How to use PCmover Express to move from Windows XP to Windows 8 or 7 for free (step by step)

Free Laplink PCmover Express for Windows XP

Microsoft will finally end the support of Windows XP on April 8th, 2014. This means that after more than a decade Windows XP will stop receiving security patches, hotfixes, and support (paid or free).

The beloved operating system won’t magically stop working on April 9th, but starting that day Windows XP will become vulnerable to viruses, spyware, malware, and other attacks; performance will be affected over time, new programs will not run, and new hardware such as printers and accessories won’t support the old OS.

You get the new big picture, as such the next logical thing to do is move to a newer operating system like Windows 8 or Windows 7. The only problem is that for many users moving files, photos, and settings to a new PC can be a hassle. For this reason Microsoft has partnered with Laplink to offer Windows XP users an easy, fast, and free tool to transfer your data to a newer hardware.

Laplink PCmover Express is a free tool that anyone can get to move data from your old PC to a new device. Basically, you download and install the software on your source PC (Windows XP) and on the destination PC (Windows 8 or Windows 7) to move documents, photos, music, video, settings, and other files over the network. The steps below will show you how to properly use the software.

Important: PCmover Express won’t move programs to the new PC. So make sure you have the files to reinstall any application in your new system. Also check the support page of the program to see if it is compatible with your new operating system.


1. From your Windows XP machine, launch your web browser and head over this Microsoft web page and download the software.

2. Make sure both computers are connected into the same network, disable any firewall or security software before proceeding, and turn off any screen savers, hibernation, sleep, or any other setting that could cause the PC to turn off during the process.

3. Install the Laplink PCmover Express on Windows XP and your new PC running Windows 8 or Windows 7. (The installation is straightforward, just your typical next, next, next…) If you’re one of those users who never installed any updates, you will probably need an additional piece of software called “Microsoft Visual C++” as prerequisite. If this is your case simply go to this page to download, and install the package.

4. Launch PCmover Express, click Next, click PC to PC Transfer, and click Next again.


5. Select which computer are you preparing to move files from: Windows XP and click Next.


6. Because you’re using the free version of PCmover Express for Windows XP, select Wifi or Wired Network, and click Next.


7. Let the software analyze your PC to gather all data to move to the new hardware. Once this process is all done, go to your Windows 8 or Windows 7 (destination PC).


8. Install and run Laplink PCmover Express in your newer PC, click Next, choose Windows 8 / Windows 7 and click Next.


9. You’ll be required to register with Laplink, simply enter a name and an email address and click Next.

10. As part of the process choose Wifi or Wired Network and click Next.


11. The next screen should fill out the Windows XP computer name automatically, if everything is working fine. If not in Windows XP go to Start, right-click My Computer, click Properties, select Computer Name tab, to discover your computer name. Then enter the name in the Network Name field, and click Next.


12. Let the software analyze the computers and before making the transfer choose whether to move the user accounts from the old PC. I wouldn’t recommend moving the old accounts, but it’s up to you. If you choose not to migrate any of the user accounts, click User Account Selections, select a user account, and select the option Don’t transfer the user. Repeat the process for every account.


13. Then you’ll be presented to install some additional Microsoft tools in your new system, simply click Don’t install any new software on my new PC, and click Next.

14. Depending on the amount of files, photos, settings, and other files, Laplink PCmover Express for Windows XP could take hours to finish moving everything. Once the process is done, you can review a report, then you can click Finish to complete the process and restart your PC.

That’s all there is to it. If for any reason, you change your mind about the move, you can always undo the process. After you’re done with the process, don’t forget to uninstall Laplink PCmover Express from both computers.

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 Email him at [email protected].