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Tom288
Florida Fan
Member since Apr 2009
19088 posts

Transferring files from older Macbook to the 2015 Macbook w/only USB Type C port
Trying to help a friend, I've never owned a Mac as I prefer Windows. But she's really not tech-savvy and told me she couldn't transfer files she needs on her old MacBook to her new MacBook, which she said lacks a USB port, although we know it has one it's just the newer Type C version.

My question is what is the best, and simplest, means of transferring files from her old MacBook which has Type A USB ports to her new MacBook with the single Type C port?

So far, I've read about using Migration Assistant to move files over Wi-fi. I've also seen the Type C to Type A USB adapter, which I'm guessing she could use with her flash drives. I've also seen Type C to Type A USB cables. For her sake, and she lives in another state so I can't get my hands on the machines and just figure it out myself, I'd like to find the easiest solution.

First off, if she were to use a flash drive and the Type C to Type A adapter so she can plug it into the newer Mac, does she have to create a Time Machine backup or can she pick and choose individual files to drag and drop onto the flash drive and then drag them onto the new Mac once she plugs the flash drive into the adapter basically like you can with a Windows PC?

Or if she were to go with the cable, is she plugs a Type A male end into the older Mac and then plugs the Type C male end into the new Mac can she use that cable to directly transfer files from the old Mac to the new? Is it a simple click what you want and drag it over to the new machine, or does it require specific software to use? I have read that you may need to enable Target Disk mode; if that's true would you enable it on the old Mac or the new one?

Then I've read about AFP file sharing where you enable sharing on both machines, then use the OS X finder on the new Mac to find the older Mac and once you input your login credentials for each laptop you can transfer the files you need, sort of like a Windows Home Group I guess?

Are those basically the major means of transferring files? Anything I should know that's different with Macs since my only experience is with Windows PCs? Which method would you suggest (or is there another one that I've missed)? I just need something simple and easy to use so that I can tell her how to do it.

Thanks, I appreciate any help.
This post was edited on 2/10 at 10:52 pm


lsu02150
LSU Fan
BR
Member since May 2009
155 posts

re: Transferring files from older Macbook to the 2015 Macbook w/only USB Type C port
How old is the old MacBook? What is she trying to move? What's the total size of the files?

If it's not that much space, I'd download dropbox app move files she wants into dropbox from old computer and let it sync then download on new computer. If we're talking like 20+ GB of data then need to know a lot more details to help make it easy and fast.

Either way as long as she just needs to move files (not settings or an entire iPhoto library dating back several years) then worst case get the USB port adapter. She's going to need it anyway for something and moving files to a flash drive or external hard drive is no different than it would be on a PC.


bengri33
Oregon Fan
Tualatin OR
Member since Apr 2011
197 posts

re: Transferring files from older Macbook to the 2015 Macbook w/only USB Type C port
If the old macbook is new enough the files could just be airDropped Apple Support
This post was edited on 2/10 at 11:24 pm


Tom288
Florida Fan
Member since Apr 2009
19088 posts

re: Transferring files from older Macbook to the 2015 Macbook w/only USB Type C port
Thanks, I'll tell her about both of those. I'm not sure how much data she's trying to transfer or the type, didn't get a chance to ask, although some of it is confidential stuff so she probably can't tell me. She works as a therapist. Sounds like Dropbox or AirDrop sound really easy, so I'll suggest those and then recommend just picking up the USB-A adapter so she can use her flash drives if she needs that. Any other advice is welcome. But thanks for the tips so far.


NBR_Exile
LSU Fan
Houston
Member since Jul 2012
194 posts

re: Transferring files from older Macbook to the 2015 Macbook w/only USB Type C port
The easiest and most complete solution is to get an external hard drive. Clone the old Mac using SuperDuper or Carbon Copy Cloner to the new hard drive. Once that is done plug the external into the new computer and use Migration Assistant to move everything over. Super easy and works great. Added benefit is she will have a backup on the external. Periodically she can clone the new mac to the external for safety.


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Brettesaurus Rex
New Orleans Saints Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Dec 2009
32683 posts

re: Transferring files from older Macbook to the 2015 Macbook w/only USB Type C port
I'd say do a Time Machine backup to an external hard drive. Use a USB adapter cable to C and then restore the new laptop from the backup. Just make sure the new Macbook is at 100% when you start. Should have plenty of time.


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colorchangintiger
Houston Astros Fan
Dan Carlin
Member since Nov 2005
28528 posts

re: Transferring files from older Macbook to the 2015 Macbook w/only USB Type C port
quote:

Or if she were to go with the cable, is she plugs a Type A male end into the older Mac and then plugs the Type C male end into the new Mac can she use that cable to directly transfer files from the old Mac to the new?


plug them together like this, use migration assistant. AirDrop would take way too long. No need for an external hard drive. It would only serve as a middle man and a extra step to introduce corruption.


Tom288
Florida Fan
Member since Apr 2009
19088 posts

re: Transferring files from older Macbook to the 2015 Macbook w/only USB Type C port
I appreciate the help.


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