New Laptop

My old Dell has broken a hinge, broken as in bits of plastic snapped off & now unable to close.
It developed a slight click when opening & I promised myself a session with the screwdrivers, but hey-ho, a stitch in time & all that.
A new one is ordered & I’m looking forward to moving into the 2020’s with Windows 11, SSD, AMD Ryzen & Wi-Fi 6.

Anyhow it’s been a lot of years since I last swapped laptops, so my question, what’s the latest/easy/best way to transfer files, apps, passwords & such like?
I see a lot of www links on how to do this, many with an app to buy, but is there a “best off” in anyone’s experience

If your new laptop is Dell, does Dell Migrate tool help?

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Hi Sean, yes no doubt it does, but I’m a tight fisted ol’ bugger & reasonably IT savvy, I’m just looking for some new ideas as it’s been a while since my last system change.
At the moment I’m planning to set up and familiarise myself with the new Win-11 system, then load Chrome and my Google account with OneDrive Sync to bring across the links and passwords. Then upload all the files (docs, pics etc) from old laptop to an external HD to download back to the new laptop,
But maybe some of our forum’ite buddies have better ideas.

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So glad I live in the world of macOs. When my company bought me a new M1 Max MacBook Pro a year ago, all I had to do was start it up, provide my iCloud credentials, point it to my old laptop on my LAN and go play music for a few hours while it migrated everything for me. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

So, wow! Has Windows really not made any progress on this front? I was using Windows 10 on a client provided laptop until last April. When they did a refresh a year earlier I saved some things to a network share, but most everything else was in the enterprise GitLab, so I had to check everything out again, and then reconfigure my whole development setup (I’m a software engineer). Mostly a waste of three days time though. Fortunately, that was on the client to pay for it.

I really feel for you Windows users. Ugh.

If you have everything in, say, OneDrive, it is dead easy. No transferring of files is necessary, just install whatever applications you need, sync OneDrive and you’re up and running.


I have both a Mac and PC. The one thing I don’t like about the Mac is that Mail Contacts and Calendar are 3 separate apps that don’t always (for me anyway) as one. The PC with Microsoft Outlook is so much easier, it’s all integrated and makes more sense.

My Surface Pro which is about 4 years old is slowing dying and now I’m not working I’m thinking of just running the Mac.

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I guess each to their own. I don’t like apps that try to do everything. As it is, I don’t use Apple’s app for Calendar, and I find it easy enough to look up contacts when I need to. I’ve used Outlook and always hated it. I prefer lean and mean apps that do one thing and do it well, vs jack-of-all-trade apps like Outlook that to me are overly complicated and tie one to their way of doing things.

Not to mention, with the Mac I don’t have to shell out more money for third party apps (i.e. Outlook, Word, Excel, etc). Those are just included with the OS.

But the other thing about those Mac apps (Mail, Contacts, Calendar) is while they may be separate apps, they are all integrated together very well. There’s really nothing at all I miss about working on Windows.

Another thing for me is that I’m a software engineer, and the Mac is a much better developer platform than windows. The tools are better and they work better. I always found Windows rather frustrating at times from a developer perspective. Microsoft just never gave that aspect much thought outside of working with their toolchains and frameworks for building apps for their OS and their servers.

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Just curious, what software area are you mainly involved?

I’m a Java developer and work on Micronaut (, a microservices framework. I’m pretty much in my last year working before I retire.

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Nice! Java is a great programming language!

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I have more MB than OneDrive can handle, but will use it for part of the job, the heavy stuff will go via my HD

It turns out I bought a new M2 Macbook Air today for my wife. I ordered online for pickup at the Apple Store, and they gave me a moderate trade-in allowance for her 5 yr old MacBook Pro.

So while I waited for the email from the Apple Store to say it was ready for pickup, I updated the Time Machine backup of her old laptop to an external SSD and then I reformatted the laptop to erase all her data.

When I brought home the new Macbook Air it went through a brief setup, and then Migration Assistant prompted me for her Time Machine backup. After pointing to it and going off to fix and eat dinner, we came back, entered login credentials for iCloud and Google gmail. That’s it. Now the new Macbook Air is in her lap as if nothing ever changed. All her files, apps, settings/preferences, email…everything is there just like before. Automagically! Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

Blows my mind that Microsoft still doesn’t have that figured out when Apple has been doing it for the last 10 years (at least).


Just over a year ago I too treated myself to a new M2 laptop the Migration Assistant did its magic in less than an hour .
We have been an all Apple household for about 15 years and would never dream of a return to Windows
My 5 year old MacBook Pro continues to provide excellent service to my granddaughter.

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I have to agree that setting up a new Apple is so easy, but at home I only use iPad, even easier.
Setting up this new Dell & Windows 11 is a different situation entirely, first I’m new to Win11 so a bit of a learning curve for just that.
Then I have a lot of MB with photos & documents, these have go via the remote HD.
As for the rest, easy as Apple using OneDrive and the Google Chrome account. However I’m taking the time to sanitise a lot of stuff, I have a load of old software that I know is out of date or never gets used these days, so I’ll get the latest and only what I use from www.

What I did when I was in the same position a few months back (old Win10 Dell to new Win11 Dell) was added both computers to my network. Then manually copy key folders from old to new e.g. documents, downloads, programmes, &c. However several programmes have to be reinstalled on the new PC and that’s where the aggravation starts; trying to find the codes &c. to install programmes that were originally installed perhaps 10 years ago. Then finding that you have to install an updated version which the software people want to charge you for :frowning: I spent a couple of days copying stuff and reinstalling - tbf a lot you can start copying and then just leave the computers doing their stuff. Even now I still have the old PC under the bed ‘just in case’ I’ve forgotten something.

Updating to a new PC is a pain :frowning:

At least all my passwords &c. are all synced with firefox or in emails in a specific folder.

Do Windows computers still come with all that awful crapware that borders on malicious software?

I remember when I used Windows computers and that was true my only practical choice was to reformat the volume and start completely from scratch with a Windows Intaller CD. I do not miss those days. Ugh.

Windows 11 isn’t massively different from W10. I keep screenshots of installed software and other bits like printer setup in a word document. Also keep all documents under a “data” directory, backed up regularly brought a new HP last year. Installed bits of software and ready. Chrome syncs automatically and has favoutite web sites contacts etc. All there restored data directory. Onedrive docs as said already there in the cloud. The only thing is copying profile from old machine. Personally I prefer to start with a nice clean profile but there are utilities to copy if needed

Hi Ian, yes its not that different, just different presentations & ways of doing stuff.
Just had an afternoon finding the ways around.

Well… I have just swapped from an ageing Windows 7 machine to a newer (Dell) Windows 11 one. It wasn’t that hard to transfer things across… :thinking:

The only real snag I hit was with Avast. I had been using their Password Manager along with their Anti Virus, for free. I installed Avast AV no problem - but the Password Manger was not to be found - unless I paid… So I exported all my Passwords in a format to suit Google’s PM - which accepted them without problem. And is working well…!

My only problem, & a very minor problem, was installing the Naim Hard/Software Updater package for the legacy streamers.
I did not just copy over from my old laptop, instead I grabbed a new copy from Naim.
It downloaded OK but would not install and gave a warning that it needed .NET Framework 2.0, it seems Windows-11 doesn’t use it. I searched for and quickly found Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 Service Pack 1 (x64), installed that and the Naim packaged then installed OK.