My macbook pro, running OS X Lion (10.7.5) got stolen last night. Luckily they didn't take my external drive, where I have a Time Machine back up of all my data, which is extremely important to me (mostly, unfinished music productions projects in Ableton)

Since new MacBooks ship with OS X Yosemite, would I able to restore my Time Machine backup on a new laptop?

2 Answers 2


Yes, the migration assistant can migrate from an older version. However it cannot migrate from a newer version.

Backup of 10.9 --> System on 10.10 works

Backup of 10.10 --> System on 10.9 does not work

  • And would I be able to restore to restore all my data (aplications/plugins/ music projects with their corresponding samples and vst patches) with migration assistant? I know that with Time Machine restoring it works just fine (I had to do it once), but I never used Migration Assistant
    – andy
    Mar 17, 2015 at 13:21
  • I was referring to migration assistant
    – Ezekiel
    Mar 17, 2015 at 19:27

It's the other way around, your Time Machine OS has to be same or newer than whatever computer you are installing it on. I bought a 2018 laptop, running the latest OS, and was not able to restore my circa 2012 OS time machine. Apple told me that I have to buy a computer that originally came with the same OS as my time machine, or it won't work.

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