By Ivy / Last update September 30, 2020

What is Microsoft USMT?

The USMT is short for User State Migration Tool, which is a free Microsoft command line tool to migrate user accounts, user files and folders, operating system settings, application settings, network settings and registry keys between Windows computers for administrator. If you want to upgrade hardware or operating system for a large number of computers, the USMT will do you a big favor.

USMT is applied to Windows 2000, XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, and 10, which is included in Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (Windows ADK). Thus, please install Windows ADK first if you want to use USMT. USMT allows you to migrate from 32-bit to 64-bit computer. Of course, you can use Windows Easy Transfer to deploy a small number of computers or an individual customized computer. Or you could transfer files from old PC to new PC without losing data.

How to use USMT in Windows XP/Vista/7/8/8.1/10?

First of all, you have to know about USMT allows you to modify the USMT .xml file to automate and precisely define the migration. These .xml files are:

  • MigApp.XML. (migrate application settings)

  • MigDocs.XML. (migrate user documents)

  • MigUser.XML. (migrate user profiles and user data)

Here, to show you how to migrate files and settings from Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, or 8.1 (source computer) to Windows 10 (destination computer), 4 steps are listed below:

Step 1: Download and install USMT tools (included in Windows ADK).

You could download Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (Windows ADK) for your current OS. Then install it, you can check the User State Migration Tool (USMT) option only.

Install USMT

Step 2: Gather data in Windows XP/Vista/7/8/8.1 using the USMT ScanState tool.

After installing Windows ADK features, please migrate user profiles and settings from Windows XP/Vista/7/8/8.1 (source computer) to Windows 10 (destination computer).

Note: Please backup the source computer, and then close all the applications. Because USMT will not migrate all the specified data when use the ScanState command if application running.

1. Input cmd in the search dialog box in desktop, right click the Command Prompt and choose Run As Administrator.

2. Then run the following command to collect all files and settings. For example:

scanstate \\server\share\migration\mystore /i:migdocs.xml /i:migapp.xml /o


Tip: If you want to exclude some certain operating-system settings, you have to create and modify a Config.xml file in the current directory. The command is:

scanstate /i:migapp.xml /i:migdocs.xml /genconfig:config.xml /v:13

3. Run USMTUtils command with /Verify option followed to make sure the migration store is intact. For example:

usmtutils /verify D:\MyMigrationStore\store.mig

Step 3: Install Windows 10 and all applications.

Install Windows 10 to destination computer, and ensure install the same version application on Windows 10 as the one on source computer. USMT does not support to migrate the settings from an older version to the newer version.

Step 4: Restore files and settings in Windows 10 using the LoadState tool.

Before restoring, close all the applications.

1. Input cmd in the search dialog box in desktop, right click the Command Prompt and choose Run As Administrator.

2. Run LoadState command to apply files and settings.

  • If you are migrating domain accounts, input:

loadstate \\server\share\migration\mystore /i:migdocs.xml /i:migapp.xml


  • If you are migrating local accounts along with domain accounts, input:

loadstate \\server\share\migration\mystore /i:migdocs.xml /i:migapp.xml /lac /lae

LoadState Local Accounts and Domain Accounts

Tip: Some settings will take effect while the user logging on again.

Although USMT is good at migrating profiles and settings between computers, it’s hard to use for ordinary users and only support some personal operating systems like Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1 and 10. Is any USMT GUI software that I can use to migrate user profiles easily?

Best USMT alternative software - AOMEI Backupper

Of course, the best powerful USMT alternative – AOMEI Backupper Server will do you a big favor. AOMEI Backupper Server is more friendly and easy to use for users to migrate user files and settings no matter what the system is. It’s designed for Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, and 10, Windows Server 2003(R2), 2008(R2), 2012(R2), 2016, 2019, SBS 2003, 2008, 2011.

Here is the user profile migration wizard with the best USMT alternative - AOMEI Backupper(assuming that migrate user profiles from Windows 7 to Windows 10): 

1. Before migrating, please create a network shared folder in Windows 10.

2. Open USMT alternative - AOMEI Backupper Server, choose Sync -> Basic Sync.

File Sync 

3. Hit Add Folder button to choose the Windows 7 user profiles as the source. Rename the Task Name if need be.

Add Folder 

4. Click the inverted triangle icon > Select a network location > Add Network Location, input the Network Path (Windows 10 IP address) and the credentials, click OK, choose the Windows 10 network shared folder as the destination.

Select Network Path

Add Network Path

There are some optional settings you could set up:
Options: you could comment on the user profile migration task, enable email or SMS notification after the sync finished, etc.
 Schedule allows you to migrate Windows 7 user profiles on a regular basis, Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Event triggers, USB plug in.

5. Press Start Sync >> to migrate user profiles from Windows 7 to Windows 10 safely.

Until now, the user profile migration wizard has been finished. As the Windows 10 user profile migration tool - AOMEI Backupper Server allows you migrate user profiles between Windows 10 computers, migrate Windows 10 to SSD without reinstalling, etc.

The Epilogue

Besides, the best USMT alternative - AOMEI Backupper Server allows to perform real time sync, two way sync, clone hard drive to larger one or smaller one, backup Windows operating system, automatically backup files to Google Drive, and so on.

For IT professionals, you can try Command Line Utility to migrate user profiles, user Windows deployment services to deploy system image to multiple computers within LAN, etc.

If you want to create backups for unlimited computers within your company, Choose AOMEI Backupper Technician Plus. Or create and manage backups for all computers from one management console with AOMEI Centralized Backupper.