2017 Pre-Flight Procedures for Laptop Data Transfer

2017 Pre-Flight Procedures for Laptop Data Transfer

Pre-Flight Procedures for Laptop Transfer

With the 2017 technology refresh, the new teacher MacBook Air’s will have a 128GB drive, compared to the 256GB drive that the current devices have. What does this mean for you? If you have a very full drive you will not be able to simply copy everything over.

The steps below will walk you through what options are available for you.

NOTE: Data backup is the responsibility of the individual user and Westside Community Schools and the Westside Technology Team cannot be held liable for any data loss caused by not having a backup while performing the steps below. Tech team members are always willing to advise you getting data back ups made.

Step 1: Determine How much disk space you are currently using.

  • To get the best representation of how much space you are using, first check your Downloads folder for any items that you are not using. Move those into the Trash.
  • Next, open up the trash and verify that all of the items it contains you no longer need. Once you do that, empty the trash.
  • Click on ‘Go’ in the menu bar and select ‘Home’.
  • You should then see a new finder window open up with to your home folder.

  • Press CMD-I or go to the File menu and select ‘Get Info’. The following window will appear. NOTE: The calculation may take a while.

  • Take note of the size. In the image above, it is in the red box.

If you have less than about 110GB of data

  • Congratulations! Your data can be directly transferred to your new computer.
  • Be on the lookout for information about when you can bring your old computer in, pickup your new computer and have your data transferred.

If you have more than 110 GB of data

The amount of data you currently have is more than what we are able to transfer to the new computer. You will need to reduce the amount of data you are using on the new computer.


  1. You can purchase your current machine (see 2017 Staff Technology Sale for details). This option will let you keep all of your data on your old machine while slowly moving over files as you need them.
  2. You can purchase an external drive (i.e., a 1TB external USB hard drive) and copy all of your data over to it. These drives are inexpensive, often less than $80. Once the data is on the external drive, you can use it with the new machine.
  3. Reduce your drive usage by using cloud services.

How do I Reduce my Drive Usage?

Before attempting any of the steps below, it is always wise to have an up-to-date backup of all of your data. This is most easily accomplished by using Apple’s Time Machine with an external drive.


Videos and photos take up a tremendous amount of space. One method would be to delete from your computer any video/photo files that you aren’t using along with any personal videos/photos. However, if you have many work related videos and photos, it may be best to use something like Google Photos to transfer them online.

Note Do not use Google Photo’s if you have iCloud Photo Library turned on with a personal AppleID. If you are using iCloud Photo Library your pictures are already being backed up online and performing the following steps may result in data loss. Please talk to a tech team member if you are needing space and you have iCloud Library turned on.

1) Go to: https://photos.google.com/apps and download the Google Photo’s for Mac App. Open up resulting download and drag the Google Photo’s Backup app to your application folder. Double click it.

2) Google Photos will now walk you through the upload process.

3) By default Google Photo’s will backup all JPG, JPEG and movie files that are in your Apple Photo’s Library. If you would like to back up screen shots and files that are located outside of your Photo’s library, you will want to make those changes in settings. To do so, click on the Google Photo’s icon in the menu bar and select ‘Preferences’
4) In Preferences, select the option to upload RAW & PNG files at the bottom, as well add any other folders where you want it to look for images.
5) It may take an extremely long time to upload all your videos/photos depending on the amount of files that you have and the speed of your internet connection. You can check the progress of your uploads by clicking on the menu bar icon.
6) Verify that all of your photos are backed up by visiting Google Photos online and checking to see that your picture are there. Visit: https://photos.google.com/
7) Once you have verified that all of your photos are uploaded online, you can then delete them from your Mac’s photo library by selecting them and then hitting delete.

Note: Be sure to verify that all of your photo’s have completed their upload BEFORE you delete anything from your Mac. If you delete videos/photos off of your Mac before they are uploaded, they will be lost forever. ALSO if you have Apple iCloud Photo Library enabled, the photos will be deleted from ALL of your devices.

Delete Large Files

Locate Large Files You can create a search for files that are larger than a particular size. This can help you find files that are candidates to either delete or move onto an external drive. To do so, follow Apple’s directions:

  1. In the Finder, choose Go > Home, or press Shift-Command-H.
  2. Choose File > Find, or press Command-F.
  3. Click the Kind pop-up menu, then choose Other.
  4. Below “Select a search attribute,” select the File Size checkbox. Make sure no other checkboxes are selected, then click OK.
  5. Click the “equals” pop-up menu, then choose “is greater than.” Click the “KB” pop-up menu, then choose “MB.”
  6. Enter a minimum file size. A good starting point is 100 MB. You can change the value to see more or fewer results.
  7. Searching begins as soon as you type a file size. It may take a moment for all the search results to appear.

Now You Are Ready

Completing the above steps described in the above post will help you be prepared for the transition to your new MacBook Air. If you have any questions, please contact a tech team member.