How To Transfer Data From Windows To Mac | Laptopsgeek

Switching from Windows system to a Mac doesn’t mean you have to start over. You can have your old files and data that you’ve collected over the years on your Windows computer.

Though you won’t be able to transfer applications and system settings because of the difference in the operating system, you would otherwise be able to move virtually any data files and information you value.

We’ll be covering here the Apple’s Migration Assistant which is pretty easy to set up, and also you’ll be able to transfer data without any limits to transfer data without the connection threshold.

There are other options available as well, for example, file sharing within the local network, using an external hard drive, cloud-based sharing – OneDrive, Google Drive, etc.

These processes involve a little more work than the Migration Assistant we’ll be following as well as are somewhat time-consuming and lopsided. Let us now begin the transfer of data from Windows to Mac machine.

Migration Assistant

Apple has built a Migration Assistant utility specifically designed to transfer data from Mac to Mac or Windows systems.

The assistant comes with all the newer versions of the Mac OS X operating system, starting with Mac OS X Lion(2011). The utility can be used to move system settings, user data, applications from the old Mac to a new one.

A fantastic feature of this utility by Apple is that it is also compatible with Windows-based computers and can move data to the Mac. Though in the Windows version you can’t transfer applications from Windows PC to Mac, otherwise it can move user files, movies, bookmarks, music, pictures, and most of the data files.

In case your Mac is running an older version of Mac OS X than Lion (OS X 10.7.x) the Migration assistant won’t be able to transfer the data.

The prerequisite for the Migration Assistant to work is both the computer systems must connect with the same network. Either via your local Wi-Fi network or directly through CAT6 Ethernet cable connection which is way faster than the previous option.

Though you don’t need to worry there are other options available for transferring your Windows data to a new Mac. Now let us dive into the steps involved in the transfer of data using Migration Assistant. Once the data is migrated from PC to Mac make sure to authorize your Mac in iTunes.

Before we begin

Migration Assistant runs on Windows 7 or later. Also, make sure to update both the machines before commencing the migration process. You should have administrator privileges and likewise, both the system connect with a Wi-Fi or direct network connection cables.  

On your Windows PC ensure that the drive doesn’t have any disk issues. Follow the steps to find out

Step 1: Open the Start menu and type cmd it’ll bring the Command Prompt, open it.

Step 2: Type chkdsk in the command prompt and press return/enter.

Step 3: In case the check disk uncovers an issue with the disk, you’ll have to check the Windows startup disk specifically for example type chkdsk drive: /C and press return. The utility until return no problems you need to repeat the process or have your computer serviced.

Migration process

Windows Steps

Step 1: On the Windows PC download Windows Migration Assistant and install it.

Step 2: Close all other applications open in Windows, now start Windows Migration Assistant.

Step 3: Migration Assistant window will pop up, select the Continue button to proceed.  

Mac Steps

Step 4: Now open the Migration Assistant on your Mac, it is already installed on the Mac during set up. You’ll find it in the “Utility folder”.

Step 5: Once open select the “From a Windows PC” option under “How do you want to transfer your information”. You’ll reach this by following the steps given on-screen.

Step 6: Mac will prompt a security check and ask for the administrator password to enter the password. Press Continue to proceed.

Step 7: You’ll be presented with a list of machines available, select your Windows PC. After selecting the migration windows will present you a passcode on the screen which will be simultaneously be presented on the other computer you selected.

Step 8: Though it might take some time, the passcode will be presented on the Windows PC, click Continue on both the Mac and PC.

Step 9: Mac will scan all the drives available on your PC to gather information to migrate. Select the pictures, bookmarks, contacts, information, other non-system data files you want to transfer and click Continue. You can look up the data that can be transferred.

Step 10: Now wait for the data to transfer, you could see the progress and the remaining time on both the machines.

Step 11: Once the migration is complete close the Migration Assistant on your PC. When you log in to your new user account on Mac you’re asked to set a password. Set a strong password may be the same as your PC. Also, make sure to authorize the Mac in iTunes.

Facing issues during the process

In case you face any issues during the steps above, try out these solutions

Close Other Applications

While you transfer your data make sure no other application is running on Windows PC. As some applications might interrupt the normal process of Migration assistant and cause problems for you.

Step 1: Press Alt+Ctrl+Delete and open Task manager here you can close any other application running.

Antivirus Programs

On Windows PC uninstall any antivirus software if you are unable to open Migration Assistant. Open the Assistant after turning off the antivirus again it will start most probably. You can switch on your antivirus program after the migration is complete.

Network Connection Check

Ensure both computers are connected to the same network. Either by connecting through an Ethernet cable between your PC and Mac or using a local Wi-Fi network. But the Migration Assistant on Mac should be able to find your PC and display in the list window.

If your PC is not appearing in the Mac Assistant window, disable any Firewall on your PC. It might be blocking certain network ports that the Assistant needs to use.

Compatibility Issues

Though Migration Assistant covers a wide range of systems and Operating Systems. For example Windows 7 and later, Mac OS 10.7 Lion and above. If your computer isn’t compatible there are other options available for you to migrate your data. You can opt for an external drive or connect manually through the file-sharing mechanism and copy your important files.