How to Transfer Files From One Mac to Another

Alicia Santos

Mac, Tutorials

How to Transfer Files From One Mac to Another

Transferring files between Mac computers can be a seamless process if you know the right methods. Whether you’re upgrading to a new Mac or simply need to share files between multiple devices, we’ll guide you through various ways to transfer your files hassle-free.

Using AirDrop

AirDrop is a built-in feature in macOS that enables easy file sharing between nearby Mac computers. To transfer files using AirDrop:

  • Step 1: Make sure both Macs have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth turned on.
  • Step 2: Open Finder on both Macs.
  • Step 3: In the sidebar, click on “AirDrop”.
  • Step 4: On the sending Mac, find the file(s) you want to transfer and drag them onto the recipient’s icon in the AirDrop window.
  • Step 5: On the receiving Mac, click “Accept” when prompted to receive the file(s).

You can also use AirDrop to transfer files from an iPhone or iPad to a Mac and vice versa, making it a versatile option for cross-device transfers.

Migrating with Migration Assistant

If you’re setting up a new Mac or want to transfer all your data from an old Mac to a new one, Migration Assistant is the ideal solution. Here’s how you can use it:

  • Step 1: Connect both Macs using a Thunderbolt, FireWire, or Ethernet cable (or connect wirelessly if both Macs support Wi-Fi).
  • Step 2: On the receiving Mac, open Applications > Utilities > Migration Assistant.
  • Step 3: Choose the option “From a Mac, Time Machine backup, or startup disk” and click “Continue”.
  • Step 4: On the sending Mac, open Migration Assistant (same location as in Step 2) and select the option “To another Mac” and click “Continue”.
  • Step 5: Follow the on-screen instructions to select the files and settings you want to transfer.

The migration process may take some time depending on the amount of data being transferred. Once completed, you’ll have all your files and settings seamlessly transferred to your new Mac.

Using Cloud Storage Services

If you prefer a more flexible approach to file transfers, cloud storage services like iCloud Drive, Google Drive, or Dropbox can be incredibly helpful. Here’s how to transfer files using iCloud Drive as an example:

  • Step 1: Sign in with your Apple ID on both Macs.
  • Step 2: On the sending Mac, locate the file(s) you want to transfer and move them into your iCloud Drive folder.
  • Step 3: On the receiving Mac, open Finder and navigate to iCloud Drive.
  • Step 4: Locate the transferred file(s) in iCloud Drive and copy them to your desired location on the new Mac.

This method allows you to access your files from anywhere with an internet connection and is particularly useful when transferring large files or working collaboratively.


Transferring files between Mac computers doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Whether you choose to use AirDrop, Migration Assistant, or cloud storage services, you can easily move your files and ensure a smooth transition between devices. Experiment with these methods and discover which one works best for your specific needs.

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