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Step 3: Transfer Files and Applications from Your Old PC

Out of the Box Laptop Tips


Your new PC won't truly be yours until it holds all your important data files and favorite applications. Windows Easy Transfer, a freeware app from Microsoft, makes it simple to move files, pictures, settings, and even e-mail between your old computer and the new one.

Windows Easy Transfer

  • Install and Run Windows Easy Transfer on your old PC. If your old PC has Windows 7, Easy Transfer is already installed and you can launch it by clicking the Start button then typing "Easy Transfer" into the search box and clicking the icon. However, if your old computer is on Windows XP or Vista, you must download Easy Transfer from Microsoft.
  • Select External Hard Drive as your method of transfer. You can transfer files between the computers using either a USB easy transfer cable, your home network, or an external hard drive/USB flash drive. However, unless you happen to have an Easy Transfer cable lying around the house, the external drive option is your best bet.
  • Select "This is my old computer." The program will scan your old computer for data then show you a list of your accounts and the amount of data present in each.
  • Select the user account(s) you wish to transfer data from. If you wish to select which types of data are transferred, click the Customize button and deselect the types of content (e-mail, photos, documents, music) you don't want to transfer.
  • Click Next. You may enter a password to protect the backup files on your hard drive, but this is not necessary.
  • Select the external drive you wish to save your files to and click Next. Wait while the transfer completes and click Next to close the program.
  • Plug the hard drive into your new laptop.
  • Launch Windows Easy Transfer on your new laptop and click Next.
  • Select External Hard Disk, then "This is my new computer," then Yes to indicate your external drive is plugged in.
  • Select the backup file from your external drive. You will see a list of accounts to be copied over. Don't uncheck these.
  • Click Transfer. The program will copy your information, including your settings and wallpaper.

To transfer most applications, you will need to reinstall them, either by downloading them onto the new computer or running the programs on their original install CD or DVD-ROMs.


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