Transferring Data with Windows Easy Transfer to a New Computer

After we have shown how to backup your data for transfer with Windows Easy Transfer, it is time to show how to restore it on a new computer and/or Windows operating system. This tutorial will show how it is done, including some advanced configuration items, and also share the prerequisites required for the transfer to work. Ready? Let's start!

Prerequisites - Have the Data Ready!

Depending on how you have backed up your data, make sure you have it available. For example, I used an external hard disk for the transfer. Before starting the transfer, I need to plug it in, and wait for Windows 7 to detect it and install it.

If you are using an Easy Transfer Cable for Windows, make sure both computers are turned on, you are logged in on both and the cable connects the two computers.

The Windows Easy Transfer Wizard

First, open Windows Easy Transfer, as shown in our previous tutorial: What is Windows Easy Transfer & How to Backup Your Data for Transfer.

When ready to start, click Next.

You are now asked to select which transfer method you want to use. Select it. For this tutorial, I needed to click on "An external hard disk or USB flash drive".

You are asked which computer you are using now. Click on "This is my new computer".

You are asked if Windows Easy Transfer already saved your files from the old computer. Click Yes. A stupid question if you ask me. I guess, Microsoft prefers to be safe than sorry and double check people really made their backups. :)

Now you are asked to open the Easy Transfer File where your data was backed up. Browse to its location, select it and click Open. The file you are looking for will have the extension ".mig"/

Most probably, when making the backup you added a password, for safety. Type that password and click Next.

Now Windows Easy Transfer spends some time opening the file. Depending on its size, it might take a while.

When done, you are shown a summary of the files and settings found in the backup. Click on Customize to see more details.

If you want to customize in detail what gets restored from your backup and what not, click on Advanced and, select only the folders you want restored, just like you did when creating the backup.

Before going forward, you can find other advanced customization options by clicking on Advanced Options, as shown below.

In the Advanced Options window, you can map user accounts between the old computer/operating system to the new one. If the user accounts defined on the old computer and the new one are different, you must make this mapping so that the restore process is done as you need.

In the Map drives tab of the Advanced Options window, you can map the drives between the old and new computer or operating system. The idea here is, if on the old computer or the new one, Windows is installed on a drive with a different letter, then you should make this mapping. If both used "C:" as the drive letter, you do not need to do anything. When done making all the settings, click Save.

You are back to the Windows Easy Transfer window. Click Transfer and the process starts. If you need to restore lots of data and settings, please be patient. This will take a while.

When the process is complete, you are notified. You can click Close to finish or select any of the two available options, which will show reports with data about the transfer.

These reports contain lots of info and are not that easy to understand. That's why we will create and share a tutorial about them in the new few days.


As you can see, transferring the data is not very difficult. You need to pay a bit of attention to the mappings you make and be willing to wait for the transfer to finish. However, you won't need to wait as much as you did for the backup. For more tips and tricks about Windows Easy Transfer, check out the articles recommended below.