentially, the Migration Assistant helps you copy all your data and settings so you can continue working on your new computer.

How To Use Migration Assistant – Step By Step

You need to do some things first before you begin to transfer your data using the Migration Assistant.

  • Install every available software update on both MacBooks.
  • Name your old Mac: Go to the Apple menu, select “System Preferences,” then click “Sharing.” Next, enter a name in the “Computer Name” field.
  • Connect both MacBooks to the same network.
  • If you’ve installed antivirus or firewall software on either MacBook, turn the software off until you complete the migration.

Now that you’ve completed the necessary preparations, you can use the Migration Assistant.

On your new Mac

  • STEP 1: Click “Go” on your Mac’s menu bar.
  • STEP 2: Open the “Utilities” folder.
  • STEP 3: Open “Migration Assistant
  • STEP 4: Click “Continue
  • STEP 5: The migration Assistant will ask you for permission to make changes to your computer. Enter your administrator password and click “OK.”
  • STEP 6: Select how you want to transfer your data. Either from a Mac, Time Machine backup, or startup disk.
  • STEP 7: Click “Continue

On your old Mac

  • STEP 1: Click “Go” on your Mac’s menu bar.
  • STEP 2: Open the “Utilities” folder
  • STEP 3: Open “Migration Assistant
  • STEP 4: Click “Continue
  • STEP 5: The migration Assistant will ask you for permission to make changes to your computer. Enter your administrator password and click “OK.”
  • STEP 6: Select the option to transfer to another Mac.
  • STEP 7: Click Continue.

On your new Mac

  • STEP 1: When you get a prompt to select a Mac, Time Machine backup, or other startup disks, select the “other Mac” option.
  • STEP 2: Click “Continue

On your old Mac

  • STEP 1: Ensure the security code on your old Mac is the same as on your new Mac.
  • STEP 2: Click “Continue

On your new Mac

  • STEP 1: Select the information you want to transfer.
  • STEP 2: Click “Continue
  • STEP 3: After the Migration Assistant completes the process, quit Migration Assistant on both computers. You can then log in to the account you just migrated on your new Mac to see its files.

What To Do When Migration Assistant Gets Stuck On Starting Up

If your Migration Assistant gets stuck on starting up, cancel the migration process and restart the Migration Assistant. Consider the following conditions before you restart the process.

  • Install software updates on both laptops before you start the migration process.
  • Ensure that the usernames on the old and new macs are different.
  • Try using Target Disk Mode on the old Mac. The Target disk mode is a boot mode that allows almost every Mac to act as an external hard drive for any other Mac.
  • If you are using an Ethernet cable for the transfer, unplug the cable from both computers and re-insert it.
  • Try to migrate everything except Applications.
  • Try to migrate from a time machine backup if you have one
  • You may need hardware diagnostics to check if your computer has hardware issues.

Conclusion

Basically, if you transfer bigger data and files, the Migration Assistant will take more time than when you transfer smaller data. The migration method you choose will also determine how long the Migration Assistant will take.

Now that you know how long the Migration Assistant takes, you can decide which method best suits your needs.