Transfer files from another computer

If you are replacing an older Windows-based computer with a computer running Windows Vista Starter, you might want to transfer personal files from your old computer to the new one. Examples of files you can transfer include:

  • Documents, music, pictures, and videos

  • E‑mail address book (contacts) and e‑mail messages

  • Internet favorites

Because there's no way to automatically transfer files in Windows Vista Starter, you'll need to manually transfer (or copy) them from your old computer to the new one. Follow these steps:

  1. Choose a transfer method.

    • If your new computer and old computer are both on the same network, you can copy the files to a shared folder (such as the Public folder) on the old computer.

    • You can use a type of removable storage, such as a writeable CD or DVD, a floppy disk, an external hard disk, or a USB flash drive.

    • If you have an Internet connection, you can e‑mail the files to yourself or copy them to an Internet-based file storage service. If you e‑mail the files, you might want to compress them first, because very large files can be stopped by some e‑mail systems. See Compress and uncompress files.

    Be sure to choose a method that works on both computers. For example, if you don't have a DVD drive on your old computer, you can't use DVDs for the transfer. If you use an external hard disk, make sure its cable is compatible with both computers.

  2. If you're using a writeable CD, DVD, or floppy disk, insert it into the old computer. If you're using an external hard disk or USB flash drive, plug it into the old computer.

  3. Copy the files from your old computer.

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    To copy documents, music, pictures, and videos from your old computer

    1. On the old computer, click Start, and then click My Documents.

    2. Select the documents or folders that you want to copy. Hold down CTRL as you click to select multiple items. Or, press CTRL+A to select everything in the My Documents folder.

      To copy your music, pictures, or videos, select the My Music, My Pictures, or My Videos folders.

    3. Click the Edit menu, and then click Copy.

    4. Click Start, click My Computer, and then double-click the icon for the removable storage (CD, DVD, floppy disk, external hard disk, or USB flash drive) that you are using for the transfer. Or, if you are using a shared folder on your old computer, open the folder.

    5. Click the Edit menu of the removable storage or shared folder, and then click Paste.

    6. Repeat these steps for any other documents or folders that you want to copy.

    To copy your e‑mail address book (contacts)

    To copy your e‑mail address book (contacts), check the information in your e‑mail program for instructions about how to export the address book to a file. Then save the file to the removable storage or shared folder you are using for the transfer.

    In Microsoft Outlook Express, you can export the address book by following these steps:

    1. Open Outlook Express.

    2. Click the Tools menu, and then click Address Book.

    3. Click the Edit menu in Address Book, click Select All, right-click any of the selected contacts, and then click Copy.

    4. Click the Edit menu of the removable storage or shared folder that you are using for the transfer, and then click Paste.

    To copy e‑mail messages

    • To copy e‑mail messages from your old computer, check the information in your e‑mail program for instructions about how to export e‑mail messages to a file. Then save the file to the removable storage or shared folder that you are using for the transfer.

      If you can't export your e‑mail messages to a file:

      • You can forward individual messages to your e‑mail address, and then use your new computer to retrieve the messages.

      • You can save individual messages as files. Open the message. Click the File menu, click Save As, and then save it to the removable storage or shared folder that you are using for the transfer. After you copy the message to your new computer, double-click any message to open it in your e‑mail program.

    To copy Internet favorites

    1. On your old computer, open Internet Explorer.

    2. Click the File menu, click Import and Export, and then follow the instructions in the Import/Export wizard for exporting favorites.

    3. Save the exported favorites as Bookmark.htm to the storage location you are using for the transfer.

    Note

    • For information about exporting favorites from other web browsers, check the information that came with the web browser.

  4. If you're using a type of removable storage, move it from the old computer to the new computer.

  5. Copy the files to your new computer.

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    To copy documents, music, pictures, and videos to your new computer

    1. Click the Start button Picture of the Start button, ‍and then click Computer‍‍‍.
    2. In the Computer folder, double-click the removable storage that you are using for the transfer. Or, if you are using a shared folder, open the folder.

    3. Select the documents you copied from your old computer. Hold down CTRL as you click to select multiple items.

    4. Click the Edit menu, and then click Copy.

    5. Click the Start button Picture of the Start button, ‍and then click Documents‍‍‍.
    6. Click the Edit menu, and then click Paste.

      Repeat these steps for music, pictures, or videos that you copied from your old computer. Be sure to move them into the Music, Pictures, or Videos folders instead of the Documents folder.

    To import your e‑mail address book (contacts)

    To import e‑mail messages

    To import Internet favorites