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Backup & Restore Windows 10 Users and Programs?

Beginner
Posts: 1
Comments: 1

Long story short, I'm trying to install a fresh copy of Win10Pro onto a new drive, and then restore the users and programs, to bring me back to where I started, roughly.

Can anyone tell me whether this can be done as simply as backing up the "Users" & the pair of "Program Files", installing and updating Win10, and restoring "on top" of the new Windows installation?

Not sure if it's obvious, but I have Acronis True Image 2017.

thanks,
Keith

Forum Star
Posts: 9
Comments: 1116

No. You cannot do what you are proposing. You would have to do a Full Disk restore to restore installed programs and users which would defeat the purpose of your clean install. You will have to reinstall programs and recreate the users. You can copy data files from your old backup to the appropriate user.

Legend
Posts: 45
Comments: 15213

Beginner
Posts: 1
Comments: 1

Let me start by thanking for prompt feedback
I suspect that there is a lack of details that might confuse what my scenario is, but it isn't included in the three samples that are described the link that you've provided, Steve Smith.
I'll just try to attempt the manual management of this, and hope that I can get back to a useful system without too much pain.

Keith

Legend
Posts: 45
Comments: 15213

Keith, the way that both user profiles and programs / applications are woven and integrated into Windows works against trying to move the Users folders or either of the Program Files folders manually.

Just creating a new user on a new install of Windows 10 with the same name as the user on your old drive does not given an identical user to work with.

Most programs / applications store data in the Windows Registry as well as in many other places, including the ProgramData and User\User-Name\AppData folders.

The safest way forward is either to reinstall all the applications again on the clean Windows install, or else, as Thomas mentioned, to recover a full disk & partitions backup to your new disk drive where you are restoring back the OS and all installed applications and user data.

I have had some success in recovering user settings for such as web browsers and email applications by copying across the AppData folders related to these items after creating new user profiles.  This has normally been where the original user profile has become corrupted

See webpage: How to Fix A Corrupt User Profile In Windows 10 which shows several methods of doing this type of recovery.