Article ID : 00068582 / Last Modified : 11/04/2018

How to use the Windows Easy Transfer feature to transfer files and settings.

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Windows Easy Transfer is a feature of the operating system designed to help move data stored on an older computer over to a new Windows® 8 computer. When the transfer has been completed a report will show you what data was transferred and provides a list of programs you may want to install on the new computer. The new computer will have your familiar files, folders, and program settings. Windows Easy Transfer can automatically transfer the following data:

  • User Accounts
  • Documents
  • Music
  • Pictures
  • Email
  • Internet favorites
  • Videos
  • And more

IMPORTANT:

  • The Windows Easy Transfer utility cannot be used to transfer files and settings from a 64-bit operating system to a 32-bit operating system.
  • For the purpose of this procedure, we will be assuming that the computer you are transferring data to is the computer with the Windows 8 operating system (the new computer), and the computer you are transferring data from is a computer with an older Windows operating system (the old computer).
  • The Windows Easy Transfer utility can be used to back up data from a computer before performing an upgrade or clean install of the Windows 8 operating system and then restore the data to the computer after the Windows 8 operating system operating system is installed. In this situation, the old computer refers to the computer before it is upgraded to the Windows 8 operating system and the new computer refers to the computer after it has been upgraded to the Windows 8 operating system. Also, you must use the option to back up to an external hard disk or USB flash drive in this situation.
  • The Windows Easy Transfer utility must be installed on the old computer. The following procedure includes steps on this installation, but for the Windows XP operating system, you also can download and install the Windows Easy Transfer utility from the Microsoft Web site.

Follow these steps to use the Windows Easy Transfer feature to transfer files and settings:

  1. Point to (but do not click) the lower-right or top-right corner of the screen, and then click to select the Search charm.
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    NOTE:  The Windows Logo + W key combination will also take you to the Search screen.

  2. In the Search screen, click the Settings category, and in the Search field, type Windows Easy Transfer and then press the Enter key.
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  3. Click Next.
  4. In the What do you want to use to transfer items to the new computer window, click to select the desired transfer method:
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    NOTE:  Windows Easy Transfer might take a long time to complete. Plug the power adapter into the computer before you continue.


  • An Easy Transfer cable

    NOTE: The Easy Transfer cable is a specifically designed USB transfer cable for use with the Windows Easy Transfer software. The cable can be purchased from the Web or a local computer retailer.

  • A network

    NOTE: In order to transfer files and settings using a network, the network must already be established and you must have administrative rights to the files and settings you wish to transfer.

  • An external hard disk or USB flash drive

    NOTE: This is the simplest and most common transfer method.