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Windows Easy Transfer


Windows Easy Transfer

Windows Easy Transfer
A component of Microsoft Windows
Windows Easy Transfer running on Windows 8.
Other names MigWiz
Type File transfer
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
Related components
User State Migration Tool

Windows Easy Transfer is 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.[1]

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.[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.[3]

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.[4] A paid alternative is Zinstall Easy Transfer (Zinstall also allows to transfer programs, in addition to files).[5]

Comparison Chart for WET functionality


  • History 1
  • Items transferred 2
  • Transfer methods 3
    • Easy Transfer Cable 3.1
    • Restrictions 3.2
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


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.[6] 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.[7] 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.[6]

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.[8]

Items transferred

For all supported versions of Windows, Easy Transfer can transfer:[1][9]

  • Data files and folders

For transferring from Windows versions later than Windows 2000:

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.[10]

Windows Easy Transfer does not support transferring installed applications.[1][11][12] 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.[13][14] 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.

Transfer methods

Several transfer methods can be used:[1]

Easy Transfer Cable

The Easy Transfer Cable is a special USB 2.0 cable used to connect two computers together.[15] 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.[16]


Windows Easy Transfer does not support migration from a 64-bit to a 32-bit system.[17]

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.[18]

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.[19] 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.[20]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^
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  6. ^ a b
  7. ^
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  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ a b
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^

External links

  • Official website
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