Migrating data from your old MacBook to your new device isn’t always as easy as a walk in the park. Sometimes the data transfer process may fail with the following error message: “This Mac cannot be used to migrate data“. In fact, many Mac users encountered this error when they tried to transfer data from their old devices to their newer MacBook M1 computers. If you are having the same problem, follow the troubleshooting solutions below.
What to do if you can’t move the data to your new Mac
Use the Time Machine external hard drive
The safest way to migrate data from your old Mac to your new device is to simply connect the Time Machine external hard drive from your old Mac to your new Mac.
- Use a USB cable, connect the two devices, and start your new computer.
- The Setup wizard should appear on the screen. Follow the onscreen instructions to complete the setup process.
- At one point, the Setup wizard will ask if you are migrating from another computer. Click on Yesand continue to follow the on-screen instructions.
On the other hand, if you have already completed the setup wizard phase, connect your Time Machine hard drive to your new Mac and start the migration wizard. To do this, go to Applications, select Utilities, then click the Migration assistant. Remember that the Migration Assistant automatically creates a new user account. Use this account to log into your computer and access data on your old Mac.
Another important thing to keep in mind is that you may need to reinstall some apps. Generally speaking, professional and premium programs such as Adobe’s suite of tools cannot be migrated. But you can use the security keys to reinstall these programs on your new Mac.
Update your operating system
Before trying to migrate data from your old Mac to your new computer, make sure that you are running the latest version of macOS on your devices. When the migration process fails, the error window that appears on the screen also prompts you to update your system. The error message typically reads as follows: “This Mac cannot be used to migrate data. Due to an issue with unlocking this system, you cannot migrate. Please update this Mac and try again.“.
- Click on your Apple menu and navigate to System Preferences.
- Then click on System update and install the latest version of macOS.
- Restart your machine and check if you can complete the migration process.
Set a password for your account
If you are using a user account that does not have a password, configure one and see if the problem is resolved. A number of users have confirmed that setting up a password for their accounts fixed the issue.
- Go to your Apple menu and click on System Preferences.
- Then select Users and groups.
- Select your user account and press the button Reset password button. Enter the password you want to configure and save the changes.
- Try to migrate your data again and check if it works.
Bring your Mac back to life with Apple Configurator 2
Restarting your Mac can help you get around this problem. To use this method, you must install the latest version of Apple Configurator 2 on your computer. You also need a USB-C to USB-C charging cable and a USB-A to USB-C cable.
- First of all, you need to start Apple setup on your second device. Use the USB-C cable to connect your Mac computers.
- Restart your Mac using a special key.
- In the Apple configurator, go to Actions, select Advanced then select Revive device. This option allows you to reinstall the latest version of recoveryOS.
If the problem persists, select the Restore option. Keep in mind that this option will delete all data on your computer and then reinstall your recoveryOS and macOS versions.
For more information on the steps to follow, visit Revive or restore a Mac with Apple Silicon with Apple Configurator 2.
The fastest and safest way to migrate data from your old Mac to your new MacBook is to use the Time Machine external hard drive. If this method fails, update your operating system and configure a password for your user account if it does not already have one. As a last resort, reactivate or restore your operating system. Click on the comments below and let us know if you have successfully migrated your data to your new Mac.