we’re just migrating my wife’s MacBook Pro to a new one, both most recent macOS versions via a TimeMachine backup. In the process all files are selected, Migration Assistenten on the new mac runs through smoothly without any errors. Except that it’s a lot faster than expected, and faster than it first estimates to be. We’re roughly talking about 200 Gb of data, it first estimates to take around 1:30 (h:min), but then finishes after just a couple of minutes. After rebooting the Pictures and Music folder for example are empty, haven’t fully explored, what else might be missing. The missing data definitely is on the time machine backup.

Any ideas on what might have gone wrong here? Might try skipping the time machine backup and using Migration assistant directly Mac to Mac.

One more thought: old Mac used case-sensitive Apple File System, new Mac doesn’t - might that be the source of the „error“? Thanks for your help!


  • This is going to be of no help, but just to let you know you're not alone - apple.stackexchange.com/questions/392734/… - I used to have great faith in Time Machine. I now have none whatsoever.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Jul 5, 2020 at 12:06
  • Always use mac to mac or hard drive to mac. Avoid data migrations over wifi, ethernet, and time machine when possible. Commented Dec 3, 2020 at 6:49

1 Answer 1


I want to commiserate because the exact same thing happened to me after using Time Machine to restore my drive recently after I put a new SSD in my older Macbook. The restore took a good amount of time and seemed successful according to the UI however I noticed that exact 2 folders you mentioned hadn't been restored. (I didn't notice anything else missing.) So I manually copied the contents from my backup and went along as usual...

I ended up here however with a new issue; for other reasons I ended up getting a new machine a short time after that. I set up the new Mac using Migration Assistant with my Time Machine backup, which seemed successful this time. (all folders appear OK, although my Plex Media Server app database seems to be corrupted now).

My big problem now is that I went to restore that particular file from Time Machine, and see that I have no history dating to before the migration! I looked at the backupd folder for Time Machine and it's now got a new folder where the new backups are being made named "my username 2"... the migration somehow forked me into a copy of my username, making my backup files longer accessible to Time Machine's UI. I probably should post my issue here separately... I also have no confidence now in Time Machine.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .