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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.
—–
David

Comments: 13 Responses to “Intel Mac To M1 Mac Migration: Can I Use Time Machine?”

    1 year 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
    1 year ago

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

    brian glenville
    1 year ago

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

    1 year ago

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

    Alex Ragen
    1 year 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.

    1 year ago

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

    Diego Terneus
    8 months ago

    Can I use Time Machine to set up a brand new M1 Mini? My backups are from an old Mini (2011) that was on High Sierra (10.3.6)
    If I set up the new Mini to the drive where my backups are, and do a restore, will that work?

    8 months ago

    Diego: You should be able to, yes. You wouldn't do a restore though, that is for when you have to install macOS. Just use Migration Assistant. It will prompt you for that when you set up the new Mac.

    Diego Terneus
    8 months ago

    Gary: Thanks for the prompt reply!
    I'll use Migration Assistant. I guess all I have to do is hook up the drive I used to do the backups from my old mini to my new mini and go from there?

    8 months ago
    Diego Terneus
    8 months ago

    Thanks for the help!

    Sean Nolander
    6 months ago

    My techy pal says that time machine is iffy these days, suggests using rsync or ditto instead. I'm moving from a 12 year old iMac9,1 to the new 24-inch M1 flavour, and have an up to date Time Machine. The only thing that won't work, I think, is an ancient MS Word install (the only major software addition to the system.) What do you think, might TM's Migration Assistant still be a good way to go? I suppose that it's just email correspondence, keychain info and browser data I need to recreate..

    6 months ago

    Sean: Why does your pal think Time Machine is "iffy?" Has been working fine for me and so many others. You can use Migration Assistant to migrate to your new Mac, sure. Many people do.

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