How to Transfer Data from Windows PC to Mac

George Herman
George Herman
IT Security Expert

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If you are a Windows user who wants to migrate to Mac, you’ll need to take all your data with you. Thus, we wrote a How to Guide to make the transfer easier. Just follow the steps below and your data will be stored properly.

The first thing you should know about data migration is that switching platforms doesn’t mean starting all over again. In your case, Apple has made the transfer easier by adding a free utility to their Mac, called Migration Assistant. You will see it in the Utilities folder as soon as you first start up your Mac and asks you if you want to transfer data from another Mac, a PC, or a Time Machine backup.

To make things simple, Apple offers the app freely available for download for transferring to macOS Sierra from Windows and OS X from Windows.

Migration Assistant will be of great help when you transfer your data from a PC running Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 10 operating systems. All you have to do is to make sure that Migration Assistant runs simultaneously on both – the PC and the Mac and that they are on one and the same network.

Keep in mind that the data migration usually takes several hours depending on what’s being transferred and what means you’re using. For instance, Wi-Fi is slower, while a wired Ethernet connection is faster. In this case, the choice is yours.

Also, the actual data that gets transferred will depend on which version of Windows you’re using, and what programs created this data. For example, any bookmarks from Internet Explorer and Firefox will be brought into Safari. iTunes content and image files should make it over as well. The system settings will also get pulled over. Further on, you can specify what other files you’d like to move to your Mac.

In any case, contacts, calendar information, and email accounts are much more tricky than the other stuff. If you’re using Microsoft Outlook, Migration Assistant will pull over your email account information, email messages, contacts, and your calendars. However, the other programs may vary. Thus, Apple has published a detailed chart of what gets migrated over.

To start the migration process, you should first connect your Mac to your PC either through Ethernet, or by making sure both computers are on the same local Wi-Fi network.

On your new Mac:

  1. Open a Finder window.
  2. Click on Applications in the sidebar.
  3. Double-click on the Utilities folder.
  4. Click on Migration Assistant.
  5. Click Continue and Fill in your ID and Password.
  6. Click From a PC when prompted to select how you want to transfer your data.
  7. Click Continue and the migration process is on.

On your PC:

  1. Download and install Migration Assistant on your PC.
  2. Open the Migration Assistant on your PC –
  • After launching it, Migration Assistant for Windows will try to connect to your Mac.
  • A security code will be shown on your monitor.
  • Confirm that the code on your PC is the same on your Mac.
  • Select all the files, folders, and settings you want to transfer from your PC to your Mac.
  • Click Continue and the migration process is now on.

Once you have completed all the above-mentioned, your data will be transferred to your Mac successfully. Of course, there are other ways to move files between PCs and Macs, such as thumb drives, for instance, where you can manually transfer the files you want to use. Though, at this point Migration Assistant remains the most convenient and easy way for data migration.


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