Win 10 migration tips


New Member
So once again, as throughout the history of windows, I need a fresh install. This time I actually care that all my applications / windows settings and user data are migrated as well after the fresh install of windows 10 pro on a new SSD. My current install is on a traditional laptop 2.5 disk but somehow it got de-activated and Iv lost the key ages ago.
Why am I not amazed that this task hasn't got any easier over the 26 years of windows! This will be my last one hopefully as will be switching to LInux for good!

So my questions.
What are the best FREE tools needed to get all my stuff from existing install to fresh install on SSD, which I have attatched externally via USB device, that will -

1) transfer installed applications
2) transfer application data / user data
3) transfer windows settings

What are the best tried and tested free apps that can assist in this Super time consuming task?

I have used" backup / restore for win 7" (on win 10), had a play with it and managed to trasfer user data to new system but as expected it didn't do anything like Id hoped, cant even see my docs / downloads in respective folders!

The system image didn't work either as it seems the shadow copy needs more space even tho I have 270Gb free on destination and 76Gb free on source (system c:) and it takes forever only to say it didn't work. ( which again I expected through decades of using windows)

I dont mind doing a bit of leg work if I can get the majority of tasks completed automatically but as always with windows its such a chore Im leaning towards setting everything up again manually just for the peace of mind that it all works, rather than spend weeks debugging why stuff don't work.
I have alot of IDEs, SDKs, VSC, VS, compilers all sorts that I could do without re-installing manually but I have very little confindence that a program can migrate this stuff without causing more grief.

What opinions / advice can you suggest?
Many thanks