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How to Fix Mac Migration Assistant Stuck or Frozen?

Wondershare Recoverit Authors

Jan 27, 2024 • Filed to: Take Data Backup • Proven solutions

Q: How to fix Mac migration assistant stuck or frozen?
"I've recently bought a Mac computer for my office work. However, when I try to use Mac migration assistant, it takes a lot of time to migrate. This problem is creating hurdles for me to properly continue my academic and professional performance. As I'm striving to transfer my old MacBook Pro to the new machine. I want to know safe and quick steps to slide out of this problematic situation. My iMac is stuck at "less than a minute remaining". Secondly, I want to know more about this issue; this will help me stay safe from it in the future. Primarily, I'm eager to know the causes behind this issue."

Issues like these are bound to exist when you are using an iMac. The good part is that you can easily get rid of them in no time. Good knowledge will allow you to tackle it in the future is much easier. In this guide, you will get to know about the solutions for Mac migration assistant stuck or frozen while conducting your tasks. Furthermore, you will also learn all the possible reasons for this dilemma. Good knowledge will allow you to tackle it in the future is much easier. Lastly, you will have quick methods to solve the issue, and you can also utilize the time machine at the end. You just need to stick to the guide properly. Every method mentioned in the guide is applicable to this error.

Why Mac Migration Assistant Stuck or Frozen?

It is better to understand the reasons behind any trouble to solve it properly. Well, the case of Mac migration assistant suck or frozen usually occurs due to various reasons. There are no specific reasons which cause this issue. Yet, you can inevitably compare it to your scenario after studying the causes of this trouble. There are multiple scenarios of this issue. Sometimes Mac migration is stuck at the beginning of the process. In some cases, it is stuck in the middle with messages like; 15 hours are remaining. The most irritating scenario is when it is stuck in the end with a message that less than a minute remaining. Three main possible reasons are:

Looking for a source, looking for applications and documents to transfer, looking for other computers or preparing transfer user documents, and many more.

How to Fix Mac Migration Assistant Stuck or Frozen?

You surely are aware of all the reasons behind this problem. Now, you need to know all possible solutions to this dilemma. As every problem comes with a solution, you just need to apply that to your situation. However, you will be given the solution to your problem while mentioning the cause behind it;

1 Try to use target disk mode on the old Mac

This is the first and foremost important method to follow. You can solve your issue by using target disk mode on the old Mac. Target disk mode is a boot mode that enables almost every Mac to act as an external hard drive for any other Mac. This is universal and very easy to set up. This is also the fastest method to move files between two Macs.

Almost every Mac attains the feature of target disk mode, and it is compatible with any latest Mac. Target disk mode is arranged into the Mac firmware; this is the reason that it is easy to set up. You can hold the T key button during the boot, or you can click a button in the startup disk preference pane to enable target disk mode. The Thunderbolt connection allows you to transfer files at the fastest speed. You can certainly utilize this method to solve your dilemma.


2 Unplug the ethernet cable from both machines and reinsert it

Suppose you think that the above tip is a lengthy one, you can try this one before trying the previous one. Sometimes, the silliest mistakes lead to problematic situations. Mac migration assistant can be stuck or frozen due to connectivity issues. You need to unplug the ethernet machine cable from both sides and insert it again. This might solve your problem as a large number of users have reported that this method has greatly helped them out. The process resumes, and synchronization resumes smoothly.

3 Try to migrate everything except applications

Applications acquire a large bulk of space and are not easily transferred from one computer to another, especially in iMac. This is the reason that you have to let go of your application and migrate all the other data. You can transfer all the data first and can reinstall the apps properly again. Users have reported that this method is the most convenient and effective.

4 Run a hardware diagnosis

Many people run hardware diagnoses to identify any problem in the hard drive. Corrupted or damaged hard drives can also lead to this situation. Make sure you have Apple Mac released after 2013 as they have Apple hardware test feature in them.

You need to shut down your Mac and disconnect all the external devices like mouse, keyboard, speakers, display, any ethernet connection, or anything else. Once you have done that, you need to press the power button on your Mac and then immediately press and hold "D" on the keyboard.

As prompt appears on the screen, release the "D" key. Now, choose the desired language. You can also join a local WIFI connection. Furthermore, choose the option "Perform extended testing", which checks every block of your Mac's memory. After choosing this option, select the "Test" button. This process might take some time. If you have chosen extended testing, then you have to wait much more. Your Mac will be scanned. After the scan is completed, you will have a list of issues on your hard drive, or you will see the message "No issues found". You can also run the test multiple times by choosing the option "Run test again". To resolve the issue, press "Get started" and resolve all the issues and try using Mac migration assistant again.


5 Try to migrate from a time machine backup.

If you have properly used all the above methods, you can try this last method of using the time machine, if you have one on your iMac. Try Time Machine to transfer your valuable data.

Extra Tips on Apple Migration Assistant

How can you transfer migration assistant to another Mac?

Step 1 Open Migration Assistant on your new Mac computer.

Step 2 Select transfer information "from a Mac, Time Machine backup or startup disk".

open mac migration assisstant

Step 3 Open Migration Assistant on your old Mac computer.

Step 4 Select to transfer to another Mac.

transfer to new mac

Step 5 Input security code in both new and old Mac PC.

Step 6 Select the information that needs to be transferred.

select information


The issue of Mac migration assistant stuck or frozen may surely seem tricky to you. As there are multiple scenarios to this problem. The best thing you can do is to follow the given guidelines. If still, you are unable to solve the issue, the remarkable Time machine is at the service to solve this issue.

Recoverit author

Sue Wayne

staff Editor

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