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Best software to migrate data between Mac and other devices

Top 10 data migration Mac apps (2021 edition)

SyncMate logo
Top choice


4.5 Rank based on 795+ users, Reviews(476)

Migrating your data from one computer to another (for example, from an Android or iOS device to Mac, or even from Mac to Mac) is something you may need to do if you’re buying a new device, or if you are selling an old device and need to ensure your data is safely stored on another device. Other times you may need to do this are if you need to free up space on your Mac hard drive, or if your Android phone is running slowly or crashing and you want to wipe files, migrating them to your Mac, for example. Or perhaps you want to migrate data from your phone to your Mac at home or at work, as you simply no longer need that data on your mobile device.

I. All About Data Migration

What is the migrate definition? Unlike Mac file syncing, migrate means to permanently transfer data from one device to another, removing it from the device in question (so you won’t have the same data across both devices). As mentioned above, you may need to migrate to a new phone from an old phone before selling it, or perhaps you want to migrate from Android to iPhone if you’re switching phones. You might even need to migrate Mac to Mac if you’re using a new computer. The process for data migration is actually pretty simple, provided you use data migration Mac software to help you. Of course, you could just migrate your data manually by connecting two devices and transferring all your files yourself, or using an external hard drive. But this can be time-consuming and complicated; not to mention there’s the risk of data loss and making an error which could result in losing all your files. We’d always recommend using specialist migrate software to perform Mac data migration.

II. Why is Sync Software Better Than Migrate

So what’s the main difference between sync software and migration software? Syncing data usually means mirroring it across two devices, so your data will be on both devices (unless you choose to delete it from one after syncing). Whereas with data migration software, your data will be permanently transferred onto the new device. Sync software is often a better choice than migration software because you can perform a full system backup. For example, you can backup your Android phone or iOS device to your computer, so if your phone is lost or stolen, you’ll still have access to your data - or if your phone requires to be restored, you can perform a full restore using the backup and the sync software.

III. Top 10 Data Migration Software Systems

We’ve created a list of the top 10 data migration software systems which will help you to choose the best software migrate for your needs. While creating this list we looked at things like features, usability, compatibility, support, and of course, price. We’ve included both free and paid migrate software on our list, and by going through each program and reading about the pros and cons, as well as the cost and the features available, we hope you’ll find it easier to choose the right software for your requirements.

1. SyncMate

SyncMate logo

SyncMate Expert

Requirements: macOS 10.13+. 60.62MB free space. Version 8.8.539. (18 Jun, 2024). 4.5 Rank based on 795+ users, Reviews(476)
Category: Utilities

SyncMate is one of the best professional sync software tools available for Mac. You can download the free version to sync your contacts and calendars or upgrade to the Expert version to sync all other types of data.

Data Migration Software

SyncMate lets you sync any Android or iOS device (an unlimited number of devices) and you can even mount your iOS device as an MTP.


  • • Free version lets you sync contacts and calendars
  • • Easy to use
  • • Support available
  • • Sync unlimited iOS and Android devices
  • • Sync all types of files
  • • Create a backup of any device
  • • Pro version for an affordable one-time fee


  • • Only compatible with Mac
  • • Can’t sync other file types (except contacts and calendars) with a free version

Operating system: Mac only.

SyncMate has made our list of the best data migration software apps as it’s an easy way to sync data from any device to Mac, or to sync devices with each other (for example, if you purchased a new phone). You can get started for free and sync contacts and calendars.

2. MacDroid

Best way to transfer video files | MacDroid


Requirements: macOS 10.15. 19.47MB free space. Version 2.0.211. (23 May, 2024). 4.7 Rank based on 556+ users, Reviews(439)
Category: Utilities
If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to migrate and transfer files from Android to Mac, MacDroid is a great option. This powerful file transfer tool lets you choose whether to mount your device in MTP or ADB mode and you can transfer music, photos, videos, or other file types in seconds.

MacDroid supports any MTP device and all you need to do is download the software and connect your phone to Mac via USB.


  • • 7-day free trial
  • • Affordable monthly PRO subscription
  • • Compatible with all Android and MTP devices
  • • Easy to use
  • • Transfer all file types to Mac
  • • Choose from MTP or ADB connection


  • • Not compatible with Windows
  • • You’ll need to upgrade after free trial

Operating system: Mac only.

For a quick, easy way to migrate Android to Mac, MacDroid gets the job done. The PRO version is affordable and it’s for this reason the software has made our list - not to mention the fact you can choose from ADB or MTP connection, and transfer any type of file using MacDroid.

3. Acronis

Acronis True Image is a migration software that lets you easily backup everything from files and programs to boot information and even operating systems. You can transfer files from Android to iOS and back, perform a full system recovery, or recover individual files and folders. With Acronis you can choose from a lifetime license for up to five computers or a flexible monthly subscription, with three price plans to choose from.



  • • Free 30-day trial
  • • Choice of lifetime license or monthly subscription
  • • Three subscription plans to choose from
  • • Options to backup boot information and operating systems
  • • Transfer files from Android to iOS and back
  • • Easy to perform a full system recovery


  • • No free version
  • • Essential plan doesn’t come with cloud storage
  • • Learning curve to use software

Operating system: Windows, Mac.

