How do I transfer programs and files from my old computer to my new computer?

by on November 12, 2008

Q: I would like to transfer programs and files from one old computer to a new computer. How might I do this? Do I need the original program disks?

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4 Responses to “How do I transfer programs and files from my old computer to my new computer?”
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    You will need the original program discs to install your programs on a new computer. If your programs came pre-installed on your old computer, you may need to purchase them again from a retail store.

    Also, with very few exceptions, you are not legally allowed to use the same copy of a program on more than one computer. This means that you must either uninstall your programs from your old computer, or purchase the programs again for your new computer.

    To transfer files from your old computer to your new computer, use: CD-R, USB flash drive, external hard drive, etc.

    Does the information above help?


    Yes it was helpful although it was not the answer I wanted to hear. Thank you very much.


    Hi bhscon,

    The following ideas may be of more help to you:

    Free programs like Adobe Reader and iTunes are actually designed to be downloaded from the internet. You are allowed to run these kinds of programs on multiple computers.

    There are also free/inexpensive alternatives to many popular programs. For example, you can use OpenOffice instead of Microsoft Office on your new computer. OpenOffice is free, and can be run on as many computers as you wish. OpenOffice is available in downloadable form, as well as on disc. The OpenOffice homepage is located at:

    Companies often allow you to download trial versions of their software. For example, trial versions are available for Microsoft Office, Norton 360, Kaspersky Internet Security, and many more programs. To transform such programs from trial versions to full versions, you will need to use the activation codes that were included with your discs. If you’ve lost your activation codes, you won’t be able to unlock the trials. And remember that most programs which cost money cannot legally be run on multiple computers.

    Is this information more helpful?

    Best Regards,


    There are several specialized programs that are trying to solve the problem:

    PC Mover – paid – moves all files, programs, settings from the old computer to a new.

    Move Me – paid – does the same as PC mover. Not sure if it works with Vista.

    PickMeApp – free Beta – transfer programs separately between one OS and another.

    they can be found at:

    Under Accessories/System Tools you can find Files and Settings transfer wizard. It doesn’t move programs, but helps with their settings.

    And of course you can install your programs anew from your installation disks. It is the safest and the longest way of doing the transfer.