Migrate MBP from Mojave or upgrade to Catalina first?

I have a new MacBook Pro 16-in with of course Catalina pre-installed and an older MBP 2017 15-in running Mojave.

Which is better – migrate from the old computer running Mojave or upgrade it to Catalina first?

Thank you,


If you’re using Migration Assistant then it probably doesn’t really matter which you do…I would just run Disk Utility on the donor machine before migrating.

If you’re using Migration Assistant then it probably doesn’t really matter which you do.

Migration Assistant as opposed to? Is there another way (besides manually)?


In the old days you could attempt to clone. Nowadays mostly a bad idea. MA is usually the way to go (unless you want to do it manually).

In terms of having a “restore point” I think it would make sense not to update the old Mac before migrating.

Or at the very least, make sure you have a clone (ideally bootable) of the old Mac when it’s still on Mojave before you upgrade to Catalina. That way, in unfortunate circumstances you’ll always have a path back to a working and familiar environment in case you need to check back on old settings or fix things manually using data from the old setup.

Not that I know of…sorry if that was confusing.

No problem – thank you for letting me know.

By the way, in case it matters, I will be using Setup Assistant, not Migration Assistant. (The new MBP with Catalina preinstalled on it has never been used before.)


As far as I know that’s essentially the same thing…the last time I ran Setup Assistant it offered to transfer info from another Mac, a drive, or a Time Machine backup…then it essentially follows what Migration Assistant does to move accounts, info, homedirs, networking info, and applications over.

The big difference is that Setup Assistant brings over all the accounts from the old Mac directly, whereas with Migration Assistant, you already have an account on the new Mac, so when you run it, you get another account for the main account on the old Mac. In other words, Migration Assistant won’t merge the accounts.

I have the opposite issue. I have a new 13" MBP arriving next week. And I assume Catalina will be preinstalled. I would like to roll it back to Mojave mostly because I am afraid of life without Spell Catcher (RIP Evan Gross a good friend and great coder). Do you think the restore partition will have Mojave or Catalina. I am hoping for the best but I am prepared…


If necessary:

As always, THANKS.