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How to restore from a Time Machine backup when there is already a user account set up?

We just sold my wife's MacBook Air, and we're going to try sharing my MacBook Pro for a while. So I set up a new user account for her on my MBP, and I am wondering if it is possible to restore her time machine backup onto her user account without losing all of my stuff.

Is this possible?


1 Answer 1


You have software that came with your Mac that will allow you to transfer that over.

First you need to delete the new account you created for her. Delete that via users and groups under system preferences.

Once that is done log into your account, which I hope is an admin account. Under /Applications/Utilities there is an application called Migration Assistant.

With Migration Assistant you can import her Time Machine back-up onto your computer and it'll import her entire back-up into her own user account. Which is why you needed to delete the account you created for her. You need to not have an account on the machine that matches the name of the account that is on the Time Machine backup.

When importing from her back-up you can choose which parts of the back-up to pull in, Applications, Documents etc... you can avoid redudancy if you have any of the same applications on your machine.

Here is Apple's support article about Migration Assistant.

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