Transferring From MAC to PC


Welcome to PC

This is it; you’re making the jump from Mac to PC, and you’ve got questions. This in-depth guide has everything you need to know about making the switch from Mac to Windows PC. We’ve got you covered with guidance on converting and transferring your files as well as setting up your new experience. It’s simpler than you might think.

Key points before receiving a windows device are:

  • Transfer or Backup your files. Ensure that all data has copied.
  • Convert Pages, Numbers, Keynote and other MAC application files.
  • Copy Itunes and Export Photos

These items are detailed in this document.

How to Transfer Files from Mac to Windows PC

Although Macs and Windows PCs use different file systems, most file types are cross-compatible between operating systems. It’s just a matter of moving the data to your new PC, and there are several ways to do it. You can NOT use Time Machine Backup!

Transfer Files Using an External Drive (not recommended)
An external storage device (external hard drive or USB flash drive) can be used to copy data between your Mac and your new PC. For the broadest compatibility, you can format that drive with the exFAT file system, which both macOS and Windows can write to.


Before you format an external storage device, first back up any data on the device. If it’s not a brand-new drive, formatting it erases all existing files. Once that’s done, you can format the drive to exFAT in macOS or Windows.

Using Mac:

  1. Launch the Disk Utility application and select the external drive as the source.
  2. Choose Erase from the list of icons near the top of the window.
  3. Name the drive as desired, use the Format drop-down menu to select exFAT, and click Erase.
  4. Once the process is complete, the drive is mounted in Finder.
  5. Use Finder to drag-and-drop files and data from your Mac to the external drive.
  6. Connect the drive to your PC and launch File Explorer to access the drive.
  7. You can now drag or copy your files from the external drive to your PC.

Using Windows:

  1. Connect the drive to your PC and launch the Start Menu.
  2. Type Create and Format Hard Disk Partitions.
  3. Click the matching result to launch the Windows Disk Management utility.
  4. Find your external drive listed in the lower half of the window.
  5. Right-click on its primary partition and choose Format.
  6. From the File System drop-down menu, select exFAT.
  7. If desired, add a name for the drive in the Volume Label field and click OK.
  8. Click OK on the popup window to confirm again and start the disk formatting process.
  9. Once the process is complete, connect the drive to your Mac.
  10. Use Finder to drag-and-drop files and data from your Mac to the external drive.
  11. Connect the drive to your PC and launch File Explorer to access the drive.
  12. You can now drag or copy your files from the external drive to your PC.MacDrive.png

    Note: Depending on the size of your external storage device, you may not be able to fit all your data onto the external drive at once. In this case, delete data from the external drive after it has been copied to your PC to clear space, and repeat the process as necessary.

    Transfer Files Using a Cloud Service  - Microsoft One Drive is Recommended
    You can use a cloud service if you don’t have many large files like videos. This option works best if you have an internet connection with fast upload speeds. Online file synchronization services such as OneDrive or Google Drive can sync your data from your Mac to your new PC.

    1. Make sure that the service is configured to sync the desired folders.
    2. Check that the syncing process is up to date.
    3. Then install the corresponding app on your new PC.
    4. Once you sign into your account, sync all the files over to the PC.

    How to Transfer Documents from Mac to Windows PC

    If you use Microsoft Office for Mac, all your documents, worksheets, and presentations are already compatible with Office for Windows. However, if you have files in Apple’s iWork format (Pages, Numbers, Keynote), you must convert those files to an Office-compatible format. You can convert files easily on your Mac or the web via iCloud.

    How to Convert iWork Files to Microsoft Office Files
    To view your iWork Pages, Numbers, and Keynote files in Microsoft Office Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, you need to convert them.

    On your Mac:

    1. Open your files in the corresponding iWork app and select File > Export To.
    2. Select the applicable Office format (for example, Pages to Word). You may also select a compatible format such as plain text, EPUB, or PDF.
    3. Once converted, copy the files over to your PC as described previously.


Or from iCloud:

  1. If your documents are on iCloud, you can convert your iWork files over the internet.
  2. Log in to your account at and select the iWork apps.
  3. Select the desired file to open it.
  4. Click the wrench icon from the toolbar at the top of the document.
  5. Select Download a Copy and the option to convert the file to the applicable Office format.

How to Transfer Bookmarks from Mac to Windows PC

Depending on the browser you use, transferring bookmarks is quick and easy. You can instantly sync your bookmarks to your PC from Edge, Chrome, or Firefox: install the same browser and sign into the same account you used on your Mac.

If you used Safari, you can manually export bookmarks to an HTML file that can be imported by almost any other browser.

  1. Launch Safari on your Mac and select File > Export Bookmarks.
  2. In the popup window, choose a save location for your exported bookmarks and then click Save.
  3. Copy this HTML file to your PC using one of the file transfer methods.
  4. Follow the instructions for your preferred web browser on how to import bookmarks.

Edge: Select Settings and More (three dots) > Settings > Import or Export > Import from File

Chrome: Select More (three dots) > Bookmarks > Import Bookmarks and Settings.

Firefox: Select Menu (three lines) > Bookmarks > Manage Bookmarks > Import Bookmarks from HTML

How to Transfer Email from Mac to Windows PC

There’s no transition to worry about the district uses Outlook as our official email application and your mail will be accessible from both the outlook app and web portal just as it was on your Mac.

If you were using the Imail app for your email you should discontinue and use the Outlook application that was installed and setup for you.

*It’s a good time to note that you should not be using the district email for personal messages.

How to Transfer Music from Mac to Windows PC

If you’re an Apple Music or iTunes user, you can stick with the fully-supported iTunes for Windows*. You can even copy an entire iTunes library to Windows. This application will only be available on an as needed basis and not installed for everyone.

