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Hyder Abbass

Windows 40 2k

If you bought a new Windows 8 computer, you might be interested in moving your files and settings from your old computer to the new one. In this post, I’ll show you how can  transfer your files, User Profiles and Settings from Windows 7 to Windows 8 safely and easily.

Transfer files to Windows 8
Transfer files from Windows 7 to Windows 8

Transfer files to Windows 8

A few month back, I explained how you can move your files from one computer to another using Windows Easy Transfer. The steps involved in transferring files to Windows 8 is somewhat similar. For those who don’t know, Windows Easy Transfer is a built-in migration tool to transfer your files and settings from one computer to another.

The software automatically generates a single file ( .MIG Format ) containing all your data, which can then be transferred to the other PC using either LAN or to an external hard disk or pen drive.

Back up your Data

  • From your Windows 7 PC, launch Windows Easy Transfer by typing it into the Start Search bar.
  • Migrate to Windows 8 using Windows Easy Transfer

  • After opening the application, click Next to proceed with backing up your data first. You will be required to choose your file transfer method. In our example, I have selected to move my data to an external hard disk ( 3rd option).
  • However, if you are transferring file to a Windows 8 PC at your workplace, you are probably on a network, and you should choose the second option.

  • On the next screen, select This is my old computer. The software will then analyse the different data that need to be saved. Please note that this step might take a few minutes depending on the amount of data on your hard disks.
  • Once the scan is completed, you will see all the files that will be transferred to Windows 8. Clicking on Customize will give you more flexibility as to which files you want to transfer or discard.
  • After selecting the files and folders you want to back up, you can add a password to prevent others opening your backup files. However, this is optional. Leave it blank in case you don’t want to add a password and click on Save. The backup process will now start and will be available in a single file with the extension MIG.

    Windows Easy Transfer to migrate file to Windows 8

    Restore your Data

  • Now that you have backed up all your files and Settings, you are now ready to transfer your files to Windows 8. Just like Windows 7, Windows 8 also comes with Windows Easy Transfer. From the Metro screen, press Windows key + C to bring the charm bar. You should see a bunch of new options. Click on Search and type “Windows Easy Transfer”.
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  • Once the application is opened, click Next and select An external hard disk or USB flash drive .
  • windows 8 migration wizard

  • Then choose This is my new PC and make sure you have connected your external hard disk or pen drive at this stage.
  • Select the .MIG file containing all your backup and click on Transfer to transfer your data to Windows 8.

Migrate to windows 8

Congratulation! You now have all your data transferred to Windows 8. Although there exist some third-party applications that allow you to transfer files to Windows 8, I believe that none can be compared to Windows Easy Transfer. If you are stuck at some point, feel free to leave me a comment below, I'll do my best to help you 🙂


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george demos's photo

george demos

Sunday, October 4th, 2015

transferred file to a usb from windows xp installed in my 8.1 and can read only . how can I write on them
Carol's photo


Friday, September 4th, 2015

Justt upgraded from Windows 7 to Windows and forgot to do a backup. Had to reinstall Mozilla Thunderbird and now don't have my old emails that were filed on the left hand side under Inbox. How do I retrieve them?
Rick Ferries's photo

Rick Ferries

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015

No mention of Outlook folders being saveable on the list. That's really the one thing that I need to transfer. :-(. Couldn't save in the default place "cannot save here, choose another location" :-( Progress bar not even halfway to complete saving after nearly an hour :-( Heaven knows how, or if, I will ever find these saved files, or if I will be able to transfer them. Not quite as simple as it sounds.
Joyce's photo


Thursday, May 7th, 2015

Worked really well. The part saying this is my new computer is right at the beginning when you open up windows easy transfer in your new computer. Magic tool.
eli's photo


Monday, March 9th, 2015

Pamela Moore's photo

Pamela Moore

Sunday, March 8th, 2015

I did what you said to use the easy transfer to open the mig file but it just keeps copying it and never opens.
hayderabbass's photo


Saturday, March 7th, 2015

Hello Pamela, You need to open Windows Easy Transfer on your new computer in order to open the .mig file (As details in step 5). You cannot open a .mig file independently to read the content.
Pamela Moore's photo

Pamela Moore

Friday, March 6th, 2015

How do you open the mig file once it has been transferred.
Galia's photo


Monday, March 2nd, 2015

I have transferred all my files to my new Windows 8.1 after 15 years! Thank you for this tip!
Mark's photo


Monday, August 18th, 2014

HI Any suggestions in migrating from Win 8 to Win 8? , can`t seem to get easy transfer to work
DJ_loon's photo


Monday, June 2nd, 2014

Really helpful. I have moved my files to a new Windows 8 machine smoothly! thanks.
Ernest's photo


Thursday, April 24th, 2014

I have a new Win 8.1 computer. Trying to use Easy Transfer. Followed your instructions to the point where I received a key code from the Win 7 system; then went to the Win 8.1 machine and brought up Easy Transfer there. Selected Option 2, and it terminated Easy Transfer. Both computers are connected in a Homegroup. Transferring the data manually is easy enough, but I think I"ll loose settings if I do that - not sure. What do you think?
Merry's photo


Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

I am trying to transfer files from windows 7 to 8 using the network connection but when I type in windows easy transfer into my new computer, there is no where to put the key given on the old computer from windows easy transfer. Any ideas?
Syb's photo


Saturday, February 1st, 2014

I was using Windows Mail not Outlook. I found out where the windows live mail inbox kept its files and copied the old ones to that directory but I must need to reindex it or something?
Syb's photo


