3 Easy Ways to Transfer Programs to New Computer Windows 11

Don’t know how to transfer programs from old computer to new? Or you want to upgrade Windows while keeping things intact? Here are the solutions.


By Maggie Updated on June 2, 2023

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Why transfer installed programs from one PC to another?

It’s really nice to get a new PC, or upgrade your Windows system to enjoy a fresh new experience. But this is not in the case when you need to copy everything from old to new while keeping everything intact. Transferring programs to new computer Windows 11 can avoid data loss and reinstallation.

However, moving program to new computer is different from transferring data. For example, when you transfer files and programs, you are transferring:

☞Files and data: documents, pictures music pictures and emails
☞Programs and apps: such as Microsoft Office, Adobe Photoshop, Quickbooks, TurboTax, Firefox, Chrome, and other programs

Step by step to transfer programs to new computer on Windows 11

In this part I’ll tell show you 3 ways to transfer software to new computer. However, before starting, I suggest to backup files in case of data loss.

Method 1. Transfer programs in a traditional way (through USB drive)

Unlike common files and folders, programs cannot be transferred through simple copy-and-paste manipulation. Most programs are non-portable applications and therefore cannot be transferred to another computer. However, for some simple and removable programs, you can try to copy and transfer to another computer by a removable USB stick.

◆Prepare a USB drive that is compatible with your computer and make sure it has sufficient storage space.
◆Find the setup file and .exe file that can be transferred.
◆Backup the activation key in advance.

Step 1. Connect the USB drive to the source computer and make sure it can be detected and recognized by the computer.

Step 2. Find and copy the program that you want to transfer and paste it to your USB.

Paste To USB

Step 3. Then safely eject the USB drive from the source computer.

Step 4. Connect the USB drive to the second PC and copy the program to the new PC’s hard drive.

Step 5. Next, you need to reactive the software.

◆This method is applicable only to certain simple programs. However, for certain licensed software, it may not be workable.
◆No matter how careful you are, it is possible to lose certain setup files of software during the operating process.

Method 2. Transfer programs with OneDrive cloud

This is the built-in utility of Windows once you have created a OneDrive account. In this way, you need to upload the programs and files from your old computer to OneDrive and then log in to your OneDrive account on another Windows computer.

Step 1. Log in to the OneDrive account and upload the program’s folder from the disk to the cloud.

Step 2. Make sure that the uploaded programs folder appears in the OneDrive account.

Step 3. Then open the second PC and log on to the same account on OneDrive, then you can locally download the program folder from the cloud. After the download, you’ll find there’s a zip file, and makes sure to unzip it before you officially install it to the target computer.

✍Caution: Only 5 GB free space is available on OneDrive cloud and also, it may not be able to contain all your programs folders, which will cause installation failure on the target computer.

Method 3. Move programs to new computer via professional software (Suggested)

Frankly speaking, the previous two ways have their fatal weakness when migrating your programs from one drive to the second. Is there any better way that can make up for it?

We recommend with AOMEI Backupper Professional, which is a professional backup and restore software can help you migrate programs while keeping it integrity from one drive to the second without losing your data.

Here are the detailed steps to migrate your programs from one computer to the second.

◆Download AOMEI Backupper Professional on the source computers firstly.
◆Then on the first computer, create a system backup image via this software.
◆You need to create a bootable disk. It helps to automatically enter into AOMEI Backupper on your new PC.

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Step 1. On the target computer, insert the disk containing the system image and bootable disk into the new computer, then restart the new computer and boot from the bootable disk.

Step 2. Click Restore> Select Task to locate the system image file.

✍Note: If there’s no image detected, click Select Image File to navigate manually to the image file location.

Locate System Image Backup

Step 3. Select your previous system backup image and click Next button to transfer programs to new computer on Windows 11.

Select Backup Image

Step 4. In the next windows, you have two options, here choose Restore this system backup.

Restore Entire Backup

Step 5. Select a restore path to receive the system image and click Next to continue.

Step 6. Universal Restore is enabled automatically since you restore system from two different computers. Then you just need to click Start Restore.

Restore System to Dissimilar Hardware

To sum up

This article shares 3 ways to transfer programs to new computer Windows 11 through USB drive, OneDrive, and AOMEI Backupper. The previous two have their fatal flaws that on the one hand can only transfer simple programs and on the other hand, have the risks of losing data during the transferring process. But AOMEI Backupper, as the Acer recovery Windows 11 software, is remarkable and unparalleled in the area of backing up the whole system and restoring it to another computer without causing any data loss.

Maggie · Editor
Maggie is a technical editor from AOMEI and troubleshoots technical problems against data protection. She has received professional and systematic technical training. With a focus on user experience, security, and problem-solving, she always puts herself in the readers' shoes and provides them with valuable technical insights.