Help w/transferring programs to a new computers and a factory reset

I have a new computer arriving a few weeks early and I have less time to research things than I thought, so I wonder if any computer folks can offer advice. Hubby is getting my old computer, which means I have to clean it up and get all my junk off of it. (Sorry for so many questions!)

About transferring files/programs to new computer: :

I normally would just reinstall everything from scratch on the new computer, but I looked into transfer programs like PCMover and it looks a whole lot easier. However, I don’t want to move everything, so I need to be able to pick and choose what gets transferred. I’d also like to be able to pick where the programs go on the new computer, but I don’t know if the paths have to be exactly the same as the old computer to get the programs to work. (I’m also going from three drives down to two, but I’m not sure if that matters?) Anyone have experience with these programs and/or have advice about which one is best?

About doing a factory reset:

I also want to do a factory reset on my old computer so it’s ‘new’ for hubby, but I’ve never done it before and it makes me nervous for some reason. :grimacing: Is there a downside or risk to it that I need to be aware of?

I see that there’s the reset option to do a Local reinstall or Cloud download for Windows, but I don’t understand exactly what each entails or if one is a better option than the other? (The computer came with Widows 10, but I upgraded it to Windows 11 and want to keep it, so does that matter?)

Will I need any codes or keys to do a factory reset?


I’m sure you’ll get better advice, but I would back-up your data files either to the cloud or to a USB disk then copy those files onto your new computer. I’d also just install all my software new again. One of the reasons to get a new computer is to get rid of all the extra bloat and cr4p that accumulates. I’m not a fan of those programs that move things from one computer to another, but that is just me.

As for the factory refresh, as I recall that takes you back to the version of Windows that was originally installed on your PC. You can run it and either remove data (which you’ll want to do) or to keep your data. Then get ready to run Windows Update for a while.

Good luck and congrats on the new computer. I’m trying to figure out which computer I want next.


I’ve never used one of the utilities that copies your install to a new computer, but that sounds handy.

I would still consider starting fresh and re-installing your stuff. It’s like cleaning the garage… It kind of sucks, but it is an opportunity to clean up, update apps you may have missed, etc. It feels better when you are done.

A local reinstall will redo Windows with some older version of Windows–whatever is in the recovery partition.

A cloud reinstall puts a more recent build on.

In practice the difference is you may spend less time waiting for Windows updates if you do a cloud reinstall.

If your internet download speed is slow or if you are worried about data caps, I would do the local install.

Either way is fine and neither are risky. Since you are committed to erasing the machine and starting over, there’s nothing to go wrong. And if the machine cannot reinstall itself for some reason, you can always make a bootable USB drive.


I work in IT, send me a message and I can help you get this all figured out pretty easily.


Oh man, you’re a legend for the offer! I’ll shoot you a message.


Good question. Let us know what you end up doing. I need to do the same thing.

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@techquest89 I am so sorry for ghosting you and your help. Life has reared its ugly head and I have been away dealing with my elderly mother. Thank you so much for your message and generous efforts. I haven’t had the time or energy to deal with the Lightroom issue that precipitated all this, but a quick search showed me that the ‘special’ (gestures vaguely) version of it that was hundreds of dollars initially is now very affordable. So that’s the route I’ll probably take.

@marmak3261 with life slapping me in the face I ended up just skipping looking at transfer programs or anything fancy, and I just winged it. :laughing: This info might be too late for you, but when I got the new computer going all I had to do was sync it to my Google account and all my passwords, bookmarks etc just transferred over seamlessly. It was incredibly easy and quick.


I hope the various parts of real life causing you anxiety are resolving in a favorable way.


Aww, thank you Hon, but unfortunately there’s no good resolution to this. #f**kcancer
As old as you (57) and your mom (90) get, you’re never prepared for the inevitable cycle of life. But it is what it is, and here’s hoping for a few good months of reminding her how much we love her. :heart: (If I can be greedy, I’m hoping to be with her on our shared birthday coming up in November.)


Thanks for the reply. My office uses Google Workplace so that is a transition with Drive and such. In the meanwhile I have gotten entangled in OneDrive and iCloud storage on different devices and I am still stuck in a mindset that wants everything local but still use so many different devices. I have yet to unify my calendars because I still use Outlook for a lot of personal scheduling. The office uses Google calendars. And it is a pain to keep it all synced on my iPhone. It’s a mess, but I am slowly taming it.

Prayers for your mom and your family at this time. These parts of the journey do invite us to savor each day.

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