I'm getting ready to move from a Vista machine to a new Windows 7 machine, and I'm planning to use Windows Easy Transfer to move my stuff over.

My question is, should I re-install all my programs on the new computer BEFORE I use Windows Easy Transfer, or AFTER? (Or does it even matter?)

I know that the Easy Transfer tool will generate a report of programs I need to re-install on the new computer, but nowhere can I find out whether it's recommended to install these before you run easy transfer, or after.

I ask only because I have a LOT of files and I want to do this right and save myself the time and effort of having to do it over again if I do it wrong.

1 Answer 1


Personally, I would do it before.

One of the processes if you choose it is "program settings" and it will not work if you install after (as setups will most likely overwrite your programs). From the FAQ:

Program settings.

Settings that keep your programs configured as you had them on your old computer. Windows Easy Transfer doesn't transfer the programs themselves. Some programs might not work in this version of Windows, including security programs, antivirus programs, firewall programs (your new computer should already have a firewall running to help ensure safety during the transfer), and programs with software drivers.

Can I transfer programs?

No. Windows Easy Transfer transfers only program settings, not the programs themselves. To use the programs from your old computer, install them on your new computer, and then transfer files and settings for those programs. It's possible that some kinds of programs, such as security and antivirus programs, might not work with this version of Windows.

  • 1
    Thank you! That is exactly what I was looking for. (I didn't think to look under "Can I transfer programs" since I already knew I couldn't!)
    – Keithius
    Jan 27, 2010 at 21:00
  • How does this tool compare to User Migration Tool?
    – Sun
    May 18, 2016 at 19:16
  • @LunaMezza wow, this post was 6 years ago! :) ... Off the top of my head, Easy Transfer is designed for end users on home products, User Migration Tool is meant to be automated for big companies to do things in scripts on bulk. There is nothing stopping you using tools in a different way from what they were designed though! May 19, 2016 at 8:33

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