Windows 7 : Easy Transfer Files, Users and Settings to new or same computer

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Windows 7 comes with an inbuilt utility, Windows Easy Transfer, which allows you to transfer Files, users, Settings, documents, emails, Internet Favorites, videos, shared documents etc from one computer to another without removal from your old computer. This will help you migrate users and their settings to a new system. The Settings include

You can find this utility under All Programs  > Accessories > System Tools. This utility should be helpful and must be used by system admin either in office  or a nerd at home to either transfer profile or recreate it again on the same machine.  You can use an external hard drive, USB drive, Network or Easy transfer Cable which directly sends data to your new computer.

Windows 7 easy transfer

Step 1: Profile Scan in Old Computer

Windows Easy Transfer tool first scans all the profile which is available on the machine. Here an estimate is made about the size and what can be backed up ( Email, Documents, Music, Videos etc ).  It also includes Shared Item data and IIS AppPool\Classic .net App Pool.

Windows 7 Easy Transfer Tool

Step 2 : Customize backup

For every profile scanned you will get a customize option. Here you can select or deselect the default data which is selected to be backed up. There is also an advance link that will help you make a folder by folder decision of what needs to be backed up.

Windows 7 Transfer User Details

Windows 7 Transfer Modify Selection

Step 3 : Password Protect your transfer files

Next step is to add a strong password. While doing the backup you will be asked to enter a key which will be again asked when you restore the data to a different computer. Make sure you enter a key which you can remember or at least write it down at some place.

Windows 7 File Transfer Password

Step 4 : Save Migration File

Now  save the migration file which ends with extension as .MIG. Give it a proper name if you are doing multiple backup. Add username and machine name in the starting. It will take a while to save the data depending on how big the profile is.

Win 7 Easy transfer File MIG

Step 5 : Launch the Windows 7 Easy Transfer in the New Machine or same machine :

Now move to your new machine or even in the same machine and launch the Easy Transfer program in the same way. Once the program starts, choose External Hard Drive or USB and then select “This is my new computer” and choose the file to be used. There you will be prompted to enter the password which you provided when creating the backup.

Step 6 : Restore Process on Old or new computer

Once the Restore Process begins you should be very careful. You will get a screen as below.

Tranfser to New Computer

Now at this point you need to decide if you want to transfer this

  • Let the transfer process create the same user name and transfer files.
  • Add to an existing profile
  • Or create a new profile and then transfer.

If you are choosing last 2 options, select the Advanced Options Link which is just above the transfer button. This will open a new screen where you will be required to map the profile to existing or create new one. Also you will have to map the drives. This however is required only if you have multiple operating system installed on the same machine or the drive letter differs between new and old.

Windows 7 easy Transfer Map Accounts

Easy Transfer Map Drives

Easy Transfer Map Users

Step 7 : Post Transfer Analysis

Once transfer is complete you should make sure everything is completed. For this Windows Easy Transfer tool gives you two verification report. Once That is related to user and second is related to program.

Windows 7 After Process Report

User transfer Details  will tell you how many users were transfered, documents, Program settings and System Settings.

Windows 7 after transfer User Details

Program report will give you clear details on which program you will need to be installed again.

Windows 7 Program Report on transfer

Once you complete the verification you are good to close the tool. Go to the User Accounts and you will see a new user created.

USer List After Transfer

We have a video tutorial in place, You can follow step by step instruction and do it looking at the video itself.



A Professional Tech blogger, Editor and Writer who talks about solving day to day problems of people who use computer. His expertise are in Windows 7, Microsoft Office, Software, Mobile Apps and Video Posts. You can find Ashish on , and .

39 Comments to Windows 7 : Easy Transfer Files, Users and Settings to new or same computer

  1. I would like to have more information about what control I would have over the destination of the old files on my new computer. I intend to have a SSD for the OS and a few key files, and put photos, documents, emails and the like on a HDD. Will the transfer utility allow me to do that easily?

  2. Vivian Anderson

    Dear Ashish: At 72 I am considered “not bad” at computer issues, BUT, I have a real concern regarding the following: Our OE6 is corrupted : can’t change fonts; Windows “compacts” FOLDERS & CONTACTS (unnecessarily), and on and on….so my problem is: when I get a new Dell computer including Windows 7, and when I transfer from my XP to the new computer, I fear I will be transferring the above problem with OE and undoing all the positives about getting Windows 7. How do I avoid tranferring OE6 info to the new computer, please. Thanks so much, and regards from Australia: Vivian Anderson And thank you for all your wonderful articles/information.

