I have just replaced my magnetic hard drive with a new and fast SSD drive.

I have placed the old drive in an external case, so all the files are available, and all the data was successfully restored.

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My dilemma is about the ~/Library folder. It contains a lot of application settings which can save lots of time reconfiguring.

Is it safe to restore the contents of the ~/Library folder to the new SSD drive?

Update: I have not used time machine, just placed the old hard drive in a case and connected it via USB.

  • 1
    How did you do your Backup? Didn't you use time machine?
    – tholu
    Jul 3, 2014 at 11:32
  • No, I just pulled the old disk and placed it in a case.
    – Adam Matan
    Jul 3, 2014 at 13:05

1 Answer 1


I always did that -- in fact, if you did NOT upgrade OS version I'd just copy the folder wholesale. Restoring from a Time Machine backup would do something similar, and equally dumb -- I had problems with Mail once because time machine had passed a preference file across between OS versions, and the pref file conflicted with the new Mail [1], so Time Machine is no guarantee that all will be smooth.

So, if you are NOT also upgrading OS, just copy all across. If you are also upgrading OS move the data in ~/Library (such as your emails), and the prefs for stuff that is not bundled with the OS (such as Mail or Safari), but I'd reset the preferences for those applications only once more from within the apps themselves.

[1] What is com.apple.mail.plist and why was it slowing Mail down?

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