Windows Easy Transfer
|Component of Microsoft Windows|
|Introduced in||Windows Vista build 5270|
|Last included in||Windows 10 build 9888|
|Replaces||Files and Settings Transfer Wizard|
Windows Easy Transfer (formerly known as Windows Transfer in early builds) is a file transfer program that was introduced in Windows Vista to replace the Files and Settings Transfer Wizard that was present in the CD-ROM installation media for Windows XP and the User State Migration Tool command line utility in Windows 2000.
It allows users to transfer files and settings from a computer running an older version of Windows to a computer running an newer version of Windows. The transfer process can be done using several methods such as using an Easy Transfer Cable, a network connection, CDs and DVDs and external drives.
Windows Easy Transfer does not support the ability to transfer installed programs. Microsoft once planned to release a companion program for Windows Easy Transfer that would allow users to transfer certain compatible programs from Windows XP to Windows Vista. However in the end, it remained as a perpetual beta and was never released. Additionally, Windows Easy Transfer does not support the ability to transfer and migrate data from a 64-bit system to a 32-bit system. Also, Ethernet, HPNA, and wireless LAN network connections are the only supported incoming connection types as it does not support incoming connections over IrDA, serial, or parallel ports.
Windows Easy Transfer was discontinued with the release of Windows 10. However, there are third-party alternatives that can be used to transfer data from older versions of Windows to Windows 10 and Windows 11.
History[edit | edit source]
Windows Easy Transfer was first introduced in Windows Vista build 5270 as Windows Transfer. It replaced the Files and Settings Transfer Wizard from Windows XP. In Windows Vista build 5308, it was renamed to Windows Easy Transfer and the UI received minor revamps to resemble the revamped setup interface that was introduced with this build. The background of the Windows Easy Transfer UI would be changed in Windows Vista build 6001.16549 to be the same as the OOBE. Unlike later versions, Windows Easy Transfer was a full-screen program and did not open in its own window and resembles the Setup and OOBE interface of Windows Vista.
In Windows 7 build 6519, the UI of the program was greatly overhauled. It no longer opens as a full-screen program and it has been transformed into an Aero wizard. Windows 7 build 6931 would later remove the left-pane graphic and the UI was revamped to resemble the RTM version. This version of Windows Easy Transfer would later be backported to Windows XP and Windows Vista as an optional download on the Microsoft website.
The program did not change during the development of Windows 8. However in Windows 8.1 build 9299, many features were removed from Windows Easy Transfer including the ability to start new transfers directly, the ability to transfer data from Windows XP and Windows Vista and the ability to use the Easy Transfer Cable and network connection transfer methods.
Windows 10 build 9900 would completely remove Windows Easy Transfer altogether meaning that Windows 10 and later versions no longer include a built-in file transfer tool and third-party file transfer programs must be used instead.