You can use Microsoft® Windows® User State Migration Tool (USMT) 3.0 to migrate user accounts during large deployments of Microsoft Windows XP and Microsoft Windows Vista® operating systems. USMT captures user accounts, including desktop and application settings as well as a user's files, and then migrates them to a new Windows installation. Using USMT can help you improve and simplify your migration process. You can use USMT for both side-by-side and wipe-and-load migrations. If you are only upgrading your operating system, USMT is not needed.

USMT is intended for administrators who are performing automated deployments. If you are only migrating the user states of a few computers, you can use the Files and Settings Transfer Wizard for computers running Windows XP, or Windows Easy Transfer for computers running Windows Vista. USMT enables you to do the following:

  • Configure your migration for your situation, using the migration rule (.xml) files to control exactly which user accounts, files and settings are migrated and how they are migrated. For more information about how to modify these files, see Using USMT.
  • Automate your migration using the two USMT command-line tools, which control collecting and restoring the user files and settings. For more information, see USMT Components and Automating Your Migration.

In this topic

  • Overview
  • Benefits and assumptions


USMT includes two command-line tools named ScanState and LoadState, a set of modifiable .xml files (MigApp.xml, MigSys.xml, and MigUser.xml), and various internal files. In addition, you can create custom .xml files if needed, and you can create a Config.xml to specify what to exclude from the migration.

First you run ScanState on the source computer, specifying your desired .xml files that control what gets migrated to the store. ScanState compresses the files and settings and stores them as an image file (Usmt3.mig) in the location that you specify. Then, you run LoadState on the destination computer, specifying your desired .xml files that control what gets migrated from the store, and where the data is migrated to on the destination computer. LoadState migrates the files and settings from the store to the destination computer. Depending on what you want to migrate, you can specify any number of .xml files on the command lines using the /i option. In most cases, you should specify the same set of .xml files on both command lines. The .xml rules enable you to:

  • Choose what to copy and what not to copy
  • Arbitrate conflicts between the source computer and destination computer
  • Modify where the data is migrated to on the destination computer
  • Emulate missing settings
  • Remove settings from the destination computer

Benefits and assumptions

Benefits Assumptions

USMT 3.0 benefits businesses that are deploying Windows operating systems in the following ways:

  • Reduces the cost associated with inefficient migration techniques and processes.
  • Eliminates the time it takes to manually copy and transfer files and settings.
  • Reduces end-user downtime while they recustomize their desktop and find missing files.
  • Reduces help-desk calls from users who are recustomizing their desktop.
  • Reduces the time needed for the user to become familiar with the new operating system.
  • Increases employee satisfaction with their migration experience.

It is assumed that IT professionals using USMT understand the following:

  • The navigation and hierarchy of the Windows registry.
  • The files or file types that applications use.
  • How to extract application and setting information manually from internal development groups and non-Microsoft software vendors.
  • The basics of XML.