We’ve added Acronis True Image to our list as it’s one of the best migrate apps out there for performing a backup of not only your files and programs but also your boot information and operating system. We also love that you can choose between a lifetime license or three monthly subscription plans to suit your needs.

4. Android File Transfer

If you want to migrate Android files to your Mac, why not consider using Android File Transfer? This free software can be downloaded by any Mac user and it’s quick and easy to drag and drop your files to transfer them. Just connect your Android device to your Mac via USB and the software will allow you to view and transfer files on your device.

Android File Transfer


  • • Free to download and use
  • • Quick and easy to set up
  • • Online help files available if you get stuck


  • • Not compatible with Windows
  • • Free software, so no support available if you encounter issues
  • • Limited features

Operating system: Mac only.

If you’re looking for free Mac migrate software to migrate data from your Android device to Mac, give Android File Transfer a go. Because it’s free, you can use it as much as you want without paying a penny - which is the main reason we’ve added it to our list.

5. Paragon Drive Copy Professional

Paragon Drive Copy Professional is a migrate software that lets you migrate data from any source to any target. You can easily migrate your operating system to a new PC, create backups and restore your system or data, or even clone your operating system to a USB flash drive. With Paragon Drive Copy Professional it’s easy to perform partitioning to keep your disks organized and exclude data you don’t want to copy. The software is available for a one-time license fee for up to three computers.

Paragon Drive Copy Professional


  • • Compatible with Windows and Linux
  • • Affordable one-time license fee
  • • Easy to create backups and restore systems and data
  • • Simple to migrate your operating system to a new PC
  • • Knowledgebase and support forums available
  • • Web support included with the license fee


  • • No free trial
  • • No option for a monthly subscription
  • • No Mac version
  • • Can only be used on up to three PCs
  • • For faster support response time, you’ll need to pay extra

Operating system: Windows, Linux.

For users whose data migration needs extend beyond basic migration, Paragon Drive Copy Professional is an excellent solution. The software makes it easy to migrate your entire operating system to a new PC and offers plenty of other useful features too, as well as web support if you encounter any issues.

6. MiniTool Partition Wizard

MiniTool Partition Wizard is an all-in-one-tool for data migration and creating a partition. The software lets you create, resize, and format a partition, and also features a powerful disk clone/system migration tool that lets you make an instant backup of your system. There’s a free edition which includes most features (except data recovery) as well as email support, or six paid plans to choose from that add features like phone support and lifetime free upgrades.

MiniTool Partition Wizard


  • • Free version
  • • Free trial
  • • Six paid plans to choose from
  • • Partition tool
  • • Disk clone/system migration tool
  • • Email and phone support available
  • • Affordable pricing
  • • Lifetime free upgrades on higher tiers


  • • Free version doesn’t include data recovery, phone support, or free upgrades
  • • Phone support only available on higher tiers
  • • No Mac version available
  • • User interface is cluttered so can be confusing to start

Operating system: Windows only.

If you’re looking for an all-in-one tool that includes data migration and partitioning features, MiniTool Partition Wizard is an affordable choice. We’ve included it on our list due to the free version, range of plans available, and all-in-one features.

7. Migration Assistant

Migration Assistant is the in-built data migration tool that comes included with Mac. It’s used when you want to migrate to a new Mac and you can transfer everything from documents and apps to computer settings, and user accounts. If you’re wondering how to migrate Mac to Mac, Migration Assistant makes it easy - you can use it with a Time Machine backup, startup disk, Mac, or even a Windows PC. You have total control and can choose which information to transfer, and the software offers conflict resolution, if needed.

Migration Assistant


  • • Free to use
  • • Already included with Mac
  • • Can be used to migrate data from Windows PC, Mac, Startup disk or Time Machine backup
  • • Conflict resolution available
  • • Displays a list of any apps not migrated (such as incompatible apps)
  • • Simple and quick to use


  • • Limited support available
  • • Connecting over Wi-Fi can cause issues
  • • Won’t move apps that are incompatible with new Mac OS X
  • • Can freeze/quit during the transfer process due to accidental disconnection, or corrupt files or hardware
  • • May reset user passwords, so you’ll need to keep a note of them

Operating system: Mac.

Anybody wondering how to migrate from one Mac to another will be glad we’ve included Migration Assistant in this list! It’s made the list as it’s free and already included with Mac, it’s simple to use, and it can be used to transfer all your data easily from one Mac to another.

8. GoodSync

GoodSync is a data backup and sync solution that lets you perform a one-way backup or two-way sync of all your data. With features like block-level data transfer to minimize storage space and speed up your transfers and real-time data transfer, GoodSync also offers version history control and automated conflict resolution. You can download a 30-day free trial or upgrade to a personal license for a one-time fee and there are business licenses available too.



