I need to restore a TM backup from my old Mac Mini to my new (new to me) Mac Pro 5.1 tower. Do I really have to remove the drive from the Mac Mini? It's a pain, so I'd prefer to keep the drive in the Mac Mini if I can. Can I use?

  • Target disk mode?
  • Copy over the network?

Edit: Migration Assistant is failing on the Mac Mini - it just immediately logs me out when I try to connect to the MP. Any ideas? The MM is on High Sierra, the MP is on Mojave. Both on a flat LAN beside each other, no firewall or anything.

  • The question is a bit confusing - are you storing your backups on the internal drive on the Mac Mini? - If so, where the actual system stored? ... Or do you just want to migrate a Mac Mini to a Mac Pro, and this does not really involve Time Machine backups at all?
    – jksoegaard
    Apr 7, 2021 at 0:39
  • Yes, it's the secondary drive in the Mac Mini - how do you mean it doesn't involve Time Machine....?? Apr 7, 2021 at 0:45
  • Migration Assistant..?? Apr 7, 2021 at 0:49
  • I meant - do you have a Time Machine backup right now that you want to restore on the Mac Pro? - Or did you just think you needed on in order to migrate? (you can do so with the migration assistant without creating a backup)
    – jksoegaard
    Apr 7, 2021 at 0:54

2 Answers 2


Yes, you can just use Migration Assistant to transfer your files from the old computer to the new. There's no need to create a Time Machine backup first in order to migrate data and settings.

It does not matter that one is a Mac Mini and the other is a Mac Pro.

Migration Assistant will be default allow you to transfer the data over the network. Both computers need to be on the same local network. It doesn't matter if it is a wired connection or a WiFi connection - however a wired connection is often fastest.

  • Thank you. They’re not connecting though. I’ll post a screenshot... Apr 7, 2021 at 1:04

Solved: I had to uninstall Mac Server from the Mac Mini!

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