Friday, January 31st, 2014

Thank you for your helpful comment Dave
dave's photo


Thursday, January 30th, 2014

if it was any easyier I would have my 5 year old grand daughter do it nice I tell you nice
Syb's photo


Thursday, January 30th, 2014

I did connect it and copied what I thought were the relevant files to the directory I thought it should go into. It didn't work so either insufficient files or wrong location. .
Hayder's photo


Thursday, January 30th, 2014

Hi Syb, You can connect your old hard drive to your new computer and transfer the files. (Assuming you don't want to import your settings). As for the email recovery, were you using Outlook?
Syb's photo


Thursday, January 30th, 2014

My Vista machine died but the hard drive is fine. My new machine is Windows 8. Any ideas how I could transfer files, particularly emails in this situation? Thanks
Hayder's photo


Friday, January 24th, 2014

Hi Tony, Can you provide me the exact error message you're getting? Thanks.
tony's photo


Friday, January 24th, 2014

I have tried to transfer files etc from a Windows 7 laptop to a new Windows 8.1 laptop using an external storage device. While the copying of files from the old computer goes OK the next stage ,transferring them to the Windows 8.1 laptop, fails because the Easy Transfer says it does not recognize the file. Any suggestions?
Daren's photo


Saturday, January 18th, 2014

Hi, I followed the steps to transfer data from old computer to external HD. That was successful, but when I bring up windows easy transfer on new computer with windows 8 and I get to the point where I click on "this is my new computer" it is nowhere to be found. I don't see that as an option. Any suggestions? Thanks
c0zy's photo


Friday, November 29th, 2013

Try to use it in Windows 8.1 but receive message that it can't transfer files from xp or vista... Aaarrggghh
cassim's photo


Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

HI. I'v tried using this tool.the following message keeps popping up "windows easy transfer is unable to continue.please reboot pc" Any idea what i can try and do?
joel's photo


Thursday, May 9th, 2013

I just bought a new computer with Windows 8 and I'm moving from my old XP to Windows 8. It seems In the documentatIon It says that your programs wIll not mIgrate from XP to WIndows 8 but you saId by usIng Windows easy transfer they wIll? Also I didn't see anything about needing a speciAl cable I need. Is that required?
Sameer's photo


Thursday, April 25th, 2013

Thanks for the article. I am in the process of using Windows Easy Transfer on Windows XP to backup the files. Its taking about 3hours to make a .mig file on my external hard disk. Do you think I would come across any hurdles in recovering the .mig file in Windows 8? Or maybe anything I should know of? Please let me know.
salma's photo


Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

Hello Hyder, I am trying to transfer all my Data from my old computer window 7 to my new computer window 8, and I want to use cable to do the transfer, could you please advice me on hoe to do that!!! thanks much salma
Ralph's photo


Sunday, March 24th, 2013

I transferred tax programs from XP to 8 but just got a list of files not an operating program. I used Belkin for the transfer. How do I get the program up and running?
Dave's photo


Thursday, February 21st, 2013

I have microsoft office installed on my old laptop my son has lost the activation key and disc. Can this programme (2007) be transferred to my new laptop with Windows 8.
Hayder's photo


Sunday, January 6th, 2013

Hi Wendy, Check out this resource that can help you batch convert your office documents: Let me know if this solve your problem :)
Wendy's photo


Saturday, January 5th, 2013

I transferred all old files to separate hard drive then on to new pc with Win 8 installed. Old files were 97-2003 office and now have office 2010 . After opening each file -used convert file box - works fine and saves as 2010 file. Problem is having so many files to convert that often the screen just completely freezes especially when converting excel. Shut down pc -clears this but wondered if there is a way convert all files without opening each one? Sorry if I am asking in wrong forum. Wendy
Merryann P's photo

Merryann P

Friday, January 4th, 2013

Thank you so much!! My transfer cable I bought for a Vista to 7 transfer wouldn't work for the 7 to 8 transfer. This was just what I needed to tell me how to do it.
Hayder's photo


Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

Hello Gary. It should normally work. I suggest you to download the software that ships with the Windows 8 easy transfer cable and see if it is compatible. (It should be available to download for free on the official site). Also, when upgrading from Windows XP to Windows 8, you should have Windows XP SP3 in order for the migration to work and you will not be able to keep your settings and apps on your Windows 8 machine. For more information, you can see this informative post:
Hayder's photo


Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

Normally it should copy the apps along with the license keys else Windows Easy Transfer is of no use. :)
Gary's photo


Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

How would I migrate XP to Windows 8 ? I have belkin easy transfer cable for XP to win 7. Would the belkin also work for XP to Win 8 ? thank you.
Jamie's photo


Thursday, December 27th, 2012

The "old" PC we are looking to transfer from has installed programs for which we have lost the install media and license keys. Will easy transfer also copy these programs to the new PC or will it prompt for install media and/or license keys?
Hayder's photo


Saturday, December 22nd, 2012

You are welcome Saeed. I'm glad this was helpful to you. :)
Saeed Kheiree's photo

Saeed Kheiree

Saturday, December 22nd, 2012

Thanks for good guide ;)
Hayder's photo


Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

Hello Alain, try to transfer relatively small amount of data at a time. This will solve your problem .;)
alain's photo


Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

windows 8 easy transfer wants to transfer the files to my small ssd drive, too small to receive the files from my old computer. can't select drive where the files are going to