Mac Migration Question to Mac Users ....?

Was wondering how many Mac Cubase users use Migration for a new Mac ? or do you do a clean install each time ?



I’m using migration. My current system is living on the 3rd hardware already. It was on 2 Intel Macs before, now it’s on the M processor.

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I don’t pretend to have a scientific reason for this but I never migrate and always clean install.


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I’m with you , I guess the only downside I can see is system pref and extension type files left around after old apps and that leave them behind .

For me the upside is the consistency.

I really interested to find the best way overall

I’ve found that Migration always misses things that I have to manually fix after an OS install. What I have been doing to get around this is using SuperDuper’s “SmartUpdate” routine from a save just prior to the update to fix everything Migration missed and messed up. And guess what? It works.

Wow nice one, I’ve never heard of that. Does it work with Sonoma?

I did a clean install and my M2 Pro is rock solid.


Yes, works with Sonoma. Just used for a 14.4.1 install.

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Good to known , do you use lots of VSTi’s. And large mb of samples etc ?


A few hundred VSTs and gigabytes of samples. However, the VSTs are all on the boot drive while the bulk of my sample collection reside on another external HD.


Clean install for me. 15 years worth of plugins was a real challenge, but most all developers have actually made it much easier to do the updating process, so I’ve updated approx. 60-80 plugins in less than a week. Time consuming, but reassured that I have all the latest versions going forward.

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When I got my M1 Max, that’s the way I went for the initial installs. Yep, took a while.

Once everything was in place and an external clone SSD was installed, I’ve been using Super Duper for the backups.

At one point, I was forced to reinstall Sonoma onto the Clone drive. Then, I used SuperDuper’s Smart update after Migration (which missed a few key things in my setup)… Worked like a charm.

Noise , it’s interesting you say rock solid , I also run an M2 all software and OS up to date , I couldn’t honestly say it was rock solid .

Gonna do so tests with Super Duper, I used Mac for ever and copying system drive stopped being a thing after they moved to a boot partition can’t remember what OS , but the good old but copy’s just stopped be boot able .

I would love a Steinberg engineer to have a say here , As I see it things have change bigtime on Mac from the Old Mac OS and extension days , I don’t think my Mac ever crashes and even if an App crashes these days you just re open it and keep working .

So on that note , what can be wrong Migration for Cubase ? (Steinberg ?) I am sure Cubase only reads its own system files and with no extension on Mac now we should be good …
and if you do a fresh install you just end up putting your Mac back to how you had it anyway . ?

I have no idea these are just my thoughts -:slight_smile:


On Windows the situation is different, as many application change the Registry. On Mac, you just copy the application, which doesn’t change the system or interfere with other applications. Therefore clean vs old system is not much of difference on Mac.

That’s the reason, why do I migrate. I don’t loose anything (as you do on Windows) by having and old system and I gain time and the usability. The system is exactly the same as it was on the other computer. I don’t have to make all my custom setup and it works exactly the same as I’m used to use it.

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Oddly, Cubase is an exception when copying from the internal Boot drive to a clone Boot drive on Silicon based Macs.

I suspect (and this really is just a guess), it may be the licensing scheme at work.

What happens is if you copy Cubase 11, 12 or 13 to an external clone boot drive and then boot from that drive, launching Cubase will pop up a warning telling you that the app is damaged.

Screenshot 2024-03-31 at 12.49.32 PM

The only recourse is to reinstall Cubase on the booted clone drive…then it will launch without issue.

Here’s a bit of a caveat for external boot drives for Silicon Macbooks:

Here’s the problem. If the internal SSD were to die, the silicon MacBook can’t be booted from an external bootable drive. Why? Because in it’s infinite wisdom, Apple got rid of the bootable ROM chip that had been traditionally built into the Intel motherboarded Macs, and moved the boot process onto the internal SSD drive, in a hidden partition.

Meaning: If the internal SSD goes belly up, you’re outta luck unless you spend a small fortune having Apple replace the internal SSD (and then cloning the external backup back to the new internal SSD.

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I guess having Apple these days is a must ! I now pay around £10 per month ish

yeah - even I’m surprised!

I think the big thing is that I didn’t bring over all those old wacky plugins that we all installed from those mags and picked up over the years that I never used. Everything is a brand new install.

I did have one issue with a project that acted weirdly, but that was due to the external HD going bad (I keep all my projects and sound assets on external drives). Once I moved the project to a different one, the problem went away.

It’s CB 12, and I’m not really interested in 13.