How to Switch from Windows to Mac

Many PC owners cannot avoid recognizing the obvious for too long. Eventually, they come to the light side and become members of the ever-expanding Apple crowd. The change of the computing platform necessitates the transfer of data. Even if a user continues using their PC, there still is a need to move some files from one computer to another.


There are several ways to achieve a smooth migration of files from a PC to a Mac. Some of them are easy; others are not so much. The article describes the most popular migration methods so you could make an informed choice based on your technical wherewithal and needs.

Use Migration Assistant


Mac developers have anticipated the need of ex PC owners to transfer their data to a Mac. For this reason, a setup assistant, while helping a new Mac user to configure essential settings, asks them whether they want to move their digital goods to the new abode. If a user declines the help offer, they can accomplish the same with the help of the Migration Assistant. The built-in macOS utility is the smartest way to conduct data transferring. Instead of moving PC files haphazardly, Migration Assistant achieves a close resemblance of their previous configuration on a Mac. Thus, emails are transferred from Outlook to Mail, PC contacts go to Apple Contacts, and calendar data finds itself in the Calendar app. The same applies to other files such as bookmarks, documents, and even a desktop background image. The ability to transfer such data is what distinguishes the Migration Assistant approach from other migration methods.


To migrate their files, a Mac owner should connect the two computers to the same Wi-Fi network. Alternatively, they can use an Ethernet cable to connect the two machines.  After establishing a connection, it is necessary to download and install the Migration Assistant on a PC. You can do so by using this link. Follow instructions in the installer and launch the utility after the installation process is complete. To ensure that the transferring goes smoothly, disable anti-virus software on the PC. Then, do the following:

  1. Click the Continue button in a Migration Assistant that runs on the PC;
migration assistant
  1. In a Migration Assistant running on the Mac, select the From another Mac, PC, Time Machine backup, or other disk option;
  2. Click the Continue button and enter the administrator’s login details;
  3. Select the From a Windows PC option;
mac migration assistant
  1. Click the Continue button;
  2. In the Migration Assistant running on the PC, click the Quit button to shut down programs that might disrupt the migration process;
  3. On the Mac, select the PC from the list of available machines, verify a passcode, and click the Continue button;
  4. Select the data that should be transferred and click the Continue

After the transfer is complete, you can adjust the location of key files.

Transfer Data from PC to Mac Manually

It goes without saying that the transferring of important files to the Mac can be accomplished manually. If the PC you use has a relatively small number of files, they can be easily transferred with the help of a thumb drive or an external SSD. The same can be accomplished through file sharing. Just make sure that the function is enabled on both computers. Also, it is necessary to share a target folder on the PC. Then, do the following:

  1. Launch the Finder on the Mac;
  2. Select the All option in the Shared tab;
  3. Select the PC and click the Connect As option;
  4. Enter the user login details for the PC;
  5. Click the Connect button;
  6. Located the shared folder in the Finder;
  7. Drag and drop the needed files to the Mac.

Use Cloud Services

Another approach to accomplishing the task is to use a cloud service. The method is perfectly suitable for less tech-savvy users because it does not necessitate a complicated network setup. The cloud storage market is replete with attractive options for both Macs and PCs. If you’ve been using the PC for quite some time, chances are that you are already subscribed to Microsoft OneDrive. If not, create an account and transfer the needed files to the cloud. The cloud storage service provided by Microsoft allows storing up to 5GB of data for free. The same applies to iCloud. Choose either option and install the provider’s app on the PC and the Mac. Then, download the files from the cloud to Mac’s hard drive. It is recommended to continue using the service to prevent the most sensitive files from data loss. If you run out of the storage space provided for free, you can always switch to a paid storage plan. Apple has recently halved the cost of its 2TB storage plan, which might interest Mac owners with heavy storage needs.