Windows 10 User migration from one PC to another, preserving data and preferences


Active Member
Aug 24, 2022
I am wondering, what tool I should use, if I replace one PC with a newer one, to transfer the entire user experience from older system to the newer one. This should include all the app preferences and OS environment customizations to the extent possible. Is there a utility for that? I should note that the user ID belongs to a third party. In other words, I have no control over how it is configured.

I come from the macOS world, where Migration Assistant has done that job spectacularly well for many years now. That's my benchmark. I am hoping for something similar in the Windows world.
Definitely use USMT but do get free updated XML files from EhlerTech, as they deliver a much better result than the original XML files coming together with USMT.

Also, if you're not info fiddling in a Windows command line, you can make a shortcut by using the USMT GUI from EhlerTech.
USMTGUI is really easy to use but not free.
In the Windows world, you can use the built-in utility called "Windows Easy Transfer" to transfer the entire user experience from an older system to a newer one. This utility allows you to transfer files, settings, user accounts, and other data from one Windows-based computer to another.

To use Windows Easy Transfer, you'll need to have both the old and new computers connected to the same network. You can transfer the data using a network connection, or you can use an external hard drive or USB flash drive to transfer the data.

Here are the steps to use Windows Easy Transfer:

  1. On the old computer, open Windows Easy Transfer. You can do this by clicking the Start button, typing "Windows Easy Transfer" in the search box, and then selecting the Windows Easy Transfer app.
  2. Follow the prompts to select the data you want to transfer. You can choose to transfer user accounts, documents, music, pictures, videos, and other files.
  3. Once you've selected the data, you'll be prompted to save the transfer file. You can save the file to an external hard drive, USB flash drive, or network location.
  4. On the new computer, open Windows Easy Transfer and follow the prompts to transfer the data from the transfer file you created on the old computer.
  5. Once the transfer is complete, you'll be able to log in to the new computer using the same user account and settings as on the old computer.
It's important to note that WindowsEasy Transfer is only available in Windows 7 and earlier versions. If you're using Windows 8, 8.1, or 10, you can use the built-in "File History" feature to transfer files and settings. However, this won't transfer user accounts or app preferences.

Alternatively, you can use third-party migration tools such as Laplink PCmover, EaseUS Todo PCTrans, or Zinstall WinWin. These tools offer more advanced features than Windows Easy Transfer, such as transferring installed applications, drivers, and even the operating system to the new computer. However, they may come with a cost and may require more technical expertise.
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