Options For Migrating To Windows 7

Many people avoid migrating to the latest version of Windows because the thought of moving all their settings and files seems like a daunting task. Fortunately, Microsoft provides two different technologies that make it easy to move data from previous versions of Windows to Windows 7. These tools are Windows Easy Transfer and User State Migration Tool 4.0.

Windows Easy Transfer

Windows Easy Transfer was included with Windows Vista, but the version in Windows 7 contains several enhancements. You would use Windows Easy Transfer when you want to move data for all of the users on a single computer to a new computer.

You can use Windows Easy Transfer can use it to transfer the following components between computers:

  • User accounts
  • Email
  • Documents
  • Internet favorites
  • Music / videos
  • Pictures>

User State Migration Tool 4.0

In cases where you need to migrate many computers to Windows 7, you can use the User State Migration Tool (USMT). It provides fast and flexible options for migrating user profiles and data from one operating system to another

The User State Migration Tool will migrate the following components:

  • Each user profile including folders, desktop files, Start Menu, Quick launch settings, and Favorites
  • Email messages, settings and contacts
  • Photos, music, and videos
  • Files and folders
  • Internet Settings
  • Program data files and settings
  • Access control lists
  • Selected user accounts


Article Written by

  • Eric Solash

    Diana – Do you have any advice for us XP users who will need to reformat rather than “transfer” any old information/

  • Andrew Hargreave

    Go check out PCMover at http://www.laplink.com. The current version requires you to take an “image” of the XP system and store it on an external USB drive, install Win7 by reformatting the drive and installing. The last step is to install PCMover and then have it import the XP machine into Win7. I did this process on my Acer Netbook and it brought over every program and file perfectly except for my wireless network settings and printer setups. Office, Adobe, etc all ran perfectly.

    The coming version of PCMover will do an in-place upgrade from XP to Win7. (No..I don’t work for Laplink..I’ve just used PCmover many times over the years to save clients the pain and expense of reinstalling everything when they upgrade.)