My work MBP has been set up as a standalone device, but now needs to join the corporate network.

Is there a way to copy my entire user profile (apps, config, terminal settings etc) to a new device (the same device, having been wiped) with a different username? (e.g. domain\dunc)

The new user account will already be created on the "new" device, and I don't have the ability to change this.

This question has an open bounty worth +100 reputation from dunc ending in 3 days.

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  • This needs a bit more clarification now that you're joining a domain. There are user preferences and system preferences; the latter may be set by your admin which you cannot change. Are you looking to just change your own personalizations or even change the system-wide settings? – Allan Jan 14 at 16:45
  • Thanks Allan. Excuse the ambiguity - I've never used a domain-joined Mac. I will have full control over the System Preferences even when the device is on the domain. I'm looking to copy as much over as possible, basically - ideally I'd like to have the Mac set up in exactly the way it is now, just on the corporate network. – dunc Jan 14 at 17:47
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    Time Machine and Migration Assistance may get you to where you need to go, but there's also a utility on GitHub that's supposed to do exactly this. I haven't had a chance to test this out yet. – Allan Jan 14 at 17:51
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    I've been looking for a similar utility (though not high on my priority list) and have been contemplating how I can automate the install of 3rd party software via bash and the saving/migration of settings via cloud when I stumbled on this. I didn't post it as an answer because I just haven't had the time to go and give it a full test; though it appears to be actively maintained as of only 4 months ago. This is why I didn't write it as an answer - I didn't have first hand knowledge of how it performed. – Allan Jan 15 at 12:06
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    Fair play, thanks for your honesty! – dunc Jan 15 at 13:11

Migration Assistant is built for situations just like this. It will give you the option to transfer over just one specific user. Here's Apple's article on it which is fairly comprehensive.

Migration Assistant probably won't give you the option to rename your username though. Fortunately it's not too hard - here's a guide on it.. Make sure that you're logged out when you do these steps & that you change both the username & the home folder. If you only change one there's a good chance you won't be able to log into that account again.

  • Thanks for your answer. Unfortunately, I don't think this will work. The user account will already exist on the new Mac, as it will be a corporate build imaged by another department in the organisation. As such, the Mac will be presented to me with a domain-joined user account like domain\dunc and I'm trying to move my existing user account (from my existing Mac) in to this profile. – dunc yesterday

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