Windows Easy Transfer
|A component of Microsoft Windows|
Windows Easy Transfer running on Windows 8.
|Included with||Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1|
|Also available for||Windows XP|
|Replaces||Files and Settings Transfer Wizard|
|Replaced by||PCmover Express, Zinstall Easy Transfer|
|User State Migration Tool|
Windows Easy Transfer was a specialized file transfer program developed by Microsoft which allows users of the Windows operating system to transfer personal files and settings from a computer running an earlier version of Windows to a computer running a newer version.
Windows Easy Transfer was introduced in Windows Vista and is included in the Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1 operating systems. It replaces the Files and Settings Transfer Wizard included with Windows XP and offers limited migration services for computers running Windows 2000 Service Pack 4 and Windows XP Service Pack 2. It does not transfer applications, only files and most settings. If you transfer files containing malicious software from your old computer, that software can be transferred to your new computer. You should run antivirus and spyware protection programs at all times, especially on your old computer, before you select files to transfer. After you've transferred files to your new computer, run those programs on the new computer to make sure that no malicious software was transferred.
The Windows Easy Transfer program was discontinued in Windows 10. Microsoft has chosen to provide a free version of Laplink's PCmover Express as an alternative to WET. A paid alternative is Zinstall Easy Transfer (Zinstall also allows to transfer programs, in addition to files).
For Windows 2000, Microsoft had developed the User State Migration Tool command line utility that allowed users of Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows NT 4.0 to migrate their data and settings to the newer operating system; the command-line tool did not provide a graphical user interface. An additional migration tool, titled Files and Settings Transfer Wizard, was developed for Windows XP. FSTW was designed to assist users of the operating system in migrating their data and settings from Windows 98 and Windows Me. FSTW could be launched from the Windows XP CD-ROM and presented options to transfer data and settings via a direct cable connection, a 3.5 inch floppy, a zip disk, or a network connection. Moreover, an option to create a wizard disk was available that could be used to initiate the migration process on an earlier system.
A preliminary version of Windows Easy Transfer was demonstrated during the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference by Jim Allchin in 2004 as the successor to the Files and Settings Transfer Wizard, and was scheduled for the next client version of the Windows operating system, Windows Vista, then known as Windows "Longhorn." As with the final release, this version of the application was intended to optionally use an specialized USB cable to transfer data between personal computers.
- Data files and folders
For transferring from Windows versions later than Windows 2000:
- User accounts and their settings
- Windows and application configuration data stored in files or in the Windows Registry
As of Windows 8.1, Easy Transfer can no longer export data to another computer, but can still open files created on an earlier version of Windows.
Windows Easy Transfer does not support transferring installed applications. For transferring certain supported applications from Windows XP to Windows Vista, Microsoft had planned to release a supplementary Windows Easy Transfer Companion application, but the application remained as a perpetual beta during development and a final version was never released. 3rd party commercial products such as Zinstall Easy Transfer have since appeared on the market and are able to deliver application transfer among their functionality.
Several transfer methods can be used:
- An Easy Transfer Cable (not supported on Windows 8.1)
- A computer network
- A CD recorder or DVD recorder and sufficient number of CDs or DVDs
- A USB flash drive or an external hard disk drive. In this mode Windows Easy Transfer saves archive files of files and settings on the source machine to a user-specified location, which does not need to be a USB drive; the destination machine is then given access to the archives.
Easy Transfer Cable
The Easy Transfer Cable is a special USB 2.0 cable used to connect two computers together. The connectors are both USB-A male connectors to connect to each PC, and the cable has a small box in the middle which contains the electronics needed to allow the computers to communicate with each other, and controls data flow between the two computers. Various manufacturers produce suitable cables. Several vendors sell Easy Transfer Cables including Laplink Software.
Since Windows Vista, Windows does not support incoming connections over serial, parallel or IrDA port, but the operating system does support incoming connections over ethernet, wireless LAN, and HPNA.
In Windows 8.1, Windows Easy Transfer can only import settings from Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows RT, but not from another Windows 8.1 computer, or from Windows Vista. The only transfer method supported in Windows 8.1 is via a saved archive (USB drive method); transfers via an Easy Transfer Cable or network connection are not supported.
- Microsoft (March 15, 2007). "Description of Windows Easy Transfer for Windows Vista". Microsoft Support. Retrieved April 23, 2015.
- Microsoft (February 24, 2012). "How to use Windows Easy Transfer to migrate files and settings from one Windows-based computer to another Windows Vista-based computer". Microsoft Support. Retrieved April 23, 2015.
- Brian Knittel, Paul McFedries. Windows 10 In Depth. Que Publishing. p. 175.
- Schmied, William (February 4, 2003). "The Files and Settings Transfer Wizard helps migrate user settings". TechRepublic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved April 23, 2015.
- Thurrott, Paul (October 6, 2010). "Using the Files and Settings Transfer Wizard". Supersite for Windows. Penton. Retrieved April 23, 2015.
- Thurrott, Paul (October 6, 2010). "WinHEC 2004 Show Report and Photo Gallery". Supersite for Windows. Penton. Retrieved April 23, 2015.
- Abrams, Lawrence (December 13, 2012). "Using Windows Easy Transfer to transfer your data to a new computer". Bleeping Computer. Retrieved April 25, 2015.
- "Windows Easy Transfer (Win 8.1) - Microsoft Community". answers.microsoft.com. Retrieved 6 July 2015.
- Whitney, Lance (2008). "Utility Spotlight Windows Easy Transfer Companion". Microsoft TechNet. Microsoft. Retrieved April 23, 2015.
- White, Nick (February 15, 2007). "Using Windows Easy Transfer". Windows Vista Team Blog. Microsoft. Archived from the original on February 16, 2013. Retrieved April 23, 2015.
- Bott, Ed (July 18, 2008). "Has Microsoft pulled the plug on Windows Easy Transfer Companion?". CNET. CBS Interactive. Retrieved April 23, 2015.
- Protalinski, Emil (July 21, 2008). "Windows Easy Transfer Companion may reappear in Windows 7". ArsTechnica. Condé Nast. Retrieved April 23, 2015.
- Bravura Software. "Easy Transfer Cable". Retrieved April 23, 2015.
- Microsoft. "Transferring files and settings: frequently asked questions". Retrieved April 24, 2015.
- Microsoft (March 15, 2007). "The option to use a serial cable connection or an infrared link is unavailable when you create an incoming connection in Windows Vista". Support. Retrieved April 24, 2015.
- Huc, Mauro (July 22, 2013). "Microsoft removing Windows Easy Transfer in Windows 8.1". Pureinfotech. Retrieved April 24, 2015.
- Collins, Barry (July 11, 2014). "Windows Easy Transfer - not so 'easy' in Windows 8.1". PC Pro. Dennis Publishing. Retrieved April 24, 2015.