    • @Vivian : I would suggest you to repair the OS with the boot cd / installation cd that came along with it. All you will need is the Cd / DVD and your OS Admin password.

      You need to boot from the CD / DVD and then trigger the installation. The next point would be to look for repair option which is given as one of the option before actual installation starts.

      This will replace all your corrupt files and when you migrate to windows 7 all your files remain intact

      HTH
      Ashish

  3. I’m preparing to migrate from XP to Seven and I can’t upgrade directly,so I hope that this way works!

  4. This is useful, if only Win7 Transfer tool was BACKWARD COMPATIBLE with its own brethren. I should be able to use the old stand by tool in XP to do this transfer. Bad Development! No doughnuts for you, no bonus, and weak sales.

  5. Looking for some help on File transfer. I had XP on my laptop and did a clean install of Win 7. Before I started I ran File and Settings Transfer in XP with all intentions of being able to ‘imprt’ this information once Win 7 was loaded. To my surprise, after loading Win 7, the Win 7 tool is completely different and doesn’t recognize the XP File and Settings transfer. First of all this seems stupid. Secondly do you know of a way to load my old files and settings on the new Win 7 image?

  6. Ron and Win Admin – True, it’s not compatible with the transfer wizard on XP, but MS did give you a very simple solution. Windows will help you install the NEW transfer wizard on your XP computer.

  7. Dear all,

    I see the same problems with many of you. You MUST use the transfer tool in Windows 7 for BOTH computers. You cannot use the XP (or other operating system) transfer tool. It is outdated.

    Also, make sure your XP (or other operating system) is functioning well and is not corrupted or polluted with malware. You will only transfer your problems with your data.

    I’ve used this tool many times and as long as all is well with both machines it works great.

    Aloha,

    Scott
    MAJR Maui Computer Services

  8. I am trying to easy transfer from a dell with windors xp to windows 7 using a dynex easy transfer cable. I have windows 7 easy transfer software loaded on both but it is not working.
    any suggestions? Thanks

  9. How can I remove or delete files and programs that were transfered and downloaded on my new computer by Windows Easy Transfer? (Windows 7).

    When I transferred the files I used the advanced option and selected only certain files and programs to be transferred as I did not want all the junk. When I did download on my new computer, I found out that there were many other documents/programs that were downloaded that I did not want and I did not check. How can I clean this up?

  10. I swear I did not see a screen to enter a password when I exported my settings and files to an external drive. But now, on my new computer it is asking me for a password, and I don’t have any idea what to enter.

    Has anyone else had this experience?

  11. I’m wondering if anyone has experienced the following problem with Windows easy Transfer between PC’s? The transfer seemed to go ok but I can’t find any of my Quicken data. The new PC didn’t have Quicken installed until after the transfer was complete. When I opened the new version of Quicken, it could not find any of my old data. Where did it go? I fear it didn’t get transfered or was overwritten when I downloaded the new version of Quicken. Anyone experience this problem? Of course the old PC was aready reformated by my son before I discovered this.

  12. Hi, I am transferring data from a Windows XP laptop to a new laptop with Windows 7. I followed the instructions given by the Windows 7 wizard and copied the wizard over to my old laptop. I was able to copy my files over to a 1 Terabyte hard drive. It took about 8 hours, so I woke up in the middle of the night to turn off my old computer once the transfer was complete. The next morning I tried to complete the transfer on my new laptop. Initially, it said there were some corrupted files on my external harddrive, so I did the “automatic fix” it recommended. After that I restarted my computer and opened the wizard again. I followed the instructions in the Wizard, but the Wizard cannot find the easy transfer files on my external harddrive. When I open the hard drive manually, I can see them, but I can’t see them in the Wizard and I can’t get them to transfer.

    Has anyone else had this problem? I am self confessedly very bad at computers but I have followed all of the instructions in the Wizard and everything has worked ok until I’ve gotten to this point….

    Thanks for your help…

    • Carmen Can you send some screenshots of how you see the files when you see it manually ? If there is any setup kind of file why dont you run it by double clicking.

