Mackup - Seamless Application Migration

30. November, 2023 2 min read Teach

Keeping Application Settings in Sync on a Mac

Migrating from one machine to another can be a daunting task, especially when you consider the hassle of transferring and reconfiguring your favourite applications. However, Mackup helps you to streamline this process.

Mackup allows users to synchronize application settings across different machines effortlessly. Let’s have a closer look at it.


Before diving into Mackup, you must ensure it’s installed on your old and new Mac machines. Follow these steps to set up Mackup:

  1. Open Terminal and install homebrew if you haven’t already.
  2. Install Mackup by running brew install mackup.
  3. Create a backup of your current application settings by running mackup backup.

Mackup will generate a configuration file named .mackup.cfg in your home directory, allowing you to customize your synchronization preferences. I manage this through my dotfiles.

I highly recommend using iCloud to store your settings. This approach lets you recover your backup even if your computer fails easily. You can do this by adding the following two lines to the mackup.cfg file:

engine = icloud
directory = Mackup

Edit the .mackup.cfg configuration file further to tailor synchronization settings to your preferences. You can specify which applications to include or exclude and choose where to store your Mackup backups. You can even add custom applications that are not officially supported.


Now that Mackup is installed let’s explore how to use it for a seamless migration.

  1. To Backup your application settings, run mackup backup.
  2. To Transfer the generated Mackup backup folder to your new machine, use an external drive, cloud storage, or any other preferred method.
  3. To Restore follow the installation process above and then run mackup restore.

Mackup will intelligently restore settings for supported applications, ensuring a consistent environment across both machines.

Wrapping Up

Mackup simplifies migrating from one Mac machine to another by keeping application settings in sync. With just a few commands, you can effortlessly back up and restore your preferred configurations, saving time and ensuring a consistent environment.

‘Till next time!