Windows Easy Transfer

What is Windows Easy Transfer?

Windows Easy Transfer guides you through the process of transferring files and settings from one Windows computer to another. Using Windows Easy Transfer, you can choose what to transfer to your new computer and how to transfer it. For more information, see Transfer files and settings from another computer and How does Windows Easy Transfer make setting up a computer easier?.

If you're using an administrator account, you can open Windows Easy Transfer:

  • Open Windows Easy Transfer by clicking the Start button. In the search box, type Easy Transfer, and then, in the list of results, click Windows Easy Transfer.‌ Administrator permission required.
  • If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

Note: If you're not using an administrator account, you can't open Windows Easy Transfer.

What can I transfer to my new computer?

You can transfer most files and program settings. Specifically:

  • Files and folders. Everything within the Documents, Music, Pictures, and Shared Documents folders. Using advanced options, you can select additional files and folders to transfer from other locations.

  • E‑mail settings, contacts, and messages.

  • Program settings. Settings that keep your programs configured as you had them on your old computer. Windows Easy Transfer doesn't transfer the programs themselves. Some programs might not work in this version of Windows, including security programs, antivirus programs, firewall programs (your new computer should already have a firewall running to help ensure safety during the transfer), and programs with software drivers.

  • User accounts and settings. Desktop backgrounds, network connections, screen savers, 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.

  • Pictures and video. Pictures—which includes any visual format (for example, .jpg, .bmp, and .gif files)—and personal videos.

Which transfer method should I use?

There are several choices. Be sure to choose a method that works on both computers. For example, if your computer isn't connected to your network, you can't use a network to transfer files and settings to your new computer.

Easy Transfer Cable

What you'll need: An Easy Transfer Cable and a USB port on each computer.

The Easy Transfer Cable is a specially designed USB cable that connects two computers and works with Windows Easy Transfer to transfer information between the computers. It's one of the easiest ways to transfer files and settings to your new computer. You should always start Windows Easy Transfer on your new computer and plug in the Easy Transfer cable only when you're instructed to do so. Before you plug in the cable on your old computer, be sure to insert the CD that came with it to install the Windows Easy Transfer software and continue the transfer process.

Where to get one: If you didn't buy an Easy Transfer Cable with your computer, you can order one on the web from your computer manufacturer, or get one at an electronics store.

Note: A standard USB cable cannot be used to transfer files and settings between computers.


What you'll need: A network with both computers connected to it and the ability to access the same network folders or locations.

Make sure that both computers are connected to the same network. Start Windows Easy Transfer on your new computer (the computer that you want to transfer your files and settings to), and then follow the instructions. The Windows Easy Transfer key acts like a password to help protect files and settings when you transfer them over the network.

USB flash drive or external hard disk

What you'll need: A USB flash drive (this requires a USB port on each computer) or an external hard disk compatible with both computers.

Start Windows Easy Transfer on your new computer (the computer you want to transfer files and settings to), and then follow the instructions for using a USB flash drive or an external hard disk. During the transfer process, Windows Easy Transfer will estimate how much disk space is needed to transfer your selections. If you use a USB flash drive, use one with enough storage space for the entire transfer.

Which versions of Windows will work with Windows Easy Transfer?

For Windows 7, you can use Windows Easy Transfer to transfer files and settings from a computer running Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7.

For Windows 8/8.1, you can use Windows Easy Transfer to transfer files and settings from a computer running Windows 8, Windows RT and Windows 7.

-- CscfHelp - 2014-11-13

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Topic revision: r2 - 2014-11-19 - CscfHelp
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