How to Transfer iTunes Library from Mac to Windows PC
In recent versions of macOS, the music portion of iTunes now exists in a separate Music* app. Whether you use iTunes or the Music app, the steps for copying the library to iTunes for Windows are nearly identical. By default, your iTunes music is stored in the Music folder of your User folder, and it’s best to consolidate your music files here before moving the library.

Starting from your Mac:

  1. Launch iTunes or the Music app and select File > Library > Organize Library.
  2. Check the box for Consolidate Files and click OK.
  3. Wait for the consolidation process complete. It may take a while depending on your library’s size and location.
  4. Use Finder to navigate to User > Music.
  5. Copy the folder to your OneDrive or Google Drive as described earlier.


The process may take some time depending on the size of your library and transfer method. Once the files are on your PC:

  1. Request iTunes be installed onto your PC.
  2. Quit the app immediately after installing it.
  3. Find the transferred iTunes folder and paste it into your user’s Music 
  4. Click OK to approve any overwritten data.
    Note: Completely replace the empty iTunes library with the copy of your Mac’s iTunes library.
  5. Navigate to the iTunes app on your PC again.
  6. Hold down the Shift key on your keyboard while opening the app.
  7. Wait for a window to appear asking you to Choose iTunes Library.
  8. Click the Choose Library button and navigate back to your user’s Music folder.
  9. Inside the iTunes folder, select the iTunes Library.itl file and click Open.
  10. You can now access your complete music library on iTunes for Windows.

How to Transfer Photos & Videos from Mac to Windows PC

The built-in Windows Photos app on your new PC allows you to organize, edit, and view your precious photos and videos easily. In general, you can copy a photo library of saved images directly to your PC and import them into the Windows Photos app. However, if you’re using Apple’s Photos* app for Mac, you need to export your images first.

Once imported, you’re free to browse all of your photos and videos, make basic edits, set up slideshows, or enable the People feature to automatically group photos.

How to Transfer Photos from Mac to Windows PC
Starting from your Mac:

  1. Launch the Photos app.
  2. Select the photos or albums you want to copy.
  3. To copy everything: select Library from the left sidebar and press the keyboard shortcut Command+A.
  4. With your photos and videos selected (outlined in blue), select File > Export.
  5. Choose whether to Export Unmodified Originals(unedited images only) or Export (#) Items (includes your edits).


If you select Export (#) Items, you can choose the file format and quality level of your exported photos. You can also opt to change their size, include keywords, location, and other metadata, and keep your desired naming and subfolder organizational scheme. To minimize file size, choose JPEG as your Photo Kind. To preserve maximum quality, PNG or TIFF is the way to go. Also make sure that the Size option is set to Full Size, unless you want your images resized.

  1. Select any export options, then click Export.
  2. Set an output directory and click Export again to start the process.
  3. It may take a while depending on the number of photos and your Mac’s performance.
  4. Copy the files from your Mac to your OneDrive or Google Drive using your preferred data transfer method.

On your PC:

  1. Copy the files to your Pictures folder and then launch the Windows Photos app.
  2. Click the Import button in the toolbar at the top of the window.
  3. Select your user’s Pictures folder (or any other directory to which you added photos).
  4. The app scans the designated folder and displays any detected image files and videos.
  5. Use the Select drop-down menu to choose All Items and then click Import.

How to Back Up with Windows PC

Windows 11 uses OneDrive, a service like iCloud Drive*, to back up your most important folders automatically and more securely to the cloud. OneDrive ensures a proper backup in the event of a data loss, and it provides the option to access your PC’s data from anywhere via the web.

How to Back Up PC to OneDrive
Once you’ve moved all your Mac data to your PC, you can protect your data with a backup.

  1. Open the Settings app and head to Accounts > Windows Backup > OneDrive Folder Settings > Manage Sync Settings.
  2. Choose the folders you want to back up (Desktop, Pictures, Documents).
  3. Click Start Backup.



After the initial backup, all the files in these folders, and other files in your OneDrive folder, are synced to the cloud. OneDrive automatically backs up synced files. You can then recover your data from OneDrive if there’s an issue in the future. You can also access these files via OneDrive on the Web.

With your District Microsoft 365 subscription you have up to 1 TB of storage to back up all of your data.

Windows Keyboard Shortcuts

Many of the keyboard shortcuts used in macOS are similar in Windows, but with one important difference: the modifier key. Instead of Command (⌘), Windows shortcuts typically use the Control (Ctrl) or Windows keys. For example, to save your document in Microsoft Word* for Mac, the shortcut is Command+S; in Word for Windows, the shortcut is Control+S.

With so many similarities, you’ll be up and running with Windows keyboard shortcuts in no time. Here are some common ones to get you started:


Software Compatibility & Windows Alternatives

Many of the most popular macOS apps are also compatible with Windows. Even when an app is truly exclusive to the Mac, the files can often be easily converted to a Windows-based alternative.

Here’s a list of common macOS apps and some suggested Windows-compatible alternatives. Note that these suggestions are just one of many options. The Windows ecosystem supports thousands of applications, which means you have alternatives for virtually any app or workflow.


macOS Application

Windows Alternative

Apple Pages*

Microsoft Word*

Apple Numbers*

Microsoft Excel*

Apple Keynote*

Microsoft PowerPoint*

Adobe Creative Cloud*

Adobe Creative Cloud*

Apple Final Cut Pro X*

Adobe Premiere Pro*

Apple Motion*

Adobe Media Encoder*

Apple Compressor*

Adobe Media Encoder*

Apple Logic Pro X*

Adobe Audition*

Apple iMovie*

Windows Photos App Video Editor*

Apple Photos*

Windows Photos App*

Apple GarageBand*



As always if you need additional assistance or have questions submit a helpdesk request or call 671-4444

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