Author or Editor: Michelle Bourgeois (DTS) - Edit

Transferring and Backing Up Data on your new Mac

Once you get your laptop you’ll need to back up your data from your existing machine and transfer it to your new one. The instructions below are specific to a Mac. If you use a Thin Client (toaster) and/or Citrix exclusively you may not need to copy or transfer anything. Contact your Instructional Technology Coordinator (ITC) or Building Technology Contact (BTC) if you are not sure and they can help with this process.

What should you back up and transfer? Your computer’s documents, pictures, and movies folders may contain items you want to back up. On a Mac open a finder window and click on your name in the left hand menu to find those items.


What’s in each of these folders that I care about?

Documents: Any documents you’ve created in Microsoft Office, Pages, Keynote, and Numbers may be saved in this folder.

Pictures: The contents of your iPhoto library lives here.

Movies: Any projects created in iMovie as well as any video you’ve exported or saved lives here.

Music: Any projects you’ve created in GarageBand as well as your iTunes library lives here.

How do I transfer my data to my new computer?

  • Use a USB Flash Drive or external hard drive to backup your documents, movies and photos from your old computer and then move them to the new laptop. You can do this by plugging the drive in to the new computer, opening the new drive and dragging the files to the new computer.
  • Use Google Drive to backup your documents, movies and photos from your old computer and then download them to your new laptop. You can do this by going to on your new computer and following these steps.
  • Citrix may also be an option to transfer files but it does have limited spaces so if you have large files Google Drive or a USB flash drive or external hard drive would be a better option. (Remember, if you have only ever used Citrix you will be able to access your files on your new computer without having to transfer anything).

If you have bookmarks in a web browser you will need to backup and transfer those separately as well. The solutions below will make a file that you would want to include in the transfer method you choose from above.

After your transfer is complete you need to backup your computer consistently. Backing up files is your responsibility so if your files are important to you, please take the steps to backup your data. Here are 3 possible solutions.

How do I back up?

Option 1: Use an external flash or hard drive. Plug in a drive to a USB port on your computer and drag any folders or files you want to back up to the drive. If you choose to purchase a drive, you might want to explore Time Machine for regular backups. If you want to use Time Machine, Apple recommends using a drive that is at least twice the size of your internal hard drive, which would be 128 GB for our current MacBook Airs.

Option 2: Upload any essential files to Google Drive. Our Google accounts have unlimited space but if you continue to edit that document(s) on your computer it(they) will not be automatically saved in your Google Drive.

Option 3: Save any essential files into your Citrix “My Documents” folder. (You have limited storage here, so this is not the best place for music or movie files).

Last updated by mccormick_nick on 2016-03-29 06:07:44

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