Using Microsoft Windows Easy Transfer Software for Upgrading to a Windows 7 or 8 Computer

Editor’s Note: For owners of the Plugable Windows Transfer Cable, we no longer recommend using the Microsoft Windows Easy Transfer Software mentioned in this post. Instead, we recommend using the Bravura Easy Computer Sync software that comes with the Plugable Windows Transfer cable. It works between all Windows versions XP and higher, both 32- and 64-bit and has a wider range of features. If you have any questions, please contact us at support@plugable.com

Although Microsoft has removed support in Windows 8.1 for upgrading to a new computer using a Windows transfer cable with the Windows Easy Transfer software, that software still offers the easiest and most automated method for upgrading to a Windows 7 or 8 computer. This blog post gives instructions for doing that.

Microsoft’s Windows Easy Transfer software is built into Windows 7 and Windows 8 and is available as a free download when using a Windows XP (SP2 or higher required) or Windows Vista computer as the source. It provides a step-by-step interface for migrating Windows user account settings and files from an old PC to a Windows 7 or 8 computer. With Plugable’s Windows transfer cable and Microsoft’s Windows Easy Transfer software, you can migrate in the following scenarios:

  • From a Windows XP SP2 (or higher) or Windows Vista PC to a Windows 7 or Windows 8 PC
  • From one Windows 7 PC to another
  • From  a Windows 7 PC to a Windows 8 PC
  • From one Windows 8 PC to another

Please note that the Windows Easy Transfer software does not support using the Windows transfer cable in Windows 8.1, or upgrading from a 64-bit version of Windows to a 32-bit version of Windows. It also does not work if the target computer has Windows XP or Vista. For instructions on using the Bravura Easy Computer Sync software to upgrade in these scenarios, see here.

1.Before getting started with the cable, install the latest drivers for the older PC if it is running Windows XP or Vista. Go to  http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/products/features/windows-easy-transfer and download the drivers for your edition of XP or Vista. Run Windows Update on the target computer, and also on the source computer if it uses Windows 7 or 8.

2. Plug the Windows transfer cable into a free USB port on each of the PCs (use a USB 2.0 port if possible to ensure the best connection speeds). Windows will attempt to recognize the cable. If you experience any errors at this point, email us at support@plugable.com. If all goes well, continue to the next step.

3. Now you need to open Microsoft’s Windows Easy Transfer software.

If you’re running Windows XP SP2 (or higher) or Windows Vista, an autorun option will give you the opportunity to launch the Windows Easy Transfer software if it’s installed. If it’s not, you’ll install it on the PC in a later step.

If you’re running Windows 7 or 8, Microsoft’s Windows Easy Transfer will open on screen when your Windows transfer cable is plugged in:

Windows Easy Transfer welcome screen

If you’re running Windows 8, you may need type Windows Easy Transfer into your Start screen, then click the Windows Easy Transfer icon to launch it.

Windows 8 search results screen

4. On the new PC, you’ll select whether this is the new or old computer. Select New and continue.

Windows Easy Transfer computer selection

5. On the new computer, you’ll be asked if you’re going to need to install Windows Easy Transfer on the old computer. You should already have addressed this in step No. 1, so select the appropriate answer from “I already installed it” or “My old computer is running Windows 7.”

Windows Easy Transfer installation options

6. On the old computer, make sure Windows Easy Transfer is running and select that you already installed in on the old computer.

7. At this stage, the Windows Easy Transfer software will connect the computers. If you get stuck at this point, see this blog post.

Windows Easy Transfer initial connection between two computers

From this point forward, you will make all your decisions on the new computer.

8. On the new PC, the Windows Easy Transfer software lets you choose what you want to pull from the old computer and how you want the synchronization to occur.

The “Customize” option lets you select which file folders and settings to synchronize onto the new PC.

Windows Easy Transfer data sync options
Choosing “Advanced” from this menu allows you to select specific files to transfer rather than the whole folder.

Back in the main window, the “Advanced Options…” link lets you decide whether to pull the whole user account associated with the files and settings from the old PC to the new PC or to merge it into an account already on the new PC.

