How to migrate from an old Mac using Migration Assistant

How to migrate from an old Mac using Migration Assistant

You can upgrade to OS X El Capitan on Macs from as far back as 2007. In terms of software, you’ll need to be running at least OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard – if you’re still running OS X 10.5 Leopard, then you’ll first have to buy an upgrade to 10.6 and install it before you can move to El Capitan (which itself is free).

You’ll also need an Apple ID to download the upgrade from the Mac App Store. In theory, all your settings and data will be preserved when you migrate. However, because theory and practice sometimes differ, it’s a good idea to ensure that you have an up-to-date Time Machine backup on an external drive or removable disk before you start. Check out our tutorial on how to set up and configure a Time Machine backup for more information.

If your Mac is set up to make regular backups, then all you need to do is check when the last successful one ran. Click the Time Machine status icon in the menu bar and choose Open Time Machine Preferences.

If the latest backup is older than today, run a new one; if your settings get wiped when upgrading, you’ll then be able to restore them from this backup.

Get the updates

You’ll also need to ensure that the most recent OS X updates are installed so that you can access the App Store, because this is the only way to get an El Capitan upgrade. Note that the update process will be different depending on whether you’re updating from 10.9, 10.8, 10.7 or 10.6.

In 10.6 Snow Leopard, go to the Apple menu, select Software Update and wait while it checks for new software. Once updates have been identified, choose Show Details to see which ones are available.

To save some time, you can opt to install only the Mac OS X Update Combined. Once all applicable updates have been downloaded and installed, you may need to restart your Mac.

Then, once you’ve made sure there’s a recent backup in place, go to the Apple menu, then open the App Store to get and install El Capitan. In OS X 10.9, 10.8 and 10.7, Click on the Featured tab and look for ‘OS X El Capitan’ a little way down under Quick Links on the right.

In this guide we’ll show you how to migrate data from another Mac, by connecting the two via a network cable. This might not be useful to you now, if you’ve got just the one Mac, but in the future when you upgrade to a new machine, you can use this method to transfer your data and ensure that nothing vital is overlooked.

Use Preview on a Mac to Add Your Signature to Emails and Documents


If you have a Mac, you have Preview, but you might not know this helpful little utility can store digital signatures for you-signatures that can then be appended to PDFs, Pages documents and Mail messages. Here’s how to set up your signatures and add them to to your digital files.

First, create your signature(s): in Preview, choose Tools, Annotate, Signature and then Manage signatures. The dialog that appears lets you sign your name on the trackpad or use your Mac’s webcam to scan in a signature (a business card works well). Unwanted signatures can be removed by clicking the x to the right of the relevant entry.

Use Preview on a Mac to Add Your Signature to Emails and Documents

Once you’re done with that, you can add your signature in various places in Apple programs. In PDFs opened in Preview, click the toolbox icon (top right) then the signature icon to choose one of your scribbles and insert it into the document (you can add new signatures from here too). The same markup tools are available if you open up a PDF in Mail as well.

Adding the signature in Mail and Pages is slightly more convoluted: you need to take a screenshot of it inside a PDF (Cmd+Shift+4 then click and drag), then drag the picture into the app of your choice. If you open the Mail menu then clickPreferences and Signatures, you can drop the captured doodle into one of your email signatures.

How to recover deleted text messages on your Android phone

Tools to recover deleted text messages

There are several different PC and Mac-based tools available. They essentially all do the same thing: scan your Android’s memory, then identify and recover your deleted messages. Some cost money, some are free and some do more than others.

Whichever tool you choose, they’ll all walk you through the process, which is usually only four steps long: connect, scan, preview, recover (the same process works for other data besides text messages). Note that many, if not all, of these processes require root access to your phone, which can void the warranty. Some programs worth trying out include:

Sponsored: FonePaw’s Android Data Recovery can detect and recover deleted or lost files from Android devices through a clean and intuitive UI. Coupled with its powerful data recovery capacity, supporting multiple Android OS versions and devices, it’s a top-tier tool for recovering your lost data.

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How to recover lost text messages on Android

I’m using Wondershare to demonstrate the procedure, but most programs have the same – or at least similar – steps.

1. Enable Developer options on your Android phone. To do this, go to Settings > About phone and tap Build number until you see the notification that Developer options has been enabled.

2. Go to Developer options > USB debugging and check the box (or flip the switch, depending on your version of Android).

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3. Download and install the free Wondershare trial (or another recovery tool of your choice) and connect your Android phone to your computer.

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4. Follow the prompts in the recovery program to identify your device and scan or analyze your Android’s memory.

5. Once the process is complete you can browse and preview both the deleted and undeleted data on your Android device. As long as the particular part of memory on which your data was originally stored has not been saved over, you can still retrieve it. This is why it’s important to act quickly if you’ve accidentally deleted an SMS.

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6. Next, open the Messages folder in the left-hand pane, select the messages you wish to recover and click Recover at the bottom right to put them back on your device or save them to your computer.

Note: if you want to complete this process without a PC, you will need root access on your device and, more than likely, a paid recovery app. Feel free to do it that way if you like, but it’s easier (and free) to just use a computer.

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How to never lose a text message again

Maybe you’ve learned your lesson, maybe you haven’t. If you want to avoid the panic of losing your messages and using a PC to recover them, the best thing to do is to back up your SMS messages regularly. The good news is, doing so only takes five minutes.

I use a free app called SMS Backup & Restore. It’s straightforward, looks nice and works perfectly: all you need for this type of operation. Check out the screenshots below for the walkthrough.

1. Once you’ve downloaded and installed SMS Backup & Restore, open the app and tap Backup.

2. Next, choose what exactly you want to create a backup of, then – crucially – tap Local backup and upload if you want to send your backup to Google Drive, Dropbox or an email address.

3. Make your selection from the list that appears and then tap OK.

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4. To restore your backed-up SMS messages, tap Restore on the app’s home screen, then, on the Restore Backup page, you can just tap the backup name in the list to restore it (if it’s stored locally).

5. If your backup is stored in the cloud, tap the overflow menu (three dots) at the top right, then Load from and select whichever cloud service it’s stored on.

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6. There are plenty of extra options in SMS Backup & Restore, including scheduled backups and password protection. You can find these by tapping the overflow menu icon at the top right of the app’s home screen, then hit Preferences.

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