  13. Hello,
    Im doing a clean install from my vista 32bit to windows7 64bit and am using the easy file transfer. I go through all the motions and wen it comes time to save the files to my ext hard drive it’ll start and get a percentage of the way and then stops with a message saying the easy transfer file is corrupt.
    Does anybody have the solution to this?

  14. Is there a convenient way to transfer all user files from the Vista notebook hard drive to the new Windows 7 pc when the Vista PC is dead? I have the hard drive out in a USB enclosure and all the data is there, but I cannot install the easy transfer app on the Vista machine since it is dead.

    The Windows Mail account is one of the most important items to me. But it looks like Win7 has Windows LIVE Mail, and I’m not sure yet what the difference is.

  15. I am upgrading from 32 bit XP to Win 7 64 bit. I downloaded the easy transfer software for the XP 32 bit and transferred all my files to a jump drive. I installed Win 7 and when I tried to use the easy transfer to retrieve my files from the jump drive it said it couldn’t open them.

    Any suggestions?

  16. Hi,
    I ran the Easy transfer via network from a win xp to win7 on a brand new dell; and the transfer started but took forever. Overnight at some point the computer shut down and now when it boots it only gets to a certain point and says “Entering Power Save Mode” and the computer shuts down. Anyone have any ideas? Did it simply fail and I need to reinstall the image on the new PC again and try again?

  17. I have done this quite recently from XP to windows 7 Home edition. used the xp easy transfer wizard on to an external hard drive. but when i had to reinstall after the installation completed it would not work with the windows 7 transfer wizard, However if you double click directly on to the file created during the export, it is actually a self extracting file and should automatically begin reinstalling all your files. Worked easily for me! :)

  18. I am having the exact same problem that Cathy is having:

    Cathy said:
    I swear I did not see a screen to enter a password when I exported my settings and files to an external drive. But now, on my new computer it is asking me for a password, and I don’t have any idea what to enter.

    Has anyone figured-out a solution to this? Thanks in advance for help anyone can give me!

  19. I used the easy transfer tool from XP to W7 but I can’t understand what it has done, I have the migration report showing which files it picked up and where it put it, some are OK, but I can’t find most of the folders, or if I do it says I don’t have access to them. I am Administrator on both systems. A lot of the files it says it has transferred aren’t on the drive at all or the folder it has put them in isn’t the one it says in the migration report. It ran without incident, so I don’t know why. However, the result is a nightmare, which is going to take me days to sort out and I wished I hadn’t used the tool and just done it the old fashioned way. I’d like to reverse it but I don’t think you can, can you?

  20. I just started the easy transfer on my old computer and it is checking to see what can be transferred. It has been sitting on the same screen for over an hour. Is it locked up or has anyone else had it take this long just to see what can be transferred. I have not even started tranferring any data yet?

  21. Does anyone know if you can run Windows Easy Transfer from Bart PE or WIndows PE? I am trying to find out if it can be used to back up a profile without actually booting into Windows and I have not had any luck finding any information on it. If it is possible could you please provide a link on the how to part of it?

  22. I have same the problem as Aaron. I get a mesage saying the easy transfer file may be corrupt and to try again. I have tried many times

    I am transferring files from Windows XP to a Iomega external Hard drive. I wondered if it is a problem with the Iomega or what?

  23. Lucky Lights

    Hi,

    Does these files/settings transfer procedures also apply when you are migrating to new domain? Because currently we don’t AD here but we are planning to build one now, so my problem is, how to transfer the files and settings from old profile to new profile.

    Hope for your responce..

    Thanks

  24. I am doing a fresh windows 7 install on a new hard disk. I am using the file transfer and settings tool on my old win 7 installation on old hdd. What happens is that it takes the old user, ie me, Anil Singhvi and creates a similar user on the new installation. I dont want that. I want it to be exactly as it is, ie. one user cum administrator. Should I make the sole user on new installation exactly same when installing new Win7 so that it will merge the users? I dont want two duplicate my documets and wht not.
    thanks.
    anil.

  25. Hi Ashish
    Recently we upgraded our server to Windows 2008 R2. A shared folder on the server being used by four people. It takes very long time to open any file from network share.(eg. small excel file). I tried everything by switching off the Virus Scanner etc (Trend Micro). But users are still complaining. Any Advise?

