How to Backup Windows Settings Before Upgrading to a New Windows Version

Back in the days of Windows XP, Vista and even up to Windows 7, choosing to install a newer Windows version like moving from Vista to Windows 7 meant that you also need to backup all you important files into a separate drive partition or into a portable storage device that has enough space to keep everything that you want to carry over to the new operating system that’s going to be installed in your machine.

Doing this is really a tedious task and it can even carry over existing viruses and other problems into the new operating system that you want to install into your computer. Migrating from one Windows operating system  version to another has really been a heavy task back in the days of older Windows versions but starting with Windows 8 (moving from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1), the possibility of upgrading instead of doing a clean install process has been made available!

But how about with the new Windows 10? Is it possible to just upgrade your computer from Windows 8.1 to this brand new operating system that’s coming out in less than a month from now? The answer is yes and in this tutorial, we will show you how to do it using a third party software so be sure to follow the steps that we will show as we move along towards the end.

Introducing CloneApp!

Now that Windows 10 is at the doors with its scheduled release in July 29 and with the millions of Windows users around the world who already reserved their FREE Windows 10 Upgrade, the question of smooth a transition now comes into the surface. Since Windows 8.1 has been used by some for quite a long time, plenty of apps and other setting have also been installed and made and the question is will this upgrade allow apps to be carried over to the new operating system?

The sad answer is no so if you want to avoid reinstalling apps to your brand new Windows 10 operating system, we recommend a software called CloneApp and in this tutorial, we will be taking you through the steps that are involved in using this FREE software.

How Does CloneApp Work?

CloneApp is a FREE software that allows users to backup and restore settings for apps and other Windows software and applications. CloneApp is a portable tool so you can just extract it to a location in your computer after you download it but be sure not to extract it into your machine’s system directory. You can download CloneApp from its developer’s website.


After downloading CloneApp and running it for the first time, you will notice that its interface looks very much like some other FREE system utility software like CCleaner and many others.

How to Create App Backups with CloneApp

After installing and running the software, it is time to start using it and take advantage of the the awesome features that it has. First, on the software’s main interface, you will see a list of all the apps that are installed in your computer which can be backed up. This list is found under the “Clone” option that is found on the navigation pane at the left of CloneApp’s main screen. If you have plenty of apps and other software installed on your computer then you will see a very long list just like the one shown below.


To see a complete list of apps and programs that can be backed up by the CloneApp software, you can view this webpage which alphabetically lists everything for everyone’s information. The most useful apps/software that CloneApp is capable of backing up are Google Chrome and other browsers, Microsoft Office, Yahoo Messenger, WinZip, WinRAR and many others! All in all, there are a total of 158 apps and other software that is supported by CloneApp as of writing this tutorial.


Now, once you are able to view all available programs that can be backed up, simply select the ones that you want to be carried over to the new operating system that you are going to install into your computer by clicking inside the small check box found at the left of each program that is on the list. If you want to back up everything, you can simply click on the “Select All” link that is located below the list as highlighted on the screenshot below.


You can also click on the “Select Installed” link located just beside the one that says “Select All” if you want to automatically select the programs and apps that you have installed into your computer so you can’t miss out on anything especially those very important ones.


Now, once all of the programs and apps that you want to backup are already selected, you will need to click on the “Start CloneApp” button that is located at the bottom of the “Clone” section screen as highlighted on the screenshot below. Doing this will initiate the backup process. CloneApp saves backup files for settings and registry entries of all the programs and apps that you have selected.


CloneApp doesn’t back up the actual installed file/s but instead, it saves registry settings, profile presets and other data so that they can easily be applied to the program once it gets installed again on your new operating system.


Backing up registry settings is a quick task but if there are additional files that need to be copied, it will take some time which will require extra patience. While the back up process is ongoing, it is important that you don’t interrupt it and in case it gets interrupted, simply delete the backup folder and repeat the process from the top to make sure that everything is saved accordingly.

Other Features

As mentioned earlier, CloneApp supports 158 programs and apps but that doesn’t mean that it will only handle this number of apps. More and more programs and apps will be added in the future as new plugins are incorporated to it. Now, if you know the backup path of a certain program, you can use the “Custom” button that is found at the left navigation pane. This option will allow you to manually backup files, folders and even registry keys of a particular program or app and add it to the list of backed up programs.


CloneApp is also capable of creating a list of all the programs and apps that are currently installed into your computer. This list will then have a lot of uses afterwards. For instance, it can be used as a checklist of all the programs and apps that you will need to install back to your computer after you do the upgrade to a newer Windows operating system edition. To create this list, you will simply need to click on the “Windows” tab located at the top portion of the screen then hit “Export Apps to Text File” just below the list of selected apps as highlighted on the screenshot below.


You’re Now Ready to Upgrade to a New Windows Version

After creating a back up of all your programs and apps that you want to be carried over to the new Windows operating system version that you want to install into your computer. This step is a crucial one especially now that Windows 10 is going to be released before the month ends. Do you know of another program that works like CloneApp? If you know one then please feel free to share it with everyone by using the comments section below.