Best Way To Copy Programs and Files To New Computer

Dear Computer Lady,

I am upgrading from a Windows 7 computer to a Windows 10 computer.

What is the best way to copy programs and file to the new computer?

Thanks, Jerry

Dear Jerry,

The best way to move from an old to a new computer depends on what you have on your old computer that you need to transfer.
This is actually something that I do for my customers quite frequently, so the best way would be to give me a call if you live nearby.

If you don’t live nearby, here are my best suggestions:

1. You can’t transfer programs from one computer to another. If you have Microsoft Office, for example, you will need to install it on the new computer. You can install your programs from the original disks if you have them, or many programs now can be downloaded from their website as long as you have the proper login credentials (username and password), or product key.

2. If you have a backup software program like Acronis, you should be able to backup your user folders (like documents, pictures, music, etc) on the old computer, then run Acronis on the new computer and restore those files.

3. If you are really good with Windows File Explorer, you can drag those user folders to an external drive and drag and drop them into place on the new computer.

4. If you have an online email address, (for example, Gmail, Hotmail, you don’t need to transfer anything, all your data is stored online.

5. If you use a local program to access your email, (Windows Live Mail, Outlook, Thunderbird, etc.) you will need to figure out how to transfer that particular program’s data files from the old to new computer. Some are easy (Like Thunderbird) and some are so hard (Windows Live Mail) they give me headaches.



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Elizabeth Boston is a Web designer, Social Media Consultant and managing editor of, “Ask The Computer Lady”.
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