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Tech Q&A: How to migrate data from a Windows 7 PC to a new Mac

Steve Alexander, Star Tribune (Minneapolis) on

Published in Science & Technology News

Q: Rather than switch from Windows 7 to Windows 10, I decided to buy a Mac. What's the easiest way to transfer my pictures, important files, Gmail, music and Google Chrome bookmarks from the PC to the Mac?

--Kim Munson, Bloomington, Minn.

A: Most of that information can be transferred automatically using Apple's free Windows Migration Assistant program. Anything the program doesn't transfer can be moved via a standard flash drive.

To use Migration Assistant, the Mac and PC must be on the same Wi-Fi or wired network, and both must be running the migration program. The Mac comes with it, and you can download it for your Windows 7 PC. Note that you must download the PC version that matches your Mac's operating system (see "move your data" at tinyurl.com/t5bc8gt). The transfer can take hours because the Migration Assistant moves so many things, including:

-- Your Windows system settings, such as language, location and even wallpaper.

-- Directories and data. Migration Assistant will transfer "top level directories" (such as the list of what's on your C drive), and will move the data you've stored in two folders called "Windows" and "Program Files."

 

-- Bookmarks for Internet Explorer, Safari or Firefox. For Chrome, you can move everything to the Mac by using the "sync" feature (see tinyurl.com/t5prjkh).

-- Pictures, music and more. Your Windows photos will move to the Mac's "home folder." If you have iTunes, its content will be divided among four Mac programs: Music, TV, Podcasts and Books (for audiobooks).

-- Some e-mail and calendar items and settings. The migration program only transfers data from Microsoft programs such as Outlook or Windows Live Mail. (That limitation won't affect your Gmail or Google Calendar, which are stored online. Just log into them from the Mac.)

Q: I'm having a problem using Google search. When I open the Google Chrome browser on my computer, a Yahoo icon shows up. Any search I perform is routed to the Yahoo search engine instead of to Google. What's wrong?

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