At my job I have just switched from Windows to a Mac. I already have a MacBook Pro with all the tools for software development set up.

I would like to skip the painful setup process at my work computer and just somehow "clone" my MacBook Pro installation to my new Mac Mini that I got at work - all the apps, settings, files etc.

Is it possible? What tool should I use?

  • 2
    You mentioned Windows to Mac (on a MacBook Pro). Then you mentioned about cloning your MacBook install. Are you asking about cloning from MacBook Pro to Macbook (which is Mac to Mac)? Or migrating from Windows to Mac? – Global nomad Dec 13 '11 at 20:39
  • Thanks for noticing! I want to migrate my Macbook Pro environment to new Mac Mini. – Michal Till Dec 13 '11 at 20:51
  • It would also help if you clarify your idea of a painful setup process, and which apps you depend on. – bneely Dec 13 '11 at 21:05
  • @MicalTil please edit the question to make it clear – user151019 Dec 13 '11 at 21:05

As @Globalnomad says using the Migration Assistant is the easiest way as per the Apple reference . However you do not need the extra disk but connect them with a firewire cable see Apple knowledge base for firewire booting The steps are given in the first reference in he section "Migrating using FireWire or ThunderBolt "

or if no Firewire cable - connect via Ethernet and use the section "Wireless (Wi-Fi) or Ethernet migration" I suspect Wi-Fi might be a bit slow.

  • Mark is correct. You have the MacMini connect to MacbookPro (in Target Disk Mode). Absolutely simple! – Global nomad Dec 14 '11 at 7:20

Easiest way I know is

  1. Make sure your Macbook Pro is connected to a power outlet (you don't want your Macbook Pro to go to sleep)
  2. Find an external hard drive (that's big enough to fit all your applications and data) and connect it to your Macbook Pro. Highly recommend if possible that you connect that hard drive using the fastest connection possible. e.g. IEEE1391/Firewire preferred over USB, or USB 3 over USB 2, etc. Likewise, a Direct Attached Storage will be faster than a Network Attached Storage.
  3. Launch System Preferences on your MacBook Pro, click on Time Machine, enable it, and set the above-mentioned hard drive as the Time Machine backup. Time Machine will start counting down from 100+ seconds, starts indexing. Depending on how much content (application and data) you have, this can take hours. You can continue using the MacBook Pro while Time Machine backs up.
  4. When Time Machine has completed backing up, if you have saved any files while Time Machine was running, then run Time Machine one more time to ensure you got that latest backup.
  5. Eject the external hard drive and disconnect it from your Macbook Pro.
  6. Connect the external hard drive to your Mac Mini.
  7. Power on your Mac Mini. If your Mac Mini isn't set up, then when prompted with choice to migrate
  8. Follow the steps from http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4889. Time needed depends on how much application and data in the external hard drive.
  • If you're using Xcode as your development environment, I'll consider uninstalling Xcode and doing a clean install (from Mac Apple Store, for e.g.). – Global nomad Dec 13 '11 at 21:24

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