How to Copy Desktop Settings to a New Computer

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

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

Step

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

Step

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

Step

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

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

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

Step

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

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

Step

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

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

Step

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

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

Step

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