Setting Up A New Computer
It’s a new year and Santa brought you a new laptop. All your “stuff” is still on the old computer, so how do you get your files and programs moved to the new one?
This is not a difficult task, but there are a few steps to take. The data is easy– the programs are more challenging.
There are a few ways to accomplish this. A couple of approaches are costly but we will look at ones that are free. You will, however, need a large USB flash drive or an external hard drive.
Cleaning Up The “Bloatware”
Your new computer comes with Microsoft Windows 10 and a number of preloaded programs often referred to as “bloatware”. You might want some of them. Also included might be a trial version of an antivirus program and of Microsoft Office 365.
In my opinion, you do not need the preloaded trial antivirus software as Windows Defender is included with Windows 10, is free, and does a good job.
If you already have Microsoft Office, then you do not need Microsoft Office 365, however, you will need the key code and version of the Microsoft Office on the old computer because it will have to be installed on the new one.
If you don’t have Microsoft Office, there are a number of free Office-like programs out there such as LibreOffice.
Copying Your Data
Unless you do not use the standard places to save your data, all data folders are in a folder with your name under the Users folder in the C: drive. Access them easily by pressing Windows+R, type C:\users and press Enter. File Explorer will open with all users folders listed in the right column.
- Locate the User folder on the C Drive
- Double-click your folder to open it
- Holding the Ctrl key down, select each folder containing your data
- Right-click one of the selected folders and choose Properties to determine the total amount of space needed
Discover the Total Size of Data to be Copied. In my case, I will be able to fit all the folders on a 32 GB flash drive or an external hard drive. Remember the size and then click OK to close the properties window.
Notice that I did not select the OneDrive folder because those files will be downloaded from the cloud when you sign in at Microsoft on your new computer.
Be sure to have your external drive (or thumb drive) plugged in at this point. With all the folders still selected, right-click any of the selected files and choose to Send to the name of your flash drive or external hard drive.
This will take a few minutes depending on how much data is being copied.
Copying Data To The New Computer
When finished, safely remove the flash drive or external hard disk. Then plug it into the new computer. Open the drive in File Explorer on the new computer to see all the copied folders. Then drag them all into your folder on the new computer. That is the folder within the User folder with your user name. You can also locate the folder using Windows+R, type C:\users, press Enter and double-click on your name. You can overwrite any like-named files.
On To The Programs
Now that your data is done, let’s look at the programs.
If you saved the installation files for non-Microsoft programs, then one at a time, install them on the new computer. They will be the ones with an EXE extension and listed in File Explorer as an Application type.
If some of your programs are not readily available, locate the CDs or find them online. You cannot just copy the executable files from the old computer, or drag the program folders over to the new computer. They must be properly installed on the new one.
If you had Office 2010 on the old computer, you can download and reinstall Office 2010 if you have the original key code. Microsoft is no longer allowing for downloads of older versions nor do they have newer ones available.
Install Maintenance Programs
Download and install the maintenance programs you use. The ones I like are the free versions of:
If you use browsers other than Edge, install them as well. The ones I like are:
Lastly, I would open the Start Menu on the new computer and look at all the tiles. Right-click those you do not want and remove them. Either Unpin them leaving them installed, or Uninstall them to remove them from the Start Menu and from the computer.
Now your new computer is ready to go. Remember to run the maintenance programs regularly and to make backups often.
(Ed note: Dick Evans is a new member of our DCT team. Please give him a warm welcome.)