Maybe you lost your laptop, or you just upgraded. The next challenge is migrating the Windows 10 user profile from the old PC to the new Windows 10 PC. And it’s not just the user profiles; you also want all your files, settings, and the entire desktop environment back.
In the past, this was a no-brainer, courtesy of Windows Easy Transfer (WET), a program that made Windows data transfer from one PC to another a buzz. But then, Microsoft’s Windows Easy Transfer (WET) is not available on Windows 10 and higher versions. The main reason behind WET’s termination in new Windows versions is to pave the way for the full adoption of Microsoft accounts.
In this guide, find out how to back up your Windows 10 user profile and, importantly, how to migrate a Windows 10 user profile to a new Windows 10 PC.
What is a Windows User Profile?
A user profile is a container with user-specific data such as your identity desktop, pictures, documents, music files, digital footprint, and PC elements such as settings. All Windows PCs, by default, have local user profiles. This feature is very convenient as it maintains a unique desktop environment for users who log in to the same device with their user profiles.
Windows user profiles enable multiple users to share the same PC or use a different PC while maintaining their preferred desktop environment.
How to Transfer User Profile Windows 10
Of course, you can manually migrate user-profiles and even data, but who has all the time in the world when there are simpler and more efficient solutions? Also, copying user files manually from an old Windows installation is a risk as the files get corrupted in most instances.
Even though Microsoft’s Windows Easy Transfer user profile transfer system is not available, there are two methods you can use to migrate your Windows 10 user profiles.
- Migrate using Microsoft accounts
- User profile migration tools
The first method doesn’t require additional software or extension, but the second one does.
1. Migrate Using Microsoft Accounts
One of the easiest ways to transfer a Windows 10 user profile is by switching to a Microsoft account. Once users sign up for a Microsoft account, and sync their profiles, they get the user profile on any PC they sign into.
A Microsoft account is free to register. To get started, open Microsoft’s webpage on your browser and go to “Create a Microsoft Account.”
After creating an account, log in with the account to your old PC. Navigate to “Windows Settings,” then “Accounts.”
You will find the option of “Sign In” just below the Local Account Administrator’s name. Microsoft will then sync your desktop environment, settings, and even files.
The next thing you will need to do is log out from the old PC and sign in to the new PC, and voila! Your profile will be replicated in the new PC.
For the record, this method will replicate your Windows 10 user profile only. Files won’t be moved unless they were synced with OneDrive. Programs too won’t be moved.
2. User Profile Migration Tools
There are many user profile migration software. One of the best options is Transwiz, a tool designed to transfer PC settings, desktop elements, documents, and other files from one PC to another. The advantage of Transwiz is that it’s a free Windows 10 migration tool.
How to Transfer Windows 10 User Profiles from One PC to Another Using Transwiz
STEP 1: Download and Installation
To use Transwiz, you must first download and install the software. Download the tool from the official ForensiT website’s free downloads page.
Next, install Transwiz on both PCs. Then have an external hard drive ready.
After installing the software, launch it. Upon launching the program, the wizard will ask you what you want to do.
STEP 2: Backup User Profile to Old PC
The first thing is to back up the user profile on the old PC. Click “I want to transfer data to another computer.”
You will be asked which profile you want to copy. Select the profile and click “Next.”
This option enables Transwiz to create a migration file in standard zip file format. The zip file contains all the user profile’s data and everything the software needs to migrate the user profile. Then, save the profile to the external hard drive.
You will have the option of fastpacking the file. Tick the “Fast Pack (No Compression)” option if you want this option.
You will also have the option of securing the file with a password. After setting a password, click “OK,” and Transwiz will initiate the file transfer.
After it’s complete, click “Finish.” The user profile will be copied to the destination folder.
STEP 3: Import User Profile to New PC
In step 3, we will now import the backed-up profile to the new PC. Here again, launch the Transwiz transfer wizard and connect the hard drive. Select “I have data I want to transfer to this computer.” Then browse the location of the user profile in the hard drive, select it and click “Next.”
If you have set a password, you will need to enter it to advance. Then click “OK” and “Next” to continue. Transwiz will then read the data from the transfer file.
You will then get options of setting up user profile accounts, merge files, and lastly, creating local accounts. After going through these steps, the profile migration process is ready to start.
Once you have completed the local accounts settings, click “Continue,” and the profile transfer will start. After it’s complete, click “Continue.” You will receive a “Congratulations” message. In the last step, click “Finish,” and your profile will be imported to the new PC.
Transwiz is not the only Windows 10 user profile management software. Other options include PCmover, EaseUS, and Zinstall. Advanced users can also leverage Windows User State Migration Tool (USMT) to transfer Windows 10 user profiles.
There you have it, folks, a guide on backing up Windows 10 user-profiles and, importantly, how to migrate user profiles from one Windows 10 PC to another. If you are struggling with a new Windows 10 PC desktop environment, you have plenty of methods to bring back your old data. Let us know if you managed to transfer your Windows 10 user profile to a new PC using the above methods.
1. Will Transwiz transfer my data and programs?
Yes. This PC migration software can help you move files to your new PC, but it won’t move programs.
2. Does Windows 10 have a migration tool?
Yes. Windows 10 has USMT as the migration tool. There are several other 3rd party migration software.
3. Is there an easy transfer in Windows 10?
No. The Windows Easy Transfer platform is not available on Windows 10 but it’s still operational in earlier Windows versions.