Will all my Old Programs Work on my New PC?

See context below for more information on the expectations for programs transferred from your old PC to your new PC.


Your migrated programs should work as they did in the old PC after you transfer the associated files and registry settings to the new computer with PCmover.
In some cases, however, you may find that a program will not work on the new PC, in which case you will need to reinstall the program from the original disk/download or contact the program manufacturer for assistance in getting it to run on the new computer.

Why would this be?

PCmover does a decent job in determining any issues with compatibility on the target OS.  By default, any applications found to be incompatible with it will not be copied at all. You will be presented with the opportunity to review these findings and make changes. However, we strongly recommend that you accept the defaults. Some applications will be also be flagged as presenting potential issues and should therefore not be copied either.

Nowadays, the bulk of the issues revolve around migrating from an older Windows XP/7 installation to a new Windows 10 64-bit machine because most older XP/7 programs are simply incompatible with the newer 64-bit operating systems. However, this issue does not affect Data and Settings.

The items below explain why a program may not migrate successfully:

  1. Core Windows applications, services, data. PCmover may not migrate information/settings from applications provided by Windows itself (Active Directory, IIS, etc.).
  2. The program needs updated drivers. When you are migrating a program into a newer operating system, that program may now require a new driver in order to work within that system or with the different hardware built into the new computer. In that case you would need to reinstall the program on the new PC manually, at which time the new driver information should be detected normally if such driver exists.
  3. Drivers associated with the program can’t be transferred. Certain system utilities (e.g. anti-virus/anti-spyware programs, printer software, etc.) should not be transferred at all, or, if transferred, need to be manually re-installed after the migration as system drivers used by the program cannot be transferred.
  4. The program is copyright-protected. A small number of software programs are copyright-protected in such a way that the program verifies at startup that it is running on the same computer on which it was initially installed. When such programs are copied to a new computer, they will refuse to run until they are manually re-installed or re-activated on the new computer.
    The above also applies to certain data containing DRM (Digital Rights Management) information, including music and multimedia files.
  5. The program is incompatible with the new operating system. If you are upgrading from one operating system to another, each program that is copied to the new computer must be compatible with the new operating system. Some older DOS and Windows programs, for instance, are not compatible with Windows 10. These programs will not run on a Windows 10 system no matter if they are installed from scratch or copied over with migration software such as PCmover.
  6. The program contains non-transferable system settings. System utilities such as anti-virus or anti-spyware programs as well as some other applications that install system services on the PC may contain system settings that cannot be transferred with migration software. These programs will need to be reinstalled manually.
  7. The program contains a hardware fingerprint. Some programs are dependent on a specific piece of hardware in your PC. These programs will not work unless the same piece of hardware is installed on the new PC. In such case, you must install the hardware in the new system and then manually reinstall the program.

It must also be noted that some software publishers are very aggressive in enforcing their licensing policies, meaning that after successful completion of a migration, it is not uncommon that some programs on the new computer will prompt for you for registration or activation.  In such case, the original product key must be provided, and in the absence of multiple licenses for the product, the original program version on the old computer could require deactivation. It is solely the end user's responsibility to understand a product's License Agreement and to remain in full compliance with the software publisher's requirements.