Home :  

Software Migration - Moving to a new computer

If you purchase a new computer or significantly upgrade your existing one, you may find it quite a hassle to move your software to the new computer. Many software manufacturers are quite strict about licensing and require you to transfer the license from the old computer to the new one.

Here are a few quick tips before you begin...

Don't have the old computer any more?

In some cases your old computer is not available, for example, you may have experienced catastrophic hard drive failure. In this case it may be difficult to transfer licenses and you might need to contact the manufacturer for support.

If your old computer is dead but the hard drive has survived, you can put the drive in a new computer and boot it up. This will give you access to your software, but not without its own hassles. For example, you'll need to reactivate Windows and possibly other software as well.


This is a list of important software I have on my computer, that needs transferring when I upgrade. I've documented the process for these applications in the hope that this may be useful for others in the same situation.

Adobe CS3


The same process appears to apply to all Adobe software. I have the Master Collection and I only needed to transfer one license for the entire bundle, which was helpful. If you have purchased applications separately you'll probably need to duplicate this process.
You can install the software on the new computer before transferring the license. This is probably a good idea, just in case there are any installation issues. You will need to transfer the license (ie activate the software) within 30 days.
To transfer the license, first deactivate the license on the old computer by going to Help > Transfer Your Software License. Select the option to deactivate the license on this computer. When you have done this you can activate it on the new computer (a popup window will tell you that activation is required—follow the instructions).

Apple Quicktime Pro


Download the latest version from www.apple.com/quicktime/download/. Install Quicktime, then go to the Windows Control Panel and open the Quicktime Control Panel. Enter username and key. Fairly easy, once you know what to do (you can't do this from within Quicktime itself—it only gives you the option to purchase).

Replay Screencast


Screen capture utility from Applian Technologies.
Download from www.applian.com/replay-screencast/. Install, enter serial number (registration code). Easy.
Note: Requires Windows Media Encoder to be installed. An automated prompt is provided.

WM Recorder


Streaming video capture utility.
Download from www.wmrecorder.com/demo.php. Run installation executable file. Easy.

Cute FTP


FTP client. Download from www.cuteftp.com, Enter serial number. Easy.

On2: Flix Pro


This one was quite a hassle for me, and I have to say it was the most difficult software to migrate. There is no automated system—you need to get a letter of transfer document from http://support.on2.com/files/lot.pdf, then fax or email it to the company. You need to provide details about both your old and new computers, as well as the license details. This is quite a disincentive to using this software, especially when there are plenty of other solutions available.