Move Windows 10 to New Computer

adminEdit By tarek radwan24 March 2023Last Update :

Introduction to Transferring Windows 10 to a New Computer

When the time comes to upgrade to a new computer, one of the primary concerns for many users is ensuring that their familiar operating system, along with all its settings, applications, and files, makes the transition smoothly. For Windows 10 users, moving the OS to a new machine can seem daunting, but with the right tools and knowledge, it can be a seamless process. This article will guide you through the various methods of transferring Windows 10 to a new computer, ensuring that you can continue to work and play without missing a beat.

Understanding Licensing Before You Begin

Before diving into the technical process of moving Windows 10, it’s crucial to understand the licensing implications. Windows 10 licenses are typically either retail or OEM. Retail licenses are transferable to new machines, while OEM licenses are not, as they are tied to the original hardware they were installed on. Ensure you have a transferable license before proceeding.

Preparing for the Transfer

Preparation is key to a successful transfer. Begin by backing up all important data to avoid any potential loss. You can use external hard drives, cloud storage, or Windows’ built-in backup tools. Additionally, make sure you have access to your Windows 10 product key and installation media, as these will be necessary for the transfer.

Method 1: Using Windows Migration Tools

Windows offers built-in tools that can assist with transferring your OS to a new computer. One such tool is the User State Migration Tool (USMT), which is designed for IT professionals to automate migrations. For a more user-friendly option, consider using third-party software like PCmover, which simplifies the process for everyday users.

Step-by-Step Guide to Using PCmover

  1. Install PCmover on both your old and new computers.
  2. Run the application and choose the option to transfer data and applications to a new PC.
  3. Select the transfer method, such as via a network, USB cable, or external drive.
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to select the specific files, settings, and applications you wish to transfer.
  5. Initiate the transfer and wait for the process to complete.

Method 2: Clean Installation and Manual Transfer

For those who prefer a fresh start, performing a clean installation of Windows 10 on the new computer is an option. After installing Windows 10, you can manually transfer your files and reinstall applications.

Steps for a Clean Installation

  1. Create a Windows 10 installation media using the Media Creation Tool.
  2. Boot the new computer from the installation media.
  3. Follow the installation prompts, entering your product key when requested.
  4. Once Windows 10 is installed, manually transfer your files and reinstall applications.

Method 3: Cloning Your Hard Drive

Cloning your hard drive is another effective way to move Windows 10 to a new computer. This method creates an exact copy of your current drive, which can then be installed in the new machine.

Guide to Cloning Your Hard Drive

  1. Choose a reliable disk cloning software, such as Macrium Reflect or Clonezilla.
  2. Connect an external drive or use a network location to store the cloned image.
  3. Run the cloning software and select your current Windows 10 drive as the source.
  4. Follow the software’s instructions to create the clone.
  5. Once the clone is created, install the new drive in your new computer or restore the image to the new machine’s drive.

Post-Transfer Considerations

After transferring Windows 10 to your new computer, there are several post-transfer tasks to consider. These include checking for updates, ensuring drivers are up to date, and verifying that all your files and applications have transferred correctly. Additionally, you may need to reactivate Windows 10 on your new machine.

FAQ Section

Can I transfer my OEM version of Windows 10 to a new computer?

No, OEM versions of Windows 10 are tied to the original hardware and cannot be legally transferred to a new computer.

Will my applications and settings be transferred if I clone my hard drive?

Yes, cloning your hard drive creates an exact copy of your current setup, including applications, settings, and files.

Do I need to reactivate Windows 10 after transferring it?

Yes, you will likely need to reactivate Windows 10 on your new computer, especially if significant hardware changes are detected.

Is it better to clone or perform a clean installation?

It depends on your needs. Cloning is faster and preserves your current setup, while a clean installation provides a fresh start with no leftover files or settings from your old system.


Transferring Windows 10 to a new computer can be accomplished through various methods, each with its own advantages. Whether you choose to use migration tools, perform a clean installation, or clone your hard drive, the key is to prepare properly and understand the steps involved. With this guide, you’re now equipped to make the transition to your new computer with confidence.


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