How to Copy Desktop Settings to a New Computer

By Jesse Lanclos

Your Windows user profile stores your personal settings and controls how things appear when you load Windows. Your user profile determines the color scheme, settings for applications you have installed, and the appearance of your desktop. This includes any desktop preferences you have set and icons saved to your desktop.

Windows Vista or Windows 7

Step 1

Select "Start" in the lower left corner of your screen. Select "Control Panel," then "System."

Step 2

Click "Advanced System Settings." Select "Settings" in the "User Profiles" section. Select your user profile.

Step 3

Click "Copy to." Navigate to the location on your computer to save a copy of your profile to that location.

Step 4

Specify which accounts should have permission to access this profile under "Permitted to Use." Click "OK" to copy the user profile to the location you've selected.

Windows XP

Step 1

Select "Start" in the bottom left of your screen, then "Control Panel." If you don't see "Control Panel," click "Start," then "Settings," then "Control Panel." Double-click "System" to open the System Properties Dialog Box.

Step 2

Select "Advanced," then "User Profiles," then "Settings."

Step 3

Select the desired user profile. Select "Copy to." Browse to the desired location on your computer where you wish to save the user profile. Click "OK."

Step 4

Click "Change" under "Permitted to Use," and type the username of the new user into "Enter the Object Name to Select."

Step 5

Click "OK" twice, then "Yes" to confirm you wish to copy the user profile. Click "OK" twice more to close the User Profiles box and the System Properties.

Windows 2000

Step 1

Click "Start," then "Settings," then "Control Panel." Double-click "System" to open the System Properties Dialog Box.

Step 2

Click "User Profiles" and click the one you want to copy. Click "Copy to." Browse to the desired location on your computer where you wish to save the user profile. Click "OK."

Step 3

Select "Change" and click the user who should now have access to this profile.

Step 4

Select "OK" to close each of the dialog boxes and save your changes.