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Intel Mac To M1 Mac Migration: Can I Use Time Machine?

Intel Mac to M1 Mac: Time Machine Considerations

Are there problems migrating from an Intel Mac to a new M1 Mac using time machine? I have a 2018 Mac Mini with the latest version of Catalina and will be migrating to a new Apple Silicon Mac Mini (on Big Sur) once it finally arrives (not till February 3!). 

Is it OK to use time machine given the diverse chip platforms? And does my current Mac have to be upgraded to Big Sur first or is it OK to remain on Catalina? I would guess that, even if time machine is feasible, I shouldn’t migrate Intel Mac applications?

Thanks in advance for any help and suggestions.

Comments: 6 Responses to “Intel Mac To M1 Mac Migration: Can I Use Time Machine?”

    8 months ago

    Using Time Machine and Migration Assistant is a good way to go. There is no reason that migrating from Intel-to-M1 would be any different than Intel-To-Intel. At least not for the data migration part.

    It should work fine from Catalina to Big Sur as long as you are using the basic migration offered when you set up your new Mac, not trying to do some full system restore or something like that.

    Migrating your applications is not a problem. Rosetta 2 on the M1 machines will run them. And many you have are already Universal (both Intel and M1) apps or will be shortly.

    Bob Keenan
    8 months ago

    Did just that, using “system migration” from mac mini 2011 Intel to Macbook Air 2020 M1, and all went fine.

    brian glenville
    6 months ago

    Do you somehow connect the two machines or was it done wirelessly ?

    6 months ago

    Brian: It can be done wirelessly if the two machines are on the same network.

    Alex Ragen
    5 months ago

    I tried to migrate using my Time Machine backup and I found that neither WiFi nor Bluetooth worked. The local vendor’s support (I am in Israel) told me that the reason was that the Intel WiFi and Bluetooth drivers were migrated to the M1 Mac and they don’t work there. He advised me to reinstall MacOS, which I have tried to do and failed several times. What a pain.

    5 months ago

    Alex: That sounds very wrong. Clearly Wi-Fi and Bluetooth work fine on M1 Macs.

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