I have allowed myself a new SSD HD for my MacBookPro. Now since i had a case-sensitive HD (don't aks) and i wanted to get rid of it and also finally install Lion, i didn't copy the image of my old system.

Now i want my old iCal prefs and Mail Accounts. Also i would like to have my bookmarks from chrome.

I have the old HD in a case so i can plug it in and use it as an external harddrive.

I tryed just copying the whole Library Folder - didn't work. Any Ideas anyone?

  • i at least worked out how to recover the chrome bookmarks: You can export them as html (weird, i know). So i did boot from my old HD and exported them. Oct 7, 2013 at 6:16
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    Reconfiguring iCal and Mail won't take more than 5 minutes, why do you want to copy the data over?
    – nohillside
    Oct 7, 2013 at 6:25
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    I had local Mail Folders which, as it seems i can not just copy/export. So configuring my Accounts isn't all i have to do. Oct 7, 2013 at 10:19

4 Answers 4


Though not a selective copy, you could use Migration Assistant (under /Applications/Utilities) to copy your entire user data from the older hard drive to the Mac. Turn off Time Machine before doing this (to avoid unnecessary backups and slowing down the migration).

Since you already have the user account and Migration Assistant has created a second account, there is no simple way to merge the two accounts (definitely not the configuration used by various applications and the data, since there may be conflicts). But you can copy over data across from the individual folders under the home directory (and somewhat tediously, application data on an application-by-application basis).

How to use Migration Assistant to transfer files from another Mac
Using Migration Assistant on Lion
Combine two+ Users Accounts on the same machine
Transferring files from one User Account to another

  • if i do that i have a new, second user on my new system that isn't the main user. if i could then merge the two that would work out for me. Oct 9, 2013 at 12:38
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    I've updated the answer with information on moving information from one user account to another.
    – M K
    Oct 9, 2013 at 13:14

This may be too late to say this but you could have used SuperDuper! or CarbonCopyCloner to move the contents of a case-sensitive backup to a case-insensitive harddrive. (Or alternatively iPartition.) And then have installed Lion which should migrate user preferences as part of the installation process.


Mail keeps message data in a folder, and mail account settings in a .plist file.
Supposing you know how to access the user's Library folder, you need to:

  1. Copy the Mail folder (located in ~/Library/Preferences/) from the old Mac to the new one.

  2. Copy the following file from the old Mac to the new one:

    Mountain Lion or newer:




The procedure works best if you haven't tried to open Mail before. In case you did, as you try and copy the configuration file or document folder, OS X will ask you if you want to keep the old file, the new one or both.

About calendars (and notes and contacts, and possibly Chrome bookmarks), I'd suggest syncing via iCloud and Google respectively. The offline procedures are comparatively too complicated to be worth the hassle, and since you use Chrome, I suppose you have access to an internet connection. You can boot from the old disk (installed in a HD case compatible with one of your Mac's expansion ports) for syncing.

iPhoto Library is in ~/Pictures/iPhoto Library


I'd like to add that if you have IMAP Email (Gmail, or Domain Email setup as IMAP) your Folders will be imported when you setup your Email Account on the New Solid-State Drive. If you are using POP (Post-Office Protocol) Email, then please follow okami's instructions above. Although, in some cases, setting-up a POP Email Address on a Desktop Mail Client can download every email since the account was created. (Meaning, you will have to Mark As Read many messages that you've already seen. But at least you have them all, locally.) WebMail is another Option, as is Online Bookmarks (Delicious.com) and Online Calendar (Google Calendar, etc). If everything is Online, or Synced through iCloud, you can move from Computer-to-Computer and have all of your information Synced Automatically. iCloud is Free for 5GB of Storage.

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