Transferring Windows 7 to Windows 8

[ad]Dear Computer Lady,

What is the easiest way to transfer everything from my old HP Windows 7 laptop to my new HP ENVY with Windows 8.1?

Right now I am using both computers because I can’t seem to decide the best way to do the transfer.

Thanks for all you do for us.


Dear Charlotte,

This is actually a hard question to answer because it really depends on what “everything” means to you.

When I transfer files to a new computer for my customers, the first thing that I need to do is find out what they use their computer for, and what they have for information on the computer that they need transferred. We usually spend some time talking about the programs installed on their computer, and what they use the computer for.

I have seen too many cases where the customer paid to have everything backed up or transferred, only to find that “everything” did not include all the items that were important to them.

If you are transferring just the basic folders like, documents, pictures, music and favorites, you can just drag those folders to a thumb drive, or external hard drive, then drag them to the same location on the new computer.

If you are transferring things like email messages, and your address book, you have to do a little bit of investigating to find out where the program keeps your files. It is different for each email program. There are also a few other programs the people sometimes use that keep files in locations other than the standard, Documents, folder.

The easiest and best way to transfer files from your old computer to the new one, is to find someone who will take the time to learn what is important to you, and then transfer the files for you. While there are programs and devices out there that claim they can transfer files from one computer to the next, I have not found any that will do the job exactly as you need it done. Most either transfer too much, or too little.



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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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