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Transferring Files with Windows Easy Transfer



This article provides information on "Transferring data with Windows Easy Transfer"


With Windows Easy Transfer, you can transfer your information from one computer to another, including user accounts, files, folders, photos, music, and videos, and, depending on the operating system, email messages, contacts, Windows and Internet settings, and Internet favorites. Software programs are not transferred. Windows Easy Transfer cannot transfer files between a 64-bit version of Windows and a 32-bit version of Windows. Instead, files need to be transferred manually using external storage devices.

Different methods of transferring data between computers

Using a USB Easy Transfer Cable

To use this method, connect the USB Easy Transfer Cable on both computers. Always start Windows Easy Transfer on the new computer using Windows 7 first and follow the on-screen instructions. If the old computer is using a different Windows operating system, Easy Transfer will display instructions on how to download the Windows Easy Transfer software to the other computer, and will guide you through the transfer process.

Using a home or small business network

When using this method, both computers must be connected to the same home or business network. On your new computer, start Windows Easy Transfer and then follow the on-screen instructions.

To prevent loss or damaged data, do not start Windows Easy Transfer on your old computer first.

To transfer files directly over a network without copying to and from a network location, a Windows Easy Transfer key is necessary. The key helps protect files and settings when you transfer them over the network.

Using a USB flash drive or external hard drive

When using this method, Windows Easy Transfer estimates how much disk space is needed on the USB flash drive or an external hard drive to transfer your selections.

If you are using a USB flash drive, try to use one with enough storage space for the entire transfer. If you do not have enough storage space on the USB flash drive for the entire transfer, copy as many files as possible and then repeat the process until you have transferred all of your files and settings.

Using CDs or DVDs

When using this method, Windows Easy Transfer estimates how much disk space and now many CD/DVD discs are necessary for transferring your selections. Both computers must be able to read and write the same type of CD/DVD format.

Starting Windows Easy Transfer

After logging onto the user account with administrator rights and choosing a method for transferring your data between two computers, start Windows Easy Transfer by using the one of following methods, and then follow the on-screen instructions.

  • Click Start, type easy into the Search field, and then select Windows Easy Transfer from the list.
  • Click Start, All Programs, Accessories, System Tools, and then Windows Easy Transfer.
  • Click Start, Help and Support, type easy into the Search field and then press enter . A list of results displays. Select an Easy Transfer topic from the list.

Windows Easy Transfer is installed by default on Windows Vista and 7, but not on XP or earlier. You can install Easy Transfer Wizard using a external storage disks (USB drive or external hard drive when prompted in the Window in the image below. When transferring files from an old computer (with Windows Vista OS / Windows 7 OS / if you have installed the Windows Easy Transfer Wizard) you may select "It is already installed it on my old computer" and proceed with the onscreen instructions.

Transferring using an USB easy transfer cable

Transferring files and settings using the USB Easy Transfer Cable requires that the cable be connected between both the old and new computer.

Transferring under a Home or Small Business Network

You have the option to use a network to transfer large quantities of files and settings to another computer with one simple process. Make sure you have logged into the old and new computers with administrator authority. On each computer connect an Ethernet cable to a router so that they share the same network. Start Windows Easy Transfer on both computers. On each computer, indicate "Which computer are you using now?" you will be prompted to enter a Windows Easy Transfer key provided by the old computer also running the Windows Easy Transfer feature. After entering the key, you will have the option to customize which data and settings you would like to transfer.

Transferring Using a USB Flash drive or External Hard drive

You have the option to use a USB drive or external hard drive, or CD/DVD Drive to transfer files and settings from your old computer onto your new computer. Make sure that there is enough space on the drive to complete the transfer. This will avoid repeating transfers.

This method is best for upgrading from Windows XP/Vista to Windows 7.

1 - CD/DVD Drive

2 - USB Drive

Completing file transfer

After you have followed the onscreen instructions for the method you choose to use on Windows Easy Transfer, you can click Customize to decide what specific files and settings you would like to have transferred from your computer.

The Protected Content Migration window will appear after you have customized and clicked Transfer. You will be prompted to enter the password of the account being transferred. This is to protect the files from being transferred without the owner's permission.

Your customized transfer will be complete once you have finished the process and should be able to access the files and settings that were transferred.


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Quick Tips content is self-published by the Dell Support Professionals who resolve issues daily. In order to achieve a speedy publication, Quick Tips may represent only partial solutions or work-arounds that are still in development or pending further proof of successfully resolving an issue. As such Quick Tips have not been reviewed, validated or approved by Dell and should be used with appropriate caution. Dell shall not be liable for any loss, including but not limited to loss of data, loss of profit or loss of revenue, which customers may incur by following any procedure or advice set out in the Quick Tips.

Article ID: SLN288708

Last Date Modified: 11/17/2016 04:11 AM


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