Options for Moving Your Files, Apps and Personality to Windows 10 PCs

Options for Moving Your Files, Apps and Personality to Windows 10 PCs

If Windows 10 is intended to help spur the new PC market there's an obvious barrier. For those coming from Windows 7 or Windows 8 to Windows 10, you may have been used to utilizing a Microsoft-supplied program called Windows Easy Transfer. Easy Transfer has been available since Windows XP and was capable of moving accounts, pictures, music, e-mails, and documents from one Windows PC to another. And, even though the program was still available in Windows 8.1 (you had to search for it), Microsoft removed some of its functionality between the Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 releases, opting instead to force users to rely on file and user personality synching through the Cloud (OneDrive).

Windows 10, unfortunately, has no option at all to transfer personal settings and files between PCs, though you can get by. When you use Microsoft's OneDrive services for file storage, your files will be available there even when logging onto a brand new PC using your synched account. And, if you use the Windows Store for installing apps, your installs are kept in a history library and the apps can be reinstalled from there.

But, what about files you choose to store on the PC? Or, your applications that aren't part of the Windows Store?

So, what options do you have? There are options, but they all cost something.

EaseUS

EaseUS has a product called Todo PC Trans. The company offers a free version, but is limited to only transferring up to 2 applications. The next step up is Todo PCTrans Pro ($49.95) and supports unlimited applications in the transfer. Like the others listed here, Todo PC Trans can also transfer applications, music, pictures, and documents, though it's unclear if user personality, including accounts, is part of the migration. More info here: EaseUS Solutions for Windows 10

LapLink

LapLink has been around for long over three decades (wow, has it been that long?). As a young computer service technician, I used it constantly to transfer entire images across the supplied parallel port cable connection. Since those days, I've often wondered about the application's fate. LapLink's PC Mover application is still a thing, apparently, and now has support for Windows 10. PC Mover transfers files, folders, settings, user profiles, and even applications from an old PC to a new PC or operating system, including Windows 10. More info here: Which version of PCmover is right for you? Pricing for PC Mover is difficult to decipher, but the company is offering a special bundle deal right now for $89.95 that includes 2 licenses for PCmover Professional and LapLink SafeErase. However, I was contacted by the company today and they have a special deal. Version 10 of PCmover Professional is only $29.95. You can find those details here: http://pcmover.azurewebsites.net/

Zinstall

Zinstall has a product called Winwin for $119 that will use the Internet to transfer your programs, documents, music, pictures, favorites, emails, accounts, settings and all of your locally stored files. Zinstall promises that "Your new computer will feel just like the old one." Zinstall supports transfers for Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8/8.1, and Windows 10. Additionally, Zinstall offers a service to do the migration for you. More info here: Zinstall takes you to your new computer.

Service Center

If you're not comfortable using special applications and possibly hardware to migrate your personal effects to a new PC pre-installed with Windows 10, you have other options. When you buy a new PC, you can physically take your old one into the retail store and opt to have technicians there do the migration for you. This cost will vary from store-to-store, but I'm sure there will be price breaks should you decide to purchase your new PC from that particular location. Incidentally, most of these service centers use the same transfer tools listed above.

Free?

And, of course, if you have a computer geek in the family, or you're a CEO who constantly demands your IT staff's attention for personal needs, you can probably get your files and personality transferred for free.

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