transfer files from win 7 laptop to win 8.1 desktop

looking to transfer all my data and programs from a win 7 laptop to a win 8 pc.  especially my outlook 2010 mail/contacts & settings.  best way to do this?  thanks :-)
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rindiConnect With a Mentor Commented:
If you first do an upgrade to Windows 8.0, then from there to 8.1everything should be carried over to the new OS. But of course if there something installed that isn't compatible with Windows 8.x, it might not work. Also, anything that wasn't installed or setup properly in the previous OS will be in the same state on the new OS.

So personally I don't recommend upgrading, but rather doing a clean installation. This is also a good chance for consolidating and disposing of software you don't really need (Many PC's have lots of useless crap installed), Some software you can probably replace with OpenSource, free Alternatives, that are usually better or just as good as paid counterparts. A good source of such software is PortableApps, where the software can even be put on USB sticks and don'st need an installation...:

For Outlook, if you are directly connected to an exchange server via MAPI, you don't have to save anything except the archive pst files, as everything is stored on the exchange server. If you don't connect to an exchange server, just keep all your pst files, as those store everything you need.

Basically just backup what you have in your \Users\YourUserAccount, and maybe also your \Users\Public folders, as that is where any data would normally be stored. Of the software you need to keep, make sure you have the installation media and the product keys, and also check online that your version works with Windows 8.1. If not, check if there are patches or upgrades available. Once you have installed 8.1 and run all the Windows updates, install whatever you need again. and copy back data from the folder I mentioned that you may need.
Tony GiangrecoCommented:
Here is a review of apps on the market
Michael MachieFull-time technical multi-taskerCommented:
Configuring Outlook on the new PC will auto update all of your Outlook items to include mail, contacts, calendar etc. Nothing special needed there. All these items are on your mail server so no manual copying is required unless you have a manually created or Auto-Archive. That would be the only file to carry over.

As for programs - you cannot just copy them over and expect them to work. You will need to reinstall all of your programs so that the registry is updated with the proper info to be able to launch/run your programs.
StewartGilliganAuthor Commented:
thanks all :-)
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