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Mac OS: Migrating Data to a New Drive

Created on: May 29, 2015
Last updated: August 18, 2017

There are several ways to move data between OS X system drives; which method is best for you depends on your hardware and system version, and on whether the drives are functioning normally. If you haven't experienced any problems with your original drive or the system that's installed on it, and you have a current Time Machine backup of the entire system volume, then Time Machine is generally the simplest and most reliable method. To learn more about installing a Time Machine backup onto a new drive, please check this link:

If you do not have a Time Machine backup, another proven method is to install a clean system on your new disk, update that system to the most recent version, and then and migrate your data using OS X Recovery and Apple's Migration Assistant, respectively. OS X Recovery is generally available (using a special recovery partition) on system drives that use OS X 10.7 or later. Additionally for many Macs released since 2010 a special version called "Internet Recovery" is built into the Mac hardware. OWC has a detailed guide for using OS X Recovery and the Migration Assistant. To use the guide, click the link below:

If you would like more information about OS X Recovery, this Apple document is a good place to start: