Upgrading Windows XP to Windows 7 and Migrate Microsoft Office and Other Applications Using The User State Migration Tool (USMT

At recent TechNet events, I had questions about migrating applications using the User State Migration Tool (USMT).  As I suspected, there is support for migrating some applications including Microsoft Office.  In fact, for Microsoft Office it can even migrate settings from an older version of office on the source machine to a newer version of office on the destination machine.  In case you need to know more about running the USMT tools, check out this post: Migrate Windows XP to Windows 7 Using USMT (User State Migration Tool) [Upgrade XP or Vista] Step By StepHere are the full details on what applications can be migrated (without customization) using the migapp.xml configuration file… 


What Does USMT Migrate?

Applies To: Windows 7, Windows Vista

Default Migration Scripts

Microsoft® Windows® User State Migration Tool (USMT) 4.0 is designed so that an IT engineer can precisely define migrations using the USMT .xml scripting language. USMT provides the following sample scripts:

  • MigApp.XML.Rules to migrate application settings.
  • MigDocs.XML. Rules that utilize the MigXmlHelper.GenerateDocPatternshelper function can be used to automatically find user documents on a computer without the need to author extensive custom migration .xml files.
  • MigUser.XML. Rules to migrate user profiles and user data.
    MigUser.xml gathers everything in a user’s profile and then does a file extension- based search of most of the system for other user data. If data doesn’t match either of these criteria, the data won’t be migrated. For the most part, this file describes a “core” migration.
    The following data does not migrate with MigUser.xml:

    • Files outside the user profile that don’t match one of the file extensions in MigUser.xml.
    • ACLs for folders outside the user profile.

User Data

This section describes the user data that USMT migrates by default, using the MigUser.xml file. It also defines how to migrate access control lists (ACLs).

  • Folders from each user profile. When you specify the MigUser.xml file, USMT migrates everything in a user’s profiles including the following:
    My Documents, My Video, My Music, My Pictures, desktop files, Start menu, Quick Launch settings, and Favorites.
  • Folders from the All Users and Public profiles. When you specify the MigUser.xml file, USMT also migrates the following from the All Users profile in Windows® XP, or the Public profile in Windows Vista® or Windows® 7:
    Shared Documents, Shared Video, Shared Music, Shared desktop files, Shared Pictures, Shared Start menu, and Shared Favorites.
  • File types. When you specify the MigUser.xml file, the ScanState tool searches the fixed drives, collects and migrates files with any of the following file extensions:
    .accdb, .ch3, .csv, .dif, .doc*, .dot*, .dqy, .iqy, .mcw, .mdb*, .mpp, .one*, .oqy, .or6, .pot*, .ppa, .pps*, .ppt*, .pre, .pst, .pub, .qdf, .qel, .qph, .qsd, .rqy, .rtf, .scd, .sh3, .slk, .txt, .vl*, .vsd, .wk*, .wpd, .wps, .wq1, .wri, .xl*, .xla, .xlb, .xls*.Note The asterisk (*) stands for zero or more characters.
  • Access control lists. USMT 4.0 migrates access control lists (ACLs) for specified files and folders from computers running both Windows® XP and Windows Vista. For example, if you migrate a file named File1.txt that is read-only for User1 and read/write for User2, these settings will still apply on the destination computer after the migration.

Important To migrate ACLs, you must specify the directory to migrate in the MigUser.xml file. Using file patterns like *.doc will not migrate a directory. The source ACL information is migrated only when you explicitly specify the directory. For example, <pattern type=”File”>c:test docs</pattern>.

Operating-System Components

USMT migrates operating-system components to a destination computer running Windows 7 from computers running Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7.

Note: If you are using USMT 4.0 to migrate a user state to Windows Vista instead of to Windows 7, use the /targetvista option with the ScanState tool. Without the /targetvista command-line option, some operating-system settings can be lost during the migration. For more information, see ScanState Syntax.

The following components are migrated by default using the manifest files:

  • Accessibility settings
  • Address book
  • Command-prompt settings
  • *Desktop wallpaper
  • EFS files
  • Favorites
  • Folder options
  • Fonts
  • Group membership. For example, right-click My Computer, and then click Manage. USMT migrates the groups under Local Users and Groups for the users who are included in the migration.
  • *Windows Internet Explorer® settings
  • Microsoft® Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) settings
  • Mouse and keyboard settings
  • Network drive mapping
  • *Network printer mapping
  • *Offline files
  • *Phone and modem options
  • RAS connection and phone book (.pbk) files
  • *Regional settings
  • Remote Access
  • *Taskbar settings
  • Windows Mail. Microsoft Outlook Express Mail (.dbx) files are migrated from Windows XP.
  • *Windows Media Player
  • Windows Rights Management

* These settings are not available for an offline migration. For more information, see Offline Migration.

Important: This list may not be complete. There may be additional components that are migrated.


Some settings, such as fonts, are not applied by the LoadState tool until after the destination computer has been restarted. For this reason, restart the destination computer after you run the LoadState tool.

Supported Applications

Although it is not required for all applications, it is good practice to install all applications on the destination computer before restoring the user state. This ensures that migrated settings are preserved..

Note: The versions of installed applications must match on the source and destination computers. USMT does not support migrating the settings of an earlier version of an application to a later version, except for Microsoft Office.

Note USMT migrates only the settings that have been used or modified by the user. If there is an application setting on the source computer that was not touched by the user, the setting may not migrate.

When you specify the MigApp.xml file, USMT 4.0 migrates the settings for the following applications:

Product (Versions)
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader (9)
  • AOL Instant Messenger (6.8)
  • Apple iTunes (7, 8)
  • Apple QuickTime Player (7)
  • Apple Safari (3.1.2)
  • Google Chrome (beta)
  • Google Picasa (3)
  • Google Talk (beta)
  • IBM Lotus 1-2-3 (9.8)
  • IBM Lotus Notes (8)
  • IBM Lotus Organizer (9.8)
  • IBM Lotus WordPro (9.8)
  • Intuit Quicken (2009)
  • Money Plus Business (2008)
  • Money Plus Home (2008)
  • Mozilla Firefox (3)
  • Microsoft Office Access® (2003, 2007)
  • Microsoft Office Excel® (2003, 2007)
  • Microsoft Office FrontPage® (2003, 2007)
  • Microsoft Office OneNote® (2003, 2007)
  • Microsoft Office Outlook® (2003, 2007)
  • Microsoft Office PowerPoint® (2003, 2007)
  • Microsoft Office Publisher (2003, 2007)
  • Microsoft Office Word (2003, 2007)
  • Opera Software Opera (9.5)
  • Microsoft Outlook Express (only mailbox file)
  • Microsoft Project (2003, 2007)
  • Microsoft Office Visio® (2003, 2007)
  • RealPlayer Basic (11)
  • Sage Peachtree (2009)
  • Skype (3.8)
  • Windows Live Mail (12, 14)
  • Windows Live Messenger (8.5, 14)
  • Windows Live MovieMaker (14)
  • Windows Live Photo Gallery (12, 14)
  • Windows Live Writer (12, 14)
  • Windows Mail (only shipped with Vista)
  • Microsoft Works (9)
  • Yahoo Messenger (9)
  • Zune™ (3)

What USMT Does Not Migrate

The following is a list of the settings that USMT does not migrate. If you are having a problem that is not listed here, see Common Issues.

Application Settings

USMT 4.0 does not migrate the following application settings:

  • Settings from earlier versions of an application. The versions of each application must match on the source and destination computers. This is because USMT does not support migrating the settings of an earlier version of an application to a later version, except for Microsoft Office, which USMT can migrate from an earlier version to a later version.
  • Application settings and some operating-system settings when a local account is created. For example, if you run /lac to create a local account on the destination computer, USMT will migrate the user data, but only some of the operating-system settings, such as wallpaper and screensaver settings, and no application settings will migrate.
  • Microsoft Project settings, when migrating from Office 2003 to Office 2007 system.
  • ICQ Pro settings, if ICQ Pro is installed in a different location on the destination computer. To successfully migrate the settings of ICQ Pro, you must install ICQ Pro in the same location on the destination computer as it was on the source computer. Otherwise, after you run the LoadState tool, the application will not start. You may encounter problems when:
    • You change the default installation location on 32-bit destination computers.
    • You attempt to migrate from a 32-bit computer to a 64-bit computer. This is because the ICQ Pro default installation directory is different on the two types of computers. When you install ICQ Pro on a 32-bit computer, the default location is “C:Program Files…”. The ICQ Pro default installation directory on an x64-based computer, however, is “C:Program Files (x86)…”.
Operating-System Settings

USMT 4.0 does not migrate the following operating-system settings.

  • Mapped network drives, local printers, hardware-related settings, drivers, passwords, application binary files, synchronization files, DLL files, or other executable files.
  • Permissions for shared folders. After migration, you must manually re-share any folders that were shared on the source computer.
  • Files and settings migrating between operating systems with different languages. The operating system of the source computer must match the language of the operating system on the destination computer.
  • Customized icons for shortcuts may not migrate.
  • Taskbar settings, when the source computer is running Windows XP.
  • Network printers and the following firewall settings when the destination computer is running Windows XP.
    • Only the Internet Connection Firewallcheck box and setting is migrated. USMT supports Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI)-based settings and the Windows XP Service Pack 2 registry settings.
    • The Internet Connection Sharingsetting is not migrated because it can make the network less secure if it is migrated to the destination computer.
    • The firewall advanced-configuration settings are not migrated because of increased security risks.
    • The Network Connectionsuser interface will not completely refresh until you log off or press F5.
    • Bridge settings are not migrated; for example, bridging a virtual private network to a second network adapter.
You should also note the following:
  • You should run USMT from an account with administrative credentials. Otherwise, some data will not migrate. When running the ScanState and LoadState tools on Windows Vista and Windows 7, you must run the tools in Administrator mode from an account with administrative credentials. If you do not run USMT in Administrator mode, only the user profile that is logged on will be included in the migration. In addition, you must run the ScanState tool on Windows XP from an account with administrative credentials. Otherwise, some operating-system settings will not migrate. To run in Administrator mode, click Start, click All Programs, click Accessories, right-click Command Prompt, and then click Run as administrator.
  • The data located on external universal serial bus (USB) hard disks will be migrated even when you specify the /localonly option. However, this issue does not occur with USB flash drives. That is, the data on USB flash drives (UFDs) will not be included when you specify the /localonly option.

    Dan Stolts ITProGuru

    Dan Stolts ITProGuru

    Microsoft & Bay State In…



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    9 Oct 2009 1:37 PM

    Hi Dan,

    I’ve been reading technet RE: USMT 4.0, googled around and stumbled upon your video on youtube which is very very helpful.

    I’ve used 2.6 and 3.0 before and used inf instead of the xml to migration from XP to XP.

    I’m really interested in HardLink, but I’m not sure if it’s the best solution to what I will be using.

    We are a IT consulting company a gold partner of Microsoft and I’m just wondering if you don’t mind answering some of my questions…

    But before that let me describe of what we would like to be able to do.

    Our clients are mixed between XP and Vista and some of them are already on Windows 7.

    I’m just trying to find what would be the best USMT solution to migration between:

    – XP to win 7

    – Vista to Win 7

    – Win 7 to Win 7

    As you know that the latest USMT is version 4.0

    My Questions are:

    1. I can’t seems to find loadstate & scanstate for the latest version. is version 4 USMT consists of version 3 loadstate & scanstate plus xmls of version 4?

    2. for our scenarios, will lite touch be adequate or hardlink will be the better bet?



    Hi Jonathan,

    USMT 4 will cover all of your scenario’s.  The requirement for USMT 4 is that the Destination (Loadstate) has to be on either Vista or Windows 7.  You can download the USMT it is in the AIK (Automated Installation Kit).  When you install the AIK, you will see USMT under the Tools folder.  On my installation (which I think I took defaults) it is C:Program FilesWindows AIKToolsUSMT   Under that folder select either amd64 or x86 folder.  In my installation the ScanState.exe shows a version of 6.1.7600.  You can download the Windows Automated Installation Kit for Windows 7 from http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd349343(WS.10).aspx 


    I have used Win7 to Win7 already and it works great.  It is the perfect tool to go from 32bit to 64bit or going from Eval to Production


    The HardLink switch is for an UPGRADE on the same physical box where you will not be formatting or changing partition sizes.  If you are using the same box and not formatting for any reason, you can use Hardlink.  If you want to format or change disks, move to a different computer, etc. you would need to use Lite Touch without the Hardlink switch.


    Hope I answered your questions completely.  If not, please let me know 


    Brian Abernathy
    29 Oct 2009 7:16 AM

    That hardlink reply made me wonder about something.  One of the scenarios that my company will be dealing with will be upgrade in place, and then running SCANSTATE against the Windows.OLD and then running LOADSTATE, specifying the output of Scanstate.  Would HARDLINK still be used in that scenario?


    This is NOT the way the ScanState was designed.  I am not familiar with any switches to be able to do that.  Sure you could select folders from the Windows.OLD but then on the destination they would be put back to the same folder structure (windows.old) and you would have to move them manually.  The AWESOME Part of the USMT is that it automatically puts stuff where it goes (desktop to desktop, favorites to favorites, docs to docs, etc).  Since these locations all moved with the new rev (from Docs and Settings to Users that would be a manual process to do it the way you suggest. 

    13 Nov 2009 11:53 AM


    I am looking to implement USMT 4.0 with hardlink migration but I’m a bit new to this.  I am using MDT for my deployment and I would like to kick off USMT to automate the migration.  We would be reimaging XP, Vista, and Windows 7 all with Windows 7.


    Hi Bryan, Sorry,  Is there something in particular that you need help with?  All of this is possible with USMT/MDT.  In fact, that is exactly what it was designed for.

    Hardlink migration
    5 Mar 2010 10:08 AM

    When doing hardlink migration,What is the fail safe or recovery process  if the process fails

    if you are concerned about a hard drive crash, you should NOT use hardlink migration.  There is no safety net with hardlink.

    5 Mar 2010 10:25 AM

    I need help. We are trying to use USMT Hardlink migration using SCCM. What is the back out process if the hard drive crash. Does any one experience this ?


    if you are concerned about a hard drive crash, you should NOT use hardlink migration.  There is no safety net with hardlink.

    18 Oct 2010 3:15 PM

    Hey, I was wondering how would I upgrade my microsoft word 2003 to microsoft word 2007…

    2 Feb 2011 1:03 AM

    You may consider to use WET (windows easy transfer) and PickMeApp: two free solutions to migrate from XP to Windows 7. WET may transfer your XP settings to Win 7 while portable  PickMeApp tool may transfer programs from XP to Windows 7. PickMeApp claims to support unlimited number of programs.