Upgrading to a new operating system is daunting enough without also losing all of the data and settings you have accumulated over the years on your old system. Microsoft developed Windows Easy Transfer to make the process of moving to a new operating system simpler.
This article provides a solid understanding of what Windows Easy Transfer can do, and what it can’t do, as well as a heads up on some of the caveats and pitfalls you should be aware of.
I will throw in one spoiler, though, because I think is important enough to repeat. Windows Easy Transfer will move data like–documents, photos, and music, and settings–like your preferences for configuring teh Windows desktop, but it will *not* move actual applications.
So, for example, if you have Quicken, Windows Easy Transfer will move the Quicken data files from your old operating system to your new one, but unless you actually install Quicken on the new computer it won’t know what to do with them.
Installing applications, unfortunately, is a manual process that still has to be done one program at a time. The silver lining on that cloud, though, is that it is an opportunity for you to weed out software you never really use and start with a nice clean slate.