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I am currently using a desktop iMac, and I recently purchased the 15" Macbook Pro with retina display. What is the best way to transfer all my files to the new laptop?

I was going to use airdrop, but will that be efficient with so many files? Also, when using airdrop will a copy of the file being transferred remain on the first computer?

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Aside of using the Target Disk mode, which is sort of rough way, you can use the build in Migration Assistant already located in your Utility folder.

It is designed to transfer information from- to but also to place it in the right position, unlike the Target disk mode.

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Fastest is probably Target Disk Mode.

With the 'donor' machine off, connect both with Firewire or Thunderbolt cables.

Boot the 'donor' & hold the T key.

You can then treat it like an external hard drive & copy files from one to the other

See - Transfer files between two computers using target disk mode - same method for any OS

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