Join David Rivers for an in-depth discussion in this video Transferring old files with Windows Easy Transfer, part of Windows 7 Essential Training.
Upgrading to any operating system, including Windows 7, can mean a little bit of work on your part. You will need to back up your folders and files so you can transfer them to the new operating system environment. If you're going to be moving from Windows Vista to Windows 7, there is something called Windows Easy Transfer and not only will it allow you to choose the folders and files you want to bring over, but you can copy things like User Accounts, Program Settings, Internet Settings and Favorites. Even E-mail Settings like your contacts and messages too.
Well, if you are upgrading from Windows XP, you know you are going to have to do a Custom Install, which would normally mean manually copying all of the files, and folders you want to bring across. But there is something called the Windows Easy Transfer for Windows XP. I have loaded up Internet Explorer here and I have gone to the Microsoft page where I can download Windows Easy Transfer for Windows XP. It didn't exist in XP. There was something for transferring files and settings, but it is not compatible with Windows 7. Now when you download Windows Easy Transfer for Windows XP, you can run that application on your XP computer.
Once you have run the application and you have chosen the different folders, files and settings that you want to copy over, you can then use Windows Easy Transfer in Windows 7 to bring them over and that's we are going to do. But I just want to show you that clicking the Continue button here is going to allow you to have Windows Easy Transfer on your XP machine. We will just close this up. Now there are different options for transferring your files. You can do it using a Windows Easy Transfer cable. So you could have two computers connected to each other through this cable using easy transfer, simply move the files and settings over.
But if it's the same machine that you are upgrading you will probably want to use something else, such as a CD, a DVD or like I have done, use a USB device. I plugged in a device and you can see what happens here in Window 7. AutoPlay launches the window that gives me a number of options for working with the files that are on my removable device. Well, in this case I don't actually want to do any of these things, I am just going to close it up. I want to use Easy Transfer to copy all of those files and settings that I chose in XP over to my new Windows 7 installation.
So to do that we will go to the Start button or Windows Orb and we have got this little Search field down at the bottom, I love this. All I have to do is type in the word, easy. So I don't have to go looking for the program. Look at the top. There is two programs that contain the word easy. Windows Easy Transfer, right there and Windows Easy Transfer Reports. Once you have used Easy Transfer, at least once, you will be able to go back to reports to see what happened. Well, we haven't done that yet. So we are going to go to Windows Easy Transfer and with the USB device already plugged-in, you can see from this window all of the different things I can transfer.
Now Windows 7 does bring us some new upgrades to Windows Easy Transfer that didn't exist in the old Vista version. But you can see that User accounts, Documents, Music and Pictures would be included in the number of files and folders you can move across. There is E-mail, Internet favorites, Videos and a whole lot more. We will click the Next button. Here is where we choose the way that we are doing our transfer. Remember I mentioned you could use a cable. You can also use a Network if you are connected. So if you're using one computer that you're upgrading you can copy to a network drive and then bring them back.
These two options are probably the best and allow you to transfer the most, but with an external hard disk or a USB flash drive like we have got here, it might be limited in space and may need to repeat the process a few times before you get everything moved over. So you'll choose the selection that corresponds to your transfer and now you need to choose whether or not this is the new computer or the old one. Well, the old one is the old Windows version. Like I said, I've already gone through the download of the XP version of Windows Easy Transfer.
I have chosen the files and settings that I want. They are on my USB drive. This is my new computer. So that's the one I am going to select and at the very top, Has Windows Easy Transfer already saved your files from your old computer? So if you haven't done that like I already have, your option then would be No and it would step you through the process of backing up all the stuff that you want to bring across to Windows 7. If the answer is Yes, it's already selected, click once to choose. Well, there is my removable disk right down there. With it selected, I'll click Open and you can see there is one file here and it's just named automatically as I hover over.
It is an Easy Transfer File. You can see the date it was modified and the size. So I select that. It now appears in the File name field and I can click Open. Now you can see it's copying the Easy Transfer files. This may take a moment. It all depends on how much you are transferring. One neat thing about Easy Transfer is you can also protect all of that information that you're putting on a removable drive. So to be more secure, I added a password and I need to enter that password here to be able to access those files.
This way I know that only I know the password and nobody else could get access to those files and settings. So now I get to choose what I want to transfer to this computer. It's going to show me everything I have chose and I have got some Shared Items. I've got one of the User Accounts with some of those user settings. They are both checked off by default. If you selected more you are going to see the full list here in the screen. All you have to do now is click Transfer and you can see Easy Transfer file size. There it is, 160 megs in my case, and you'll see the progress as those files are being transferred.
Remember, it's not just files and folders. It could be any program settings you chose. User accounts like we have here for Karen. It could be program settings. It could be your favorites for example, in Internet Explorer. So they are going to show up as well. Once they are all transferred you can see what was transferred or simply close. To show what was transferred again, you can see there are a number of documents and if you want to see those documents click Details and one user account. So clicking Details here is going to show me that it's the user account called Karen and it's transferred to a new user account called Karen here in Windows 7.
That's created for me. I don't have to do any of that. So I am going to close this up. This is the Windows Easy Transfer Report. If at any time I want to go back to that and after I have closed up Windows Easy Transfer remember, we can go to the Start button or Windows Orb. Type in the word 'easy'. This time we are going to choose Windows Easy Transfer Reports. If you need to get permission click Yes, and there it is. That's the last report and I can go back to any of these details if I need to look at the different files and so on, save the report.
It's already been saved, I am going to close it up and I am going to close up Windows Easy Transfer Reports and I am ready to continue now in Windows 7 having transferred everything I need for my old XP account.
- Running Windows XP programs within a Windows 7 installation Accessing favorites quickly through jump lists Establishing user settings through Windows Explorer Setting up a home network with Homegroup Displaying similar sites with suggestions in Internet Explorer 8 Syncing photos on two computers with Live Sync
Skill Level Beginner
Q: Is there a way to share files and printers between computers on network running Windows XP and Windows 7 without using the HomeGroup share method of Windows 7, since XP does not have this feature?
A: While Windows XP does not support the new HomeGroup found in Windows 7, there is another way to share files and printers between the two operating systems. There are a number of steps to follow, but they are all listed here: www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-7/share-files-and-printers-between-windows-7-and-xp/
Q: Is it possible for a computer running Windows XP to join a Windows 7 HomeGroup?
A: Unfortunately, only Windows 7 supports HomeGroup. If the Windows XP computer must connect with the Windows 7 computer, there are have two options:
1. Upgrade the XP machine to Windows 7 and joining will be no problem.
2. Change the Windows 7 HomeGroup to a regular Workgroup and the XP machine will be able to connect to it.
Here are the steps to changing a HomeGroup to a Workgroup:
- On the Windows 7 computer, click the Start button at the bottom left of the screen.
- Go to the Control Panel and choose Network and Sharing Center.
- Click the link for "View your active networks.”
- In the next window choose "Work network." That will switch the group from a HomeGroup to a Workgroup so the two computers can talk to each other. However, the same workgroup name and share folders in Explorer must be assigned to both computers before they can be networked.