How to use Windows Easy Transfer over the network in Windows 7

Windows Easy Transfer - Network

In an earlier article you’ve learned how to transfer files to a new Windows 7 PC with Windows Easy Transfer using an external hard drive or USB drive. Now for those of you who want to go with something a little more sophisticated (geeky) or you just don’t have an external storage device, in this article you are going to learn how to use Windows Easy Transfer using your local network.

Note: It is assumed that both computers are connected and communicating in the same network and they both are running Windows 7.
Quick Tip: Before you start this process make sure that the old computer is free of viruses and other malicious software, as these files containing malicious code can be transferred to the new computer. Here are some tools that can be helpful in this situation: Microsoft Security Essentials and Seven different Antivirus Rescue CDs to help fix an infected computer.

1. Let’s begin by starting Windows Easy transfer in your old computer, go to Start, in the search box type windows easy transfer and press Enter.

2. Click Next and select the A Network option.

Windows Easy Transfer - A Network option

3. Now click This is my old computer.

Windows Easy Transfer - New and Old computer options

4. In the next step write down the Windows Easy Transfer key (e.g. 123-321) that you are going to need to enter in the new computer when you run the transfer wizard.

Windows Easy Transfer Key

5. Now move to the new computer and go to Start, in the search box type windows easy transfer and press Enter.

6. Click Next and select the A Network option.

7. Next, click This is my new computer.

8. Choose the options My old computer is running Windows 7.

9. Click Next, enter the key that you have been provided by the Windows Easy Transfer wizard in the old computer, and click Next.

Windows Easy Transfer - Key Box

Now a connection over the local network is going to be established between the new computer and the old computer, and Windows Easy Transfer also is going to scan in the old computer what can be transferred — This could take some time depending on how much data you have and in the network connection.

Quick Tip: If you happened to have a large amount of data, try to avoid using a wireless connection, as this process could take a very long time, instead use a wired network connection.

10. Once the scan is finished, you can choose what to transfer from the old computer to the new computer by selecting the items, and by clicking Customize to choose if you only want to transfer your documents and/or Windows Settings; you can even click the Advanced link and go deeper on what you want to transfer. After you are done selecting just click the Transfer button and wait until the process is done.

Windows Easy Transfer - Choose what to transfer

Windows Easy Transfer - Customize option

Windows Easy Transfer - Advanced transfer option

11. Lastly, when the transfer is complete, you can click See what was transferred to review a detail report of the process, and you can click See a list of programs you might want to install on your computer. This last option is available because you cannot transfer an installed application from one computer to another; this is a manual process.

When you are done, click Close to finish. Don’t forget to go back to the old computer and close Windows Easy Transfer as well.

Windows Easy Transfer - Complete

You have done it. Enjoy your new computer!

I hope this how-to was useful. If you have any question on this topic, please leave it in the comments below.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and About.me.