How Can I Migrate My Old PC Apps & Data to a New PC?

Episode 1818 (59:52)

John from Leesberg, VA
action pack

John has an old computer running the latest version of Windows 10. But it's now starting to die out. He'd like to replace it with a new computer. Can he reinstall Windows 10 onto a new computer? Leo says no. He'll need a new version of Windows for that new computer. With Windows 10, Microsoft began tying the OS with the computer (called an entitlement). As such, when he gets a new computer, he needs to install a separate Windows 10 with its own product license. John has the "action pack" version of Windows, which gives him the right to install it on ten different computers though, and his problem is that he can't get Windows installed on the computer. Can he just copy the old hard drive onto a new drive? Leo says yes and no. It's really hard to do because Windows will be looking for hardware that isn't on the new computer. It can be done, and Microsoft has a migration tool for that purpose. But it's really more trouble than it's worth. It's much better to have a clean install. Then install apps as needed. Otherwise, he's bringing old problems with him to the new computer.