How To Migrate From MobileMe to iCloud

With the dawn of iCloud, it also means the sun is setting on MobileMe. Longtime users will affectionately call it their “dot Mac” account. In order to take part in all of the great new features in iCloud, dot Mac owners need to migrate their accounts. While the name has changed, many of the services will carry over the iCloud with your account. Mail, Contacts, Calendar, Bookmarks, Find My iPhone and Back To Mac are all apart of iCloud. Gone but not forgotten are iWeb, Gallery and iDisk. MobileMe users can continue to use those services through June 30th, 2012, even after migrating to iCloud. But let’s not forget the reason for migrating. iCloud offers a whole batch of new services including iTunes in the Cloud, Photo Stream, Documents in the Cloud, Automatic downloads and purchase history for apps and books, along with Backup and Restore. It’s also worth noting that iCloud is free and includes 5GB of storage. Join us for a complete walkthrough as we help guide you through the migration from MobileMe to iCloud.

Pump the Brakes
Before making the jump to iCloud, make sure that all of your computers and devices are running compatible software. That means your Macs need to be updated to Mac OS 10.7.2 aka Lion and your iOS devices are on iOS 5.

Back-up
Before you start any major transition of services, it’s a great idea to back up all of your data. If you haven’t been backing up your data, then this is a great time to start. Apple’s Time Machine makes it incredibly easy. Simply purchase an external hard drive that is larger than the hard drive in your Mac. Plug it in and you’ll likely be prompted to “use this hard drive as a Time Machine backup”. If you are like me and you’ve got random stuff sitting in iDisk, download it to a local folder on your Mac before starting the process.

Movin’ and Groovin’
Once you are ready to rock, the process begins by pointing Safari (or your browser of choice) to me.com/move.

MobileMe sign in

First things first, you’ll need to sign into your account. You should probably set aside 15 to 20 minutes for the entire migration, if things go smoothly, which they did for me during my migration.

Getting Started with iCloud

This is the first of a few messages that prepare you for the big move. Don’t worry, it’s not as big as you’d think. Don’t let this array of screenshots fool you.

Moving Mail and Calendars to MobileMe

Mail and Calendars both have a new home in iCloud. This step advises you that both will be moved. You will no longer be able to share calendars with those who are still on MobileMe. If you have not logged into your MobileMe account, then you might receive a message that your Calendars have not been updated. You can open up a new browser window, login to your MobileMe calendars and you’ll be prompted to update them. This is probably a good idea to keep the transfer from MobileMe to iCloud trouble-free.

Gallery, iDisk, iWeb

While Gallery, iDisk and iWeb are not part of iCloud, you’ll be able to continue using those services at .me through June 30th, 2012.

MobileMe features

This is a reminder that some MobileMe syncing services will not be available post-iCloud migration. This includes the ability to sync Mac Dashboard Widgets, Dock Items, Keychains, Preferences, Mail Accounts, Rules, Signatures, and Smart Mailboxes.

Family Pack

As the Master account holder on my MobileMe account, I was concerned that my move to iCloud could cause a disruption in services to my family members. I haven’t called them since moving to iCloud, but I haven’t received any support calls from them. In all seriousness, their accounts will function properly, regardless of whether you migrate. Master account holders can no longer add or remove accounts after the move. Since your family will likely be making the jump to iCloud, this should be a non-issue.

Upgrade devices for iCloud

As noted earlier in the tutorial, you’ll need to make sure that your Mac’s are upgraded to Mac OS 10.7.2 Lion and your iOS devices are on iOS 5. If one of your devices is not updated, it’s certainly not the end of the world. My Mac Book Pro is still on 10.7. Email works perfectly fine and I’m only a minor update away from using iCloud features.

Back up contacts bookmarks

This step seemed like a no-brainer. Apple wants you to be sure at least one device has up to date contacts and bookmarks.

Back up contacts bookmarks

If you backed up previously using TimeMachine, this is an added layer of data protection and easy to accomplish.

Back Up Your Contacts Database in Address Book

  • Visit File > Export > Address Book Archive

Address Book Archive

Back Up Your Calendars

  • Open iCal and highlight one of your calendars
  • Visit File > Export >Export > iCal Archive
  • Repeat this process for each calendar group

Calendars backup

Legal

You can read this and delay the process for 8 or so hours, or check the box and select “Move to iCloud”. Immediately after signing your life away, the migration is underway and the process of moving your MobileMe content to iCloud has begun. The length of this process will be highly dependant upon how much data you have stored.

Moving your MobileMe content

For some bizarre reason, I was logged out during this migration. I of course panicked, but then came a pop-up window advising me to “complete your move to iCloud”.

Logged out

At this point, all the heavy lifting was done. I went around to each of my devices and selected OK. This was great because it was affirmation that each of my devices had made it’s transition to iCloud.

MobileMe to iCloud

Having completed the migration, I can say that it was not very difficult at all. With a proper backup strategy in place, moving your data from MobileMe to iCloud can be a relatively stress free transfer. I can now enjoy legacy MobileMe features through June 2012 and some of the great new iCloud features like PhotoStream.

Have you migrated your account? Share your experience in the comments. Need help? Our iPhone forums are the perfect place to find experts that can help.

Written By

Christopher Meinck is the Founder and Editorial Director at everythingiCafe. You can also find him co-hosting on everythingiCafe :the show. His smartphone obsession started with the Handspring Treo 180. While the phones have changed, the obsession continues. You can find him on Google+ and Twitter.

Comments

  1. Ivan Williams says

    Nicely done, Chris…

    Have you startingtried webmail (me.com) email via the iCloud web interface? Does it seem to work well for you? If creating and sending an email, does it seem to send an email, but still leave a copy in the drafts folder?

    Just curious.

    I’ve moved everything over from Mobile ME, but, I’m still hesitant to use iCloud email as my main due to PUSH issues, i.e. delays…

    • says

      I typically do not use the web interface. I did test sending and I received the email in my Gmail account within 5 seconds. Email hasn’t shown up in my drafts or my sent items for that matter.

      I have a dot mac account, but my primary email is still Gmail. 

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