Windows Easy Transfer account merge options

From the “Map drives” tab in this window you can determine where on the new PC the files will be transferred, if you don’t want them to be placed in the same file path as they had on the old PC. Occasionally, Windows Easy Transfer mistakes a computer’s recovery partition for its main drive and issues an error that not enough space is available on the target drive. If this happens, use the Map drives tab to set the correct target partition.

9. Once you decide what you want to copy from the old computer to the new computer, choose “Transfer” and watch the progress as the data is migrated. When it’s finished, you’ll get the chance to see what was transferred. This may take several hours, depending on how much data is on the old computer.

Another useful feature in this final window is an option to see what programs were installed on your old PC that you might want to install on your new PC.

Windows Easy Transfer reporting screen

This is helpful since the Windows Easy Transfer software moves documents and account settings but not your installed apps. With this feature, you can see what you will need to re-install on your new PC to match your old PC’s functionality.

Windows Easy Transfer list of programs on the old PC

10. You now can close the Windows Easy Transfer software on both computers and disconnect the Windows transfer cable.

If You Need Help
We’ve tried to cover the basics of how you can make the most of your Plugable USB-EASY-TRAN Windows transfer cable when using Windows Easy Transfer to upgrade to a Windows 7 or 8 computer.

Feel free to comment here or write us at support@plugable.com.

14 comments on “Using Microsoft Windows Easy Transfer Software for Upgrading to a Windows 7 or 8 Computer”

  1. Mary Kristensen Reply

    will this work for a 16bit program ( Rent-Right ) can it work on w 7 or w 8 I have not been aBLE TO GET AN UNLOCK CODE from the company that bought rent right and I have 9 years of business records on there
    I am desperate

    • Bernie Thompson Bernie Thompson Reply

      Hi Mary – No, unfortunately this is only for transferring data — this cable and software will not transfer applications. Unfortunately, we’re not aware of a good solution out there for moving apps, so we don’t have another good option to recommend. You’ll need to get that unlock code from the company that wrote the software. Sorry for the bad news!

  2. Denis Reply

    I am transferring between two windows 8.1 laptops. When I open WET I do not get asked if this is the old of new PC. It just asks “Have you already used WET to save your files from your other PC. If YES – connect the USB drive. No – go to other PC

    • Gary Zeller Reply

      Hi Denis – With the Windows 8.1 update, Microsoft unfortunately removed much of the “Windows Easy Transfer” (WET) functionality. Specifically, the program no longer supports file transfers and automated data/account/settings migration between two systems via a transfer cable such as ours. With the purchase of our Windows Transfer Cable, we include a license for Bravura Easy Computer Sync software, which allows for drag and drop data transfer between two machines using the transfer cable, though it does not support the automatic migration/integration features that were available with WET.

  3. Adam Reply

    Is it still possible to transfer between Windows 7 and 8.1 using a network connection?

  4. Mark Robinson Reply

    Make sure you have identical user names from the outset on both machines so outlook can fine the correct file location for your emails and email account settings.

  5. Gene Weinmann Reply

    I’m transferring from a windows 7 home premium computer to a new windows 7 professional computer. Does your software and cable transfer program settings and user account settings as Windows 7 Easy Transfer software claims to do?

    • Gary Zeller Reply

      Hi, Gene – The “Bravura Easy Computer Sync” software does not transfer/migrate account settings. However, since you will be transferring between two Windows 7 systems (rather than a system with Windows 8.1), you can certainly forgo using the Bravura software and use the Windows Easy Transfer software instead if you’d prefer to do so. (Though please be aware that even when using Windows Easy Transfer, the program settings migration functionality is still rather limited as far as what programs are supported, and what is migrated.)

  6. dec Reply

    hi we have lost the Windows Easy Transfer on the new Windows 7 machine ? how can we get this back on it please’ it keeps saying its not on the pc any more

    • Bernie Thompson Bernie Thompson Reply

      Thanks for posting – no problem. Just visit http://plugable.com/easy-transfer to get a link to where to re-download software. You’ll use the same product key you received in email when the product shipped – it’s uniquely matched to your Amazon order number, and good for use with any number of computers and the USB cable from that order. If the email has been lost, just email support@plugable.com providing your Amazon order number and ask for your product key. Hope that helps. Thanks and best wishes!

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