I have highly customized my Mac with my own sets of settings.

In addition, I have special settings for each my apps as well, (SizeUp, iTerm2, Eclipse, etc..)

Is there a way I can just back these settings up and port it to my Mac work laptop?

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    Is Apple's own Migration Assistant not an option? – slhck Jul 15 '11 at 8:44

OS X stores all your settings into /Users//Library. Folder related to settings should be in most cases:

~/Library/Application Support ~/Library/Preferences

There are more Folder. For example ~/Library/Mail where all you mails from Main.app reside. So you have to choose individual folder or you copy the whole ~/Library folder...

  • I was looking more of a tool to do something like this... (Maybe a lightweight version of time machine) – disappearedng Jul 15 '11 at 8:25
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    @disappearedng The tools are called Migration Assistant, OS X Setup, and/or Finder, depending on how far along you are with your laptop installation. Possible duplicate. – Daniel Beck Jul 15 '11 at 10:12

I think there are three approaches that should work okay:

1 - Use an external drive.

If portability is a concern, and you cannot take in your home machine to work, then you could create a standard install of Mac OS X onto an external USB drive. Then as suggested above, run Migration Assistant and migrate your apps/settings from your Mac's internal drive to the external one. You would then run Migration Assistant on your work mac to get data from the external drive.

The advantage of this approach is that you can test thouroughly at home, and use it to sync the home and work mac on an ongoing basis.

2 - Use MobileMe sync.

If you have MobileMe, there is basic support for syncing Application Preferences - this shoud work for most (Apple) apps fine.

3 - Use 'Back to My Mac'.

Again you have MobileMe, you should be able to tunnel back to your home computer from your work mac and copy over the ~/Library/ folder as needed. Again this negates the need to have to bring your machine to work. You could also use a service like dropbox to do something similar

You could, as suggested by others, transport your machines to the same location and use Migration Assistant or filesharing over the network. You could also manually mount a Time Machine disk image and browse through the backups in the finder to find the files you need. Cumbersome but should work.

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