This article is for an older version of CCC. You can find the latest version here.

Some applications won't work when transferred to a new disk or when run on a different Mac. This has nothing to do with whether or how CCC backs up your data, it comes down to the serialization requirements imposed by the software vendor (e.g. their anti-piracy strategy). Some applications will work just fine, some will simply require that you re-enter your serial number, while other applications will require a reinstallation from the original install media or online reactivation via the vendor's website. CCC cannot (technically or legally) subvert activation requirements imposed by other software vendors.

Also note that some applications consider the presence or absence of peripherals as well as other hardware characteristics during the installation process. If these conditions are different when running the application on a new hard drive or Macintosh, you may encounter problems. We have seen these types of problems with some high-end audio software packages in the past, particularly with the installation or configuration of various plugins.

We recommend that you always retain a copy of your applications' installation disks and serial numbers in case the applications have special serialization or installation requirements.

Non-registration-related, application-specific oddities

In addition to application registration issues that occur when running your apps on a new volume, there are occasionally other oddities that you may encounter when booting from your cloned volume. The following is a list of potentially unexpected behavior that has been reported to us that a) appears to be a consequence of running an application from a different volume or on a different Macintosh and b) does not appear to be or cannot be accommodated/resolved in the backup/cloning process:

  • Dropbox may ask you to reconfigure your account settings
  • A dialog may appear asking you to locate the "System Events" application (this one appears to be a one-time deal, dismiss the dialog and you shouldn't see it again)
  • Time Machine may no longer recognize your original source volume because the UUID has changed (potential solution)
  • "Google Drive" must be disconnected, then reconnected to your account. Details here
  • Lion or later: Finder preferences may not be respected (e.g. whether to show disks on the Desktop, the contents of the "All my files" item may be empty)
  • Photoshop may require that you reset the Scratch Disk preference potential solution
  • Finder may not resolve aliases to files on a backup volume if those aliases were created on Snow Leopard or later. Finder will give you the opportunity to "readdress" these aliases when you try to open them.
  • Network settings may not be respected on another Macintosh. If you have an extensive VPN configuration that you want to preserve, we recommend that you export those settings to a file before you lose access to the original Mac.
  • Mavericks and later: The "Prevent App Nap" setting applies to specific instances of applications, so this setting will not be applied to copies of an application (e.g. on a backup volume).

References to third-party solutions/workarounds are provided as information only. We have not tested these solutions and we cannot endorse them.