Windows to Mac data migration

Owning a Mac does not require not having all of your Windows data and files. For the most part, all of your Windows user data, including documents, pictures, music, and videos, can make the journey to the Mac without too much trouble.

Your Windows applications, however, will have to stay behind. They depend on a Windows operating system, and won’t run directly on a Mac. In many cases you can find a Mac equivalent software package.

Notes: With the release of OS X Lion (10.7.x), the Apple Migration Assistant gained the ability to copy user data from PCs running Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7. With subsequent versions of OS X were released, the Migration Assistant picked up the ability to work with Windows 8, and Windows 10.

The Windows Migration Assistant will allow us to transfer music, pictures, documents, contacts, calendars email accounts, and other data from a Windows computer to a Mac.

Windows to Mac Migration

After the migration is completed, you may need to authorize iTunes on the Mac. This will allow you to sync or play previous content you may have from the iTunes Store.


Check the following:

  • Check that Windows has all current updates installed
  • Make note of the user name and password for the administrator account on the computer.
  • You will need disable the Windows automatic Windows Updates to prevent any interruption during the migration process.
  • Use network cables or WiFi to have both the Mac and Windows computers using the same same network.
  • Run check disk (chkdsk) utility on the windows computer to check it’s hard drive integrity.

Notes: The Migration Assistant will only copy the user data from the current account on the windows computer. If you have more than  user account that wish to keep, then you to login in with the other accounts and repeat the same  migration steps.

Moving the data

  • On the Windows computer, download and install the required Windows Migration Assistant.
  • Close all Windows applications.
  • Open the Windows Migration Assistant.
  • Click Continue in the Migration Assistant window to begin the migration.

Windows 10 migration assistant

  • Boot the Mac computer. The Setup Assistant automatically opens the first time you turn the Mac. Otherwise, open the Migration Assistant from the Utilities folder.
  • On the Mac, follow the onscreen prompts until you see  the image below. Select the option to transfer information “From a Windows PC.”

Mac migration from a windows PC

  • When requested, enter the administrator name and password.
  • Click Continue to close any other open apps.
  • In the migration window on the Mac, select the Windows computer the list of available computers. Now wait for the Windows computer to show the same passcode as on the Mac.

Transfer information to this Mac from Windows

  • Once the passcodes are matched, click Continue on both computers.

Windows 10 migration assistant passcode

  • The Mac will the Windows computer to build a list of items to migrate. After the scan completes, you can select what data to migrate to the Mac, and then click Continue.

Windows to Mac select the information to transfer

Both Migration Assistants will display the ongoing progress of the entire copy operation. Once the copying process is complete, you may exit the Migration Assistant application on both computers.

Data migration completed

After the migration finishes, close the Windows Migration Assistant on the Windows computer. Now sign-in to the new user account on the Mac. The first time you sign-in to the user account that was migrated from Windows, you are prompted to set a password. Once you have successfully logged in to the migrated user account, authorize the Mac in iTunes.


You may need to disable any antivirus software on the Windows Computer before you begin the process.

If your PC isn’t compatible with Migration Assistant

You can  optionally perform a manual data transfer using an external drive or file sharing from your Windows computer to the Mac.

What Windows data is able to be migrated?

Email, contacts, and calendar information details:

Outlook 32-bit:

  • People move to Contacts
  • Appointments move to Calendar
  • IMAP and Exchange settings and messages move to Mail
  • POP settings and messages move to Mail*

Migration Assistant is not compatible with 64-bit versions of Outlook. In this case, you will need to manually migrate Mail, Contacts, or Calendars from Outlook 2013 or Outlook 2016.

Outlook Express:

  • People move to Contacts
  • IMAP settings and messages move to Mail
  • POP settings and messages move to Mail*

Windows Live Mail:

  • IMAP settings and messages move to Mail
  • POP settings and messages move to Mail*

Windows Mail:

  • IMAP settings and messages move to Mail
  • POP settings and messages move to Mail*
  • People move to Contacts

Bookmarks Bookmarks from Internet Explorer, Safari for Windows, and Firefox transfer to Safari. iTunes content Your iTunes Music, Movies, and other iTunes library files transfer to iTunes on your Mac. System settings Your language and location settings, web browser homepage, and custom desktop pictures transfer to System Preferences settings in macOS.

Migration Assistant transfers data that belongs to the current logged-in Windows user. You will to sign-in to any other accounts you need to transfer data for.

Related Posts

Mac vs Windows - A Comparison Guide

Mac vs Windows – A Comparison Guide

This post is meant to give a comparison between Apple Macintosh computers and a PC running Microsoft Windows. A PC ...
Read More