How to Transfer Photos From One Mac to Another

Transferring your photo library from one device to the other can be a little jarring if you’re not used to the process. However, the method is very simple. There are multiple ways you can do it, but the fastest way to transfer photos from one mac to the other is by using AirDrop.

To transfer photos from one Mac to the other, start with the Photos App. Select all the photos you want to transfer and tap on the share icon. Select AirDrop from the list. Now, launch AirDrop on your other Mac from the Finder Window. Look for the name of the other Mac and tap on it. You will receive all the images immediately within seconds to complete the transfer.

This article will guide you on how to transfer photos from one Mac to the other. 

How to Transfer Photos From One Mac to the Other Using AirDrop?

The easiest way to transfer your Photos from one Mac to the other is by using AirDrop; however, you need to ensure that both the Macs are nearby and in Bluetooth range.

  • Power on your Mac and sign in to it. 
  • Open the Photos app. You can find the application on the dock by default. Alternatively, you can also use Spotlight to do the same. 
  • Now, select the photos you want to transfer to the other Mac and click on the share sheet icon at the window’s top right corner. 
  • Select AirDrop from the list. 
  • On your other Mac, launch a Finder window and select AirDrop from the menu on the left side. 
  • Now all you have to do is confirm the transfer on the other Mac, and your files will begin transferring. 

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How to Transfer Photos From One Mac to The Other Using Mac Migration Assistant?

Before going ahead with this method, you need to make sure that both the Macs are on the latest macOS versions. To check this, click on the Apple icon from the Menu bar, select About this Mac and click on Software update.

Your Mac will check if there are any new updates available for your system; if there are, make sure you download and install them, you also need to connect both the Macs to the same Wi-Fi network before moving on.

After completing all these steps, we can move on to the actual method.

  • Power on your Mac and sign in to it.  
  • On your old Mac, head over to the System Preferences by clicking on the Apple logo on the Menu bar. 
  • Click on Sharing
  • Make sure that a name is mentioned in the name field. 
  • Now open Migration Assistant from the Utilities folder using a finder window.
Transfer Photos From One Mac to the Other
  • After you open Migration assistant, you need to enter the password for your Mac to continue. 
  • Now, you can select in which way you want to transfer files. 
  • Select To another Mac. 
  • Now head over to the new Mac and open Migration Assistant from a Finder window. 
  • When asked how you want to transfer your files, click on From another Mac, Time Machine Backup, or Startup Disk. 
  • Now, you can select the information that you want to transfer from your old Mac to the new one. 
  • Hit Continue to begin the transfer. 
  • Note that large files can take hours to transfer, so you should start this process at night and let your Mac stay awake overnight to finish transferring your files. 

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How to Transfer Photos From One Mac to the Other Using iCloud?

You can choose to transfer photos from one Mac to another by simply syncing all the photos on your iCloud. Here is how you can do it.

  • Make sure both Mac uses the same Apple ID.
  • Now, click on the Apple logo on the top-left corner of the desktop
  • Choose System Preferences
  • Tap on the Apple ID to access iCloud settings.
How to Transfer Photos From One Mac to the Other
  • Now, click on iCloud on the left menu side and check the box beside Photos

Make sure you have enough space on your Mac or else you will have to buy more storage in order to sync all the photos and images.

Can I Use AirDrop to Transfer Photos From iPhone to Mac?

Before starting with this method, ensure your iPhone has AirDrop enabled. Similarly, go to the AirDrop tab on the side menu inside a Finder window and make sure you select Contacts only or Everyone in the Allow me to be discovered by section. 

  • Open your iPhone and select the photos or video you want to send to your Mac. 
  • Press the Share button at the bottom left of the screen and select your Mac’s name from the list.
  • You will receive a notification about a file being shared with you on your Mac. Accept it, and you’ll be able to view the photo or video on Mac.

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Can I Remove All iCloud Photos From My Mac?

Yes, you can turn off iCloud Photos from everywhere. Read the instructions given below to see how to do it. 

  • Sign in to your Mac. 
  • Select the Apple logo on the menu bar. 
  • Choose System Preferences and head over to the Apple ID tab. 
  • Click on Manage at the bottom of the window. 
  • Choose Photos from the list on the left side, click on Turn off, and hit delete. 


That’s it for this article, folks. As you saw, you can use three methods to transfer photos from one Mac to the other. However, we think that if it’s just photos that you want to transfer, using AirDrop is much easier and more efficient than the other method involving the Migration Assistant, which is meant to transfer all the files on your Mac to another Mac.

The iCloud methods can be time taking if you have a lot of images or videos. Furthermore, you will need a good amount of storage for the same. Since iCloud only has a limited storage capacity for free, make sure you put it to good use since it syncs all the data from all Apple Devices.

This process can take hours, as mentioned above. Also, do check out the other methods listed here.

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