Easiest way to transfer application settings across computers: AppMigrate

UPDATE October 2014: this application has been discontinued.

[Old article:]
This article presents you with the top 3 ways to migrate or transfer applications settings across computers. This will come in handy in situations such as:

  • when you buy a new computer and need to transfer your settings from your old computer to your new computer
  • when you want to replicate or send application settings to a friend or someone else
  • when you want to back up your settings in order to ensure you won't lose something if your computer were to break down somehow
The solution I'm going to present you is fully automated, free, and it's even open source so it's completely devoid of all risks regarding data privacy. It's a simple tool called AppMigrate.

Quick tutorial

First, head over to the official website and download the latest AppMigrate installer. Install the program and open it via the newly created shortcut in your start/home menu. A window appears showing you the list of programs that were detected on your computer. Initially, the list only shows applications that AppMigrate is able to export settings from:

Note: if you uncheck the "Supported apps only" button, you will see all the apps from your system, even those that AppMigrate doesn't support. Anyhow: using your mouse and/or your keyboard, select the applications you want to export settings from. When you're done making your selection, click the "Export selected" button. Select a folder where the settings packages will be stored, then click OK.

Restoring settings

Now, you're left with one or more .appmigrate package files (they are actually zip files, renamed). You can transfer them to another computer and import them by following the instructions below:
  • Install AppMigrate on your new computer
  • Either double-click on each settings package you want to import in the system (AppMigrate will open and import the package)
  • Or first open AppMigrate, then click the "Import packages" to import multiple files
You will be presented with a progress dialog...

Once the operation is complete you will be seeing a confirmation message. That's all! You have successfully migrated your application settings across computers.

Supported applications

Because of the ways applications store their settings (that is, in a non-generic way) AppMigrate doesn't support all the apps in the world; however there are already over a hundred major apps in the catalog. Here is the whole list as of November 2013:

µTorrent, 7-Zip, abgx360gui, Ad-Aware Antivirus, Adobe Photoshop CS5, AIM 7, AIMP3, Astrill, Audacity, Auslogics DiskDefrag, BitComet, CCleaner, CDBurnerXP, Classic Shell, Content Manager Assistant, Corel PaintShop Pro X6, Debut Video Capture Software, Devcoin, Digsby, Dolphin, Dolphin, Dolphin, DOSBox, eMule, Enso, FastStone Image Viewer, FileZilla, FlashGet, foobar2000, FormatFactory, Foxit Reader, Fraps, GIMP 2.8, GOM Player, Google Chrome, Google Talk, GrabIt, Greenshot, Growl, HandBrake, Hex Workshop, Hulu Desktop, HxD, ImgBurn, InfraRecorder, Inkscape, Inno Script Studio, Inno Setup, IrfanView, iTunes, iTunes, Jitsi, KeePass Password Safe, KMPlayer, Launchy, Litecoin, LiveStream Procaster, MagicISO, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, MediaMonkey, Microsoft Visual C# 2010 Express, mIRC, Mozilla Firefox, Mozilla Thunderbird, MP4Joiner, MPC-HC, MultiBit, Notepad++, NVDA, OpenOffice, Opera, Oracle VM VirtualBox, Paint.NET, PCSX2, PeaZip, Picasa, Pidgin, Plex Media Server, PowerISO, Project64, PuTTY, puush, QQ2013, Rainlendar2, Safari, Skype, Songbird 2, SpeedFan, Spotify, Start8, SumatraPDF, Tango, TeamSpeak 3, TeamViewer 8, TeraCopy, Torch, Trillian, USB Image Tool, VirtualDub, VLC Media Player, Winamp, WinDirStat, WinMerge, WinRAR, WinSCP, XnView, Yahoo! Messenger.

Users can contribute to the application database by submitting their entries here.

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