Mac Migration Assistant: Using an Ethernet Cable to Transfer Files Between Computers

by Eric Pena on January 1, 2011

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y company gave me a new 2010 Macbook Pro and I needed to transfer all the files from my old 2007 Macbook Pro. There are several ways I can do this:

  1. Use Migration Assistant with a FireWire cable.
  2. Use Migration Assistant with a USB cable (and an External USD HD Enclosure).
  3. Restore from a Time Machine backup.
  4. Using a Wireless Network.
  5. Using an Ethernet Cable (straight or cross-over cable).

Given the above options, I went with what was immediately available… with my old Cat 5 Ethernet UTP cable.

Note: Using a Cat 6 UTP cable should speed up the transfer process quite a bit.

So I went ahead and connected together my Macbook Pros through their Ethernet ports.

Connecting two Macs with an Ethernet cable


First, make sure you update your Mac OS X to the latest possible versions (mine were both 10.6.5 at the time of this writing).
Second, make sure you disable both the WiFi connections.
Third, make sure both are on the same network (e.g. Computer-1 is and Computer-2 is Use Network Preference to manually edit the IP addresses.

Step 1. Set-up Destination Mac

On the Destination Mac, open Migration Assistant (located in /Applications/Utilities/).

Migration Assistant

Enter your system username and password.

Migration Assistant System Login

Select the Migration Method “From another Mac”.

Migration Assistant

Select “Use Network”

Migration Assistant

A Passcode will be provided that you will need to enter on the source Mac.

Migration Assistant

Step 2. Set-up the Other Mac

On the source Mac, open Migration Assistant. Select the option “To another Mac”.

Migration Assistant

Enter the Passcode from the destination Mac.

Migration Assistant

Quit all other running applications and click Continue for the migration process to begin.

Migration Assistant

Depending on the size of the files you selected to migrate, it may take a couple of hours for the migration process to finish.

Hope that helps!

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Don Eleazar Balboa January 4, 2011 at 2:16 am

I believe all Macs now are auto sensing (no more need for a cross over cable).


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3 John Zhang May 24, 2011 at 6:05 am

Fantastic. this is definitely one of best tricks that needs to be bookmarked.

4 Semidoppel June 3, 2011 at 3:19 pm

Oh my, nakkainggit naman!

5 Colleen Barnes June 20, 2011 at 4:48 am

This is very helpful.  Thanks for posting.

6 Anonymous August 16, 2011 at 7:14 pm

This one is really looking one of the most extreme information about transfer files from computers. And the regarding information is extremely looking just most helpful for me. And I am highly impressed to know about it. Thanks for sharing some mind blowing information about it.

7 Mellissa Limcaoco August 22, 2011 at 3:03 am

This is very helpful. Thanks for posting

8 Order Taking Service February 11, 2012 at 7:24 pm

This is really help full because it is bit difficult moving from one another.

9 USB 3G March 3, 2012 at 12:07 pm

We hope that you find this information useful and look forward to assisting you in the future. Thank for this support.

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