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KB-4089: How to transfer a user to a new Mac machine

Mac & PC Management Service ,  

12 April,16 at 11:18 AM

Applies to: Centrify DirectControl for Mac OS X


Users will be receiving new Mac hardware and need their data moved over to the new systems.

The current (old) Mac systems have FileVault enabled and some users have also used the Account Migration tool.
Mobile Home Sync is not in use and users do not have a network home directory - all data is on local home folders.

What is the most efficient method of transferring the user's data and accounts from the old to the new systems?


Prepare the new, fresh Mac for the import:
  1. Login as Local Admin
  2. Join the Mac to the domain via Centrify
  3. Go to System Preferences > Sharing > Enable "Remote Login" > Allow access for: All users
  4. Enable FileVault (if needed)
  5. Leave the Mac turned on.

Prepare the old Mac for transfer:
  1. Login as the AD user to be transferred.
  2. Download an sftp client such as FileZilla (
  3. Connect to the new Mac using the following information:
    • Host    : sftp://ip-or-fqdn-of-new-mac
    • Username: ad_username
    • Password: ad_password
  4. When the sftp client connects, it will automatically create the AD user's home folder on the new Mac.
  5. Navigate to the AD user's home folder on the old Mac and copy the entire contents over to the new Mac:

    Old Mac / Users / [username] / * > New Mac / Users / [username] / *

    Choose to always overwrite at the destination.

    User-added image

    If Account Migration was used on the old Mac, then in some instances the source and target [usernames] may be different. This is acceptable for most applications since the new Mac profile has been created from a standard AD login (Account Migration no longer needed).
    However some third-party applications may need their configurations updated in case they store the user's home path in absolute format instead of relative.
  6. After the transfer completes, go to the new Mac and login as the AD user to verify.  
  7. (FileVault only) Go to System Preferences > Users & Groups > Mobile Account: [ Create... ]
  8. (FileVault only) After the Mobile Account is (re)created on the new Mac, go to System Preferences > Security & Privacy > FileVault > Add the user back into the FileVault user's list.

The user has now been fully transferred over to the new machine and the old Mac can be decommissioned as needed.


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