    Regards
    Sesh

  26. Brian Mallalieu

    The first time I tried to move across my document etc. files from my old XP laptop to my new W7 laptop was after being advised by a Dell engineer to use a external HD, rather than use the WET (inspite of the new Dell laptop pointing me to it in ‘Getting started’!). In my ignorance I tried to use the backup/restore facility and the resultant mess needed a complete re-format of the HD & re-install of everything, since the system could not be restored having lost it in the process!

    So, the next time I thought I would use the WET program, having read through the accompanying guide & mistakenly assumed it would be ‘a piece of cake’ (as the program title implied). I had quite naturally assumed (reasonably in my view) that Windows would know exactly what was needed and how to do it, so leave it to them! Starting once again on my old machine, I proceeded through the initial steps and it scanned my computer, copied the files and then asked me what I wanted to transfer. After clicking ‘Customise’ it presented me with with a list of 9 groups, some of which I didn’t know whether I ought to take them over or not, so consulting the Windows Knowledge Base (WKB) article for guidance I could not find any! It did not go into such detail, just where I needed it! I then clicked ‘Advanced’ and was given the long tree of folders and files, some of which had strange long names (probably registry ones?) as well as far more files than I had expected to be asked to choose from! How did I know what to choose & what was relevant or needed, especially when the WKB article failed to explain or guide me? So, I abandoned the process to seek more help.

    Having chatted briefly to another Dell engineer & another expert friend and been advised only to take My documents, pictures, music & videos but not to take accounts, settings, desktop, and other things that were specific to my old laptop and might conflict with my new laptop settings and intentions/requirements. I then attempted another WET process on my old laptop but even though I unchecked the groups which I had been advised to I was still left in Customise/Advanced with a lot of unfamiliar filenames instead of my saved documents and emails etc. which I am accustomed to. I have come to the conclusion that the so-called ET is not easy at all, except to those who are software geeks and other experts! After making such a hash of my first attempt I am naturally wary of messing my new laptop up again. Granted that many of the basic steps are indeed easy in WET, it is the choosing stage that requires the expert know-how and where much more guidance in very simple terms is needed for dumbo’s like me! Any ideas where it can be found online, please?

  27. help me, I can’t find my downloaded song from mp3 codes, I’m using windows 7. When i open download, I can’t find their the song, so where can i find it?

  28. I backed up the win7 and winxp to a Seagate hdd. Did a back up to dvd on the win7 and a image bu to the seagate for the win7 pc. I then used the wet for my transfer. It kept stopping cuz it said some files would not transfer and I did not know what they were and couldnt find info so I skipped them. It was taking hours at this time already. There is no details to explain what we should transfer so I could not even narrow it down.

    The next day my winxp pc had shut down so I needed to reboot do to immanent hd failure. I had the seagate plugged into the win7 pc the whole time of the transfer so I went to it to make sure the files I had backed up for the pc’s were fine. I no longer had access and did not know how to get it. Now what? My windows 7 pc also wants to do a backup and it stops at 25% now instead of completing so I can’t back up my new pc anymore.

    GREAT!!! This just keeps getting better. I can get into some of the files from my old pc but others I can’t find. I did a system restore on my new pc, no good. I had to shut it down just to get the seagate unplugged cuz apparently there is a unidentified program that is using it and I can’t close it. Now I’m not sure what I want or need to do. I do know my main concern is to be able to back up my new pc. If any of you have an idea how to accomplish this, please lead the way.

  29. Easy Transfer Cable WinXP to Win7 NOT

    Used ‘customize’, unchecked all but a very few files, have done process three times. Transfers user files I intstructed it to NOT transfer and will not transfer my Opera Browser 10.xx bookmark, session and password files. (Surprise – software is by Microsoft)

    Belkin support promised a call back w/ 48 hours on Monday – is now Friday and they promise they will call back w/in 24 hours. I have no faith in Belkin and already know M$ will never give decent support to an end user.

    How do I get Microsoft’s spy files from my old computer off my new computer? How do I get the traces of old User data off my new Win7 – ‘System Restore’ doesn’t remove them.

    Summary – MicroSucks – Death to Bill & Melinda

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