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Windows Easy Transfer

Everyone has to get a new computer at some point because they either break down, get to slow or become too outdates. But what do you do with all of your files and installed programs? The files are usually easy to transfer from one computer to the other by just using an external hard drive or flash drive. But what about all the settings you have saved in all of your installed programs?

Windows Easy Transfer allows you to transfer files and settings from one Windows computer to another. Using Windows Easy Transfer, you can transfer most of your files, programs and settings to your new computer. Items that you can transfer include:

Files and folders - Including the Documents, Pictures, and Shared Documents folders.

E-mail settings - Contacts, address books and messages from Microsoft Outlook Express, Outlook, Windows Mail, and other e-mail programs.

Program settings - Settings to your programs configured as you had them on your old computer. You must install the programs on your new computer first.

User accounts and settings - Desktop backgrounds, network connections, screen savers, fonts, Start menu options, taskbar options, folders, specific files, network printers and drives, and accessibility options.

Internet settings and favorites - Internet connection settings, favorites, and cookies.

Music - Music files such as MP3s files, play lists, and album art.

Pictures and videos - Pictures of any type and video files.


There are several ways to perform the transfer of your files and settings. Be sure to choose a method that works on both computers. You can use the following methods with Windows Easy Tranfer:

Easy Transfer Cable - An Easy Transfer Cable can be purchased to connect the 2 computers through a USB port on each computer. A standard USB cable cannot be used for this process.

Network Connection - A network with both computers connected to it and the ability to access the same network folders or locations.

CDs or DVDs – Depending on the amount of data you need to transfer you can use CD or DVD drives on both computers to transfer your files. If you are using Windows Easy Transfer to transfer information from Windows 2000 or Windows XP to Windows Vista, you cannot use DVDs.

USB flash drive or external hard drive - A USB flash drive or an external hard disk compatible with both computers.

You can use Windows Easy Transfer to transfer files and program settings from a computer running Windows 2000 (files only), Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7 to another computer running Windows. During the transfer process, Windows Easy Transfer will estimate how much disk space is needed to transfer your data.

You can copy Windows Easy Transfer to your old computer using a CD or DVD, a network connection or a USB flash drive. Choose the type of storage device that your old computer can read. If both computers are running Windows Vista, then both computers already have the Windows Easy Transfer software and you don't need to copy it to your old computer. For Windows 7 or XP you can download the software here.

The procedure will be different depending on what method you want choose to transfer the files. You can also assign a password to your backed up files to keep them secure.

Note: You can't use Windows Easy Transfer to transfer files and settings from a computer that is running Windows XP Starter Edition.


Related Tips:
Windows Vista Program Compatibility
Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor
Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor


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