Migrating the MacPractice Server to another Computer

Sometimes, you'll need to replace your MacPractice Server, or you'll want to make a different computer the Server. This article covers the process of how to migrate or move your MacPractice Server to a different computer.

A server migration is a process that involves creating a backup of the MacPractice database and using that backup to restore the database to a new computer with the MacPractice Server software installed.

If at any point you feel uncomfortable following these steps, do not hesitate to call MacPractice Support, as we are more than happy to guide you through the process.

What steps do I need to take to migrate a Server?

Make A Current backup of your existing Server

To create a Manual Backup, you can simply log into the Server, and navigate to the Preferences Window via the MacPractice Menu > Preferences.


Next, click on the Server Backup category in the Preferences Window. At the bottom, you'll see a button labeled "Back Up..." Clicking this button will prompt you to choose a location where you can save a newly created backup. This may take some time depending on the size of your database.

Alternately, you can simply utilize one of your latest scheduled backups. They will be located in the path set in this same window, presuming that no data has been altered or added after the creation of this backup. (We don't want you to lose data, after all!)


For more information on Backups, check out our MacPractice Backup guide.

Install the Server on the Destination Computer

Next, you'll need to install the MacPractice Server onto your Destination Computer. We have a full guide available on Downloading and Installing MacPractice here. You'll want to make sure that your destination computer meets our System Requirements on our main page here.

You'll also need plenty of free hard disk space. At the bare minimum, we recommend you have three to five times the size of the current backup on the destination server, with more space definitely preferred. This is to accommodate reconstructing the database from the current backup, and accommodating room for future backups and the growth of your database. For questions on this front, please contact MacPractice Support.

On MacPractice Builds 12.11 and higher, you'll need to set up your Server Management App user to allow you access to administrative functions for the MacPractice Server. You can read more about the Server Management App here.

If you are on MacOS Catalina and on a build of MacPractice earlier than 12.11, you'll need to run the Catalina start up script in order to start MacPractice and prior to restoring from a backup. You can read more about it here.

Restoring the MacPractice Backup
Once the Server installation is complete, you'll be able to restore your database. There are two methods to use that depend on what build of MacPractice you're on.
If you are installing MacPractice Build 12.11 or higher, you'll need to restore the backup via the Server Management App. Follow the installation guide linked in the previous section, which covers how to set up the Server Management App. Then, you can refer to the Server Management App article, located here. You'll be restoring the database via the Server Management App.
On builds prior to 12.11, you can restore a database by first clicking the gear icon to switch to the Database Connection Configuration view from the MacPractice login window.
To adjust the Database Configuration fields, click the Lock icon and enter the computer's administrative username and password. Next, click the Restore Database button.

The Security Password Required window will appear if the server has been restarted. This password is the Encryption Security password that was created during the initial installation of MacPractice. Enter the password and click the OK button.

The resulting Operating System authentication window may request the computer's Administrator username and password again.

In the resulting window, locate the MacPractice database to be restored and click Open. You may be asked to create a new database. This prompt simply is saying it will be creating a new database from the backup we have selected. If you receive this prompt, click the Continue button.

A warning will pop up, verifying that the database will be restored. There is a check box to affirm whether or not this restoration is for the main production database.


If the box is checked, when Restore is clicked, another pop up will appear, alerting that the database restoration will keep its current settings.


If the box is unchecked, the following information will not be brought forward when restoring the backup:

  • Autoremind User
  • Username
  • eStatement Password
  • Medavant PP Password
  • Demandforce Configuration information
  • NEA
  • UpDox Faxing user and password
  • Direct Messaging user information
  • Phone numbers and e-mails for all patients

Once the restoration process starts, do not force quit while MacPractice is restoring.

Authentication may be required during this process.

Once MacPractice has completed the restoration process, restart MacPractice with the Restart button. To log back in to MacPractice, enter the MacPractice Admin username and password. The database may need updated before continuing.

Connecting Clients to the New Server
Once you've successfully restored the backup on the new Server, you're almost done! You'll now just need to reconnect your Clients to the new Server.

On your clients, you'll first open MacPractice, and then click the Icon in the upper right hand corner of the login window. This will flip the login window to Database Connection Settings.  

Click the lock to make changes. (You will likely be prompted to enter the OS Password)

You'll need to enter in the IP Address of the MacPractice Server computer on your local network. 


You can easily find the Server's IP address by clicking "About MacPractice" in the MacPractice Server's MacPractice Menu.

Once you've input the correct IP address, attempt to log in with a MacPractice User. On a first login from a client to a server, you'll be asked to enter a four-digit code into the Server to authenticate this client.

A 4 digit passcode is generated and remains open for 60 minutes. Print the instructions, which include the passcode and the expiration time.


On the MacPractice Server, add the four-digit code in Preferences > Database Access as shown in the printed instructions. The device will be added to the Database Access list and paired with the MacPractice Server.


If you experience difficulties connecting the MacPractice Client to the MacPractice Server, please see the MacPractice Network documentation.

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