  • • Free 30-day trial
  • • Complete data backup and sync solution
  • • Real-time data transfer and block-level transfer
  • • Version history control, so you can always find older versions of a file
  • • Online support, webinars, and knowledgebase
  • • Affordable personal license for up to 5 devices


  • • No free version
  • • Not a migration tool - syncs your data so it’s mirrored across both devices
  • • Frequent updates can be intrusive
  • • Often becomes unresponsive/freezes
  • • Server version for business is expensive

Operating system: Windows, Mac, Linux.

We’ve included GoodSync on our list as it offers a generous 30-day free trial, is compatible with all operating systems, and has a variety of useful features like block-level data transfer and version history control, as well as being an affordable price for personal use.

9. iPhone Transfer

iPhone Transfer is file transfer software that lets you transfer iOS data to other iOS devices or PC, so it’s ideal to perform an Apple migrate to Mac. With a one-click sync feature and the ability to convert HEIC images and make ringtones, iPhone transfer lets you transfer data from iPhone to Mac (and vice versa), or from iPhone to iPhone, or between PC/iOS devices and iTunes. There’s a free trial available and you can transfer anything from photos and music to contacts, books, calendar appointments, and more.

iPhone Transfer


  • • Free trial
  • • Supports all iOS devices and versions
  • • Use to backup or sync devices with Mac/PC or iTunes
  • • HEIC image converter and ringtone maker
  • • Affordable one-time license fee
  • • Excellent support
  • • Great alternative to iTunes
  • • One-click sync


  • • Only for iOS, not Android
  • • No free version

Operating system: Windows and Mac.

iPhone Transfer is an excellent alternative to iTunes and a great way to sync data to and from iOS devices. Its 30-day trial and easy to use features like one-click sync have earned this software a place in our list.

10. MobileTrans

MobileTrans is a desktop app that lets you transfer data from one phone to another, and restore data from cloud backups. Compatible with Windows and Mac, you can use the software for Android data transfer between Android, iOS, and Windows phones. MobileTrans offers a one-click WhatsApp transfer, backup and restore feature, as well as excellent customer support by ticket and phone, and a knowledgebase. The free version lets you back up iOS and Android devices, but you’ll need to pay to restore devices.



  • • Free version
  • • Compatible with Windows and Mac
  • • Works with Windows, iOS, and Android devices
  • • Choice of yearly or lifetime billing
  • • Free version lets you back up iOS and Android devices
  • • Responsive phone and online support
  • • Knowledgebase for issues


  • • Free version doesn’t let you restore from backup
  • • Backups can be slow, depending on size

Operating system: Windows and Mac.

If you’re looking for a reliable backup tool for iOS and Android devices, MobileTrans is worth trying. You can create backups with the free version (although you’ll need to upgrade to restore devices) and you can use the software with either Windows or Mac operating systems.

IV. Common Data Migration Issues

There are a number of common problems that can occur during the data migration process and here are 5 of the most common issues:

1. Data loss/corruption

Data loss of corruption is one of the biggest risks and most common issues that can occur and could result in you losing valuable data. By using a tool that validates data and checks for conflicts prior to the migration, you can reduce this risk.

2. Underestimating data analysis

Data can often be tucked away in obscure places on your computer system, which can result in outdated or incomplete information being transferred. This can be avoided by performing a data analysis before migration.

3. Lack of/inappropriate management of expertise

Sourcing experts to work on your data migration is a sensible option, but do ensure you have them on hand right from the planning stage to ensure you have the help and advice you need.

4. Lack of collaboration

You may be working with a mix of external contractors and internal employees, different technologies, etc, when performing a data migration. It’s vital everybody works together - and using a data migration tool and collaborative software can help.

5. Inability to validate a specification

By validating data transfer specifications early on, you can ensure a strong specification when performing a data migration to the target system.


There are four main types of data migration: database migration, storage migration, business process migration, and application migration. You may need to perform all of these types of migrations, depending on what you need to transfer.
The migrate definition is to move data permanently from one location to another. Migration differs from syncing, as with syncing you are creating a backup or mirror of one device’s files on another system/device. With data migration the data is moved from one device/system to another.
There is no such thing as the ‘best’ software for performing a data migration or sync. The right Mac sync software for your needs will depend on the functions you require, the type of (and quantity of) data you want to transfer, your budget, and several other considerations, such as the operating system you’re using and where you are transferring data to.
The best way to migrate Mac to Mac is to use a professional data migration or sync tool like SyncMate - although you could always use Migration Assistant, the free tool included with your Mac.
Although there are some similarities, data migration and sync software apps are not entirely the same. Sync apps help you to create a mirror or backup of your data (and the data normally remains on the target device), whereas with data migration apps, data is permanently removed from one device and transferred to another.

When choosing the best data migration app for your needs, take the time to read through our list of the best apps. It’s important to think about the features you need, the type of data you’re migrating, the operating system you’re using, and of course your budget and whether you’re looking for a free or paid option.

SyncMate Expert

Requirements: macOS 10.13+,
60.62MB free space
Version 8.8.539 (18 Jun, 2024) Release notes
Download Total downloads: 467,673
Purchase PRO From $39.95
Rank based on 795+ users, Reviews(476)