How to Move Files from Windows to Mac OS X Lion

Mac OS X Lion comes with a tool called Migration Assistant to help you move files from your Windows PC to your Mac. Migration Assistant has some requirements and limitations, however:

  • Your PC must run Windows XP or later and be reasonably up-to-date

  • Your Mac and PC must be on the same network, wired or wireless

  • You must download an Apple setup program to run on your PC

  • Migration Assistant cannot transfer some data from your PC, including passwords, event attachments and Windows Live calendars and contacts

  • Migration Assistant will transfer accounts on your PC to new accounts on your Mac

  • Data for Microsoft Outlook (2003, 2007, or 2010 32-bit versions), Outlook Express, Windows Mail, and Windows Live Mail can only be transferred for the PC account currently logged in. To transfer data for these programs from other accounts on your PC you must log in to those accounts on at a time and re-run Migration Assistant.

To use Migration Assistant, follow these steps:

  1. On you PC, go to and download WindowsMigrationAssitantSetup.exe from Apple’s download site.

    Review any instructions that come with the setup.

  2. Make sure your Mac can see your PC on the network by choosing Go→Network from the finder menu.

  3. Run WindowsMigrationAssitantSetup.exe on your PC by double-clicking its icon or using the Start→Run command.

  4. Run Migration Assistant on your Mac — it’s in the Utilities folder — then follow the onscreen instructions.

    The two programs work together to transfer your PC’s files. The files for each account end up in the Documents folder in the corresponding new account on your Mac. You can manually move pictures to the Pictures folder, music to the Music folder, and so on, if you wish. You assign passwords to each new account when you first log in.

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