Since Windows XP end of support will occur on April, 18th, you may want to buy a new computer, as it will not be advisable to stay with Windows XP after end of support. When you buy a new computer, you would wish for some application to transfer all your programs and settings to the new computer. To make migration easier for Windows XP users, Microsoft has made available as a free download, PCmover Express for Windows XP or older PC, a data migration tool. This software from Laplink is based on the same concept except that it only transfers data from a Windows XP to Windows 7 or Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 or Windows 10.
I tested it on Windows XP and used it to migrate data to a Windows 7 computer. You can use it to migrate your data from XP to Windows 7 or later versions such as Windows 8 and 8.1.
PCmover Express Review
Free vs Paid versions
There are two versions of PCMover Express: Free and Paid. Obviously, the Paid one seems better. The main reason why I say so is that the Free version transfers only your data, from My Documents, My Pictures, My Music and any other folder within My Documents in Windows XP.
It may show you that it is collecting information about all the applications installed on your computer. It will collect shortcuts and log files related to those applications and finally scan the Windows XP registry too. But do not be under the impression that the free version will transfer all of them to the new computer.
At the end of the process, you will find that only the data from My Documents folder is copied. The rest of the information, settings, application data, etc. are transferred only if you have a paid version. In effect, the free version just wastes your time collecting all the information about apps, shortcuts, logs and registry settings.
Before you can install PCMover Express – free or paid – you need to have VC++ 2010 on both the old and new computers. If it is not there already, the PCMover installer will install it for you.
Use PCmover Express to migrate data
We will talk about the free PCMover Express available on the Microsoft website.
Following are the steps to copy files from old Windows XP to new PC having Windows 10 / 8 / 7 installed. Note that the terms “files” in this case are only the data files lying in your My Documents folder. The FAQ section of the website talks about Outlook files but I could not locate them on my Windows 7 computer, post the operation of PCmover so I guess that is a privilege available only to people using the paid version.
Here are the steps to use PCmover Express:
Install PCmover Express on your Windows XP computer and on the new computer. Installing on the new computer might give you a message that the program is obsolete and that you should visit Laplink website to get the newer version. But I could not find a free version or even trialware on the website.
After troubleshooting compatibility issues on PCMover Express that I downloaded from the Microsoft website, I somehow got it working.
That done, open PCmover Express on both XP and the new Windows machine.
Go to the XP machine and start there. You will have to specify that you are on the Windows XP machine. Once specified and when you click “Next”, it takes a good amount of time collecting details it will not use. Have a look at the screenshot gallery.
As mentioned above, the free version will not copy apps, settings etc. I do not know the reason why it collects all that data if it is not going to be transferred to new PC. Anyway, that done, you get the message to go to the new PC and run PC Mover from there so that it can transfer your data over a network, an Ethernet cable connection or their (Laplink’s) own USB data cable.
How useful is the Free PCMover Express?
The free program is for users who do not know much about copying or moving data from one computer to other. If it copied applications and their settings as well, as the paid version does, it would have been an indispensable tool for everyone. But No! The free version does not copy applications, etc, though it collects all that information as shown in the dialog box when you run it on Windows XP first.
In my case, it transferred all the data in My Documents so I should say it works. But I wonder why it needs to be connected to be Internet and why it collects all the application information and settings even though it doesn’t use it!?
In my opinion, if you are to transfer only your data, you can use the manual method of copying via a network. The manual method should be faster than using Free PCmover as you do not go ahead and scan program files, shortcuts, registry etc. before moving your files. You save on that, and if it is manual copying, you know where exactly you want to copy the different data on the new PC.
PCmover Express free download
PCmover Express is for download in English here at Microsoft.
This has been my experience with Free PCmover Express. If you have used it for copying or moving files from Windows XP to Windows 8 or Windows 7 computer, please share your experience with us.
You might want to also check out PCtransfer, a portable data transfer freeware for Windows.
For those users who are not planning to currently upgrade, we have written an article on securing Windows XP after end of support, which you may want to have a look at.