Move your photos and videos to another Mac in just a few steps

There are different ways to bring photos from one Mac to another.

The Photos app on Mac is one of the most popular features of macOS Monterey. It's here where your cherished memories are kept in image and video formats. When the time comes, you can move your photos from one Mac to the other. How you do this depends on whether you're using iCloud Photos. The steps below work on all of the best Macs.

Transferring using AirDrop

The quickest way to transfer a small number of photos or videos from the Photos app to another Mac is by using AirDrop. This assumes both machines are close enough together to use Bluetooth LE.

To get started:

  1. Open the Photos app on your Mac from either the Applications folder or Mac Dock.
  2. Choose the photos you wish to send to a new Mac.

  3. Click on the Share Sheet icon at the top right.
  4. Select AirDrop from the pull-down menu.
  5. Confirm the transfer on the other Mac.

Using Mac Migration Assistant

If you want to transfer your entire Photos library from one Mac to other, you can do so using the Mac Migration Assistant.

Before starting, be sure both machines meet the following requirements:

  1. Upgrade both Macs to the latest macOS version.
  2. Make sure both machines are on the same Wi-Fi network.
  3. On your old Mac, choose the Apple menu at the top left.

  4. Select System Preferences from the pull-down menu.
  5. Click Sharing.
  6. Make sure that a name appears in the Computer Name field.

  7. Follow the the Mac Migration Assistant directions.

With iCloud Photos

You will find the easiest way to transfer photos from one Mac to another is when using iCloud Photos. During the Mac setup process, you're asked to sign in to your Apple ID. When you do, the Mac will automatically sync with your iCloud content.

To confirm iCloud Photos are synced:

  1. On your new Mac, choose the Apple menu at the top left.
  2. Select System Preferences from the pull-down menu.
  3. Click Apple ID at the top.

  4. Click iCloud on the left side.
  5. If necessary, check the Photos box on the right. Once checked, the Mac will begin syncing your photos from iCloud.

It's always a good idea to delete content you no longer need before you move your photos from one Mac to another from the Photos app. Yes, this can be a tedious process, depending on how many images you have. However, it's always nice to start fresh on a new Mac. A smaller Photos library also means it's that much quicker to transfer the content.

Regardless, enjoy your new Mac!