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I am currently migrating from a MacBookPro to a desktop.

The desktop is running Sierra and the MacBookPro is running Yosemite. The desktop is a late 2013 (I think) and the MacBookPro I'm not sure. (I think it's 2010 perhaps. can't check because it is currently migrating).

Anyhow, they both have Ethernet ports and I have successfully plugged in an Ethernet cable between them. (complicated task, I know)

However when I use Migration Assistant, it always falls back on wifi, and says it's going to take 155 hours to transfer. I know the Ethernet cable is good, hence I'm using it currently (remember I already figured it out) and I was not able to connect using wifi.

How can I get Migration Assistant to use the Ethernet connection?

  • If you have an ethernet switch/router with two or more ports, use that instead of a direct connection. – IconDaemon Oct 16 '16 at 19:23
  • I've been trying to do the same thing but from a PC to a Mac. So far zero luck. The PC can turn off Wifi, but the Mac is determined to stay on Wifi no matter what. Driving me crazy. So much slower. – Jim Gable Dec 9 '17 at 21:04
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Okay, here we go

It's a simple answer, so...

After wasting hours of time trying to figure this out I realized that Migration Assistant is not smart enough to set up the Ethernet connection itself.

I had to go into System-Preferences->Network and add and manage the Ethernet.

I then turned off the wifi, turned on file sharing, and was able to see the other computer coming from the other side.

Even though all the tutorials I had read said "just plug in the Ethernet cable and go" (in my own words), I still had to set it up manually. Oddly enough, the MacBookPro didn't even have the default Ethernet settings.

Hope this helps someone else!

  • This was super helpful. However my new iMac kept turning the wifi back on when it logged out as Migration Assistant was starting up. So I went back to Networks and under Wifi unchecked the remember wifi network box. Then started Migration Assistant again on both computers. – Susan Jan 2 '18 at 4:56
  • With 10.14, both machines on the same switch and network configured in the same, functional way, the migration assistant would see the old machine but refuse to connect ("can not find" or some bogus). Device-to-device WiFi, works immediately. What an annoyance. – Raphael Feb 27 at 15:57

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