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Once you have your new Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 computer set up, one of the most daunting task is to have all your data transferred from your old computer to the new one. This used to be pretty challenging in the old days but starting with Windows 7 it has become a lot easier. Windows now come with a built-in app called Windows Easy Transfer that makes this task a lot simpler to perform.
If your old computer was running Windows XP (or Windows Vista), you have to first download Windows Easy Transfer from Microsoft's site (for free) and install it in your old computer.
Download from the following link:
There are three ways to transfer data:
Using an external hard disk or an USB flash drive will be most suitable for the majority of people. You will, of course, need to buy an external hard disk or an USB flash drive of suitable size (depends on how much data you want to transfer) if you don't already have one.
Please Note Before You Start: Windows Easy Transfer can only transfer data such as your Desktop contents, Pictures, Videos, Music, Documents, etc. Any program that you want to use on the new Windows 8 or 8.1 computer has to be reinstalled manually. Also since Windows 8 is very different from the previous versions of Windows, do not transfer Windows settings from your old computer to the new computer.
Here is what you need to do to transfer data:
In your old computer first connect the external hard disk. Then open Windows Easy Transfer and just follow instructions. Easy Transfer will guide you through the steps. It will ask you simple questions like if this was your old computer and how would you like to transfer data. Then it will scan your old computer and present you with a list of data and ask you to choose the data you want to transfer to your new computer. Put a checkmark in front of everything you want to transfer (or remove the checkmark on data you don't want to transfer - use this opportunity for spring cleaning.) When ready, click on Next. Windows will copy everything you checked on your external hard disk. This might take a while depending on how much data it is copying. Once the data is copied Easy Transfer will let you know and ask you to open Easy Transfer in your new computer. The new computer running Windows 8 or 8.1 will already have Easy Transfer installed in it.
In your new computer, click on Search under the Charms Bar (I'll discuss Charms Bar in a later chapter) and start typing Easy Transfer. On the results, Windows Easy Transfer will show up on the top. Just click on it to open it. It looks like this:
Click on Next. The next screen will look like this:
Connect your external hard disk to the new computer and then click on Yes. Again, the rest of the process is pretty intuitive. Just read each screen carefully and follow instructions. (If necessary click on links like Customize, Advanced, or Learn more to understand what is going on.) When you have answered everything Easy Transfer wanted to know from you and given it all your preferences, Easy Transfer will copy everything from your external hard disk to the hard disk of your new computer. When finished (it might take some time), it will notify you and present you with two options. They are:
1. See what was transferred
Click on these links if you want to know what was actually transferred, or if you want to install any of your apps that was running on your old PC. (Caution: Some of your old apps may not work with Windows 8 or Windows 8.1. So make sure before re-installing them in your new machine.)
If you are not that computer savvy and you need somebody to hold your hand all the way, click on this link for a step by step instruction.
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