Demo: Transferring files and settings from another computer

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Windows Easy Transfer is a simple way to transfer files and settings from an old computer to a Windows Vista computer. This demo shows you what kind of information you can transfer, how to prepare for a transfer, and an overview of the process.

Read the transcript

You can transfer files and settings from one Windows computer to another by using a tool called Windows Easy Transfer. To use this tool, your old computer must be running Windows 2000, Windows XP, or Windows Vista, and your new computer must be running Windows Vista.

To find Windows Easy Transfer, click Start, and then type Windows Easy Transfer in the Search box.

Before we start, let's look at what you can transfer. You can transfer:

  • User accounts, which include passwords and personalized settings.

  • Files and folders, including documents, photos, and music.

  • Other information, such as Internet favorites, e-mail messages, and program settings.

During a transfer, you won't be deleting anything from your old computer.

Now let's look at the steps to get ready for a transfer:

  • First, log on as an administrator on both computers.

  • Next, install any programs you'll need on the new computer. This is because you can transfer program settings, but not the programs that use them.

  • You'll also need to install Windows Easy Transfer on your old computer. To do this, go to your new computer and use Windows Easy Transfer to guide you through the installation process.

Now you'll need to decide how you want to transfer information:

  • If the computers are close together, and they both have USB ports, you can use a specially designed USB cable called the "Easy Transfer Cable." You can order this cable online or from your computer manufacturer, or purchase one at an electronics store.

  • If both computers are on a network and can access the same folder, you can use a network folder.

  • You can also use a CD, DVD, or other removable media.

Now that you've made the necessary preparations, you're ready for a transfer.

To start a transfer, make sure that Windows Easy Transfer is running on both computers.

On your new computer follow the steps to choose the method of transfer...like this.

Next, go to your old computer and select the same method for transferring information, and then follow the steps to choose what you want to transfer...like this.

Check to make sure that the information about to be transferred is correct, make changes if necessary, and then start the transfer.

The time it takes to complete a transfer will depend on how you choose to transfer information and how much information you are transferring.

By using Windows Easy Transfer, you'll soon have all of the information you need on your new Windows Vista computer.