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I had a MacBook Pro, Mid-2010, which I regularly made weekly Time Machine backups of. The computer accidently got destroyed. When it died it was running OS X 10.10.4.

I then got a new MacBook Pro, 2014 model and it has the same size hard drive. Is it possible to restore the data on the new computer using the Time Machine backup from the old computer? If so, how?

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Yes, you can. When you set up the new Mac and connect it to your Time Machine backup either through the network or via cable, you can select restore from Time Machine Backup during setup. If you have already set up your new Mac and want to now restore, use Migration Assistant found in your Applicatons > Utilities folder.

The instructions can be found on Apple Support. See the link below or search support for Migration Assistant.

From Apple Support:

Migration Assistant and Setup Assistant

Setup Assistant opens the first time you start up a new Mac. It helps you enter your information about your network, and guides you through setting up a user account on your computer. Use it to transfer user accounts, settings, and documents from another computer to your Mac.

If you don't use Setup Assistant to transfer information when you first set up your new Mac, you can do it later using Migration Assistant.

Migration Assistant in OS X Mavericks and Yosemite can transfer information from other computers that have OS X Snow Leopard v10.6.8 or later installed. If you're migrating from a computer with an earlier version of OS X, update your older computer first, or manually copy your data from one computer to another. If you're migrating from a Windows-based PC to a Mac, you can use the Windows Migration Assistant as part of this process.

Migrate from a Time Machine backup or external drive Use these steps to migrate users, data, or other information from an existing Time

Machine backup stored on a Time Capsule or external drive.

  1. If your Time Machine backup is on an external drive, connect the drive to your new Mac.
  2. On your new Mac, open Migration Assistant. You can find it by choosing Go > Utilities, or using Spotlight or Launchpad.
  3. Enter an admin password when prompted, and click OK.
  4. Select "From a Mac, Time Machine backup, or startup disk", then click Continue.
  5. Select the Drive, Time Machine backup, or Time Capsule volume you want to migrate from, then click Continue. The Continue button is unavailable (dimmed) until you select a source.
  6. If you're migrating from a Time Capsule, enter your Time Capsule password when prompted, then click Connect.
  7. Select the specific Time Machine backup you want to migrate from, then click Continue.
  8. You can customize the type of information that is migrated on the next screen. If you want to transfer only a portion of an account, deselect anything you don't want migrated. If there is more than one user on your original Mac, you can click the triangle next to a user's icon and deselect anything you don't want to migrate for specific users.
  9. After you click Continue, the Migration Assistant begins transferring files to Mac. The amount of time that it takes for migration to complete depends on the amount of data being copied, and the speed of the connection. After migration finishes, the login window reappears. Log into the migrated account on your new Mac to see your old files.

Migration Assistant

  • "update your older computer first" sounds not applicable. My older computer is destroyed. The last Time Machine backup for that computer was created when the computer ran 10.10.4. The new computer already has 10.10.5. What should I do for this part? – qazwsx Aug 25 '15 at 1:39
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    No problem. The update referred to, say, 10.9 to 10.10. (Mavericks to Yosemite). Your system is just fine. – bjbk Aug 25 '15 at 1:41
  • I had a computer destroyed and was able to restore a new one using this method. Was like it never happened. Whew! – bjbk Aug 25 '15 at 1:51
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This will not work if your computer(s) is(are) Server enabled. FTL!

If you have installed MacOSX Server application to your installation, when you try to perform this action, a dialog warning will appear indicating that this function is not support in MacOSX Server.

  • 2
    Could you elaborate a bit? This might not be helpful without some context – bmike Nov 6 '15 at 0:16
  • sure - I will update the comment above – cgseller Nov 10 '15 at 15:42

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