The most painful part of moving from one system to another is that we have to reinstall all our applications onto the new system. Although Windows comes with a tool called “Windows Easy Transfer” which can transfer most of the important data to the new system, it does not allow you to move any installed program to the new system.
PickMeApp is a free and somewhat portable app which can help you in transferring individual programs along with their settings and data to another computer painlessly. In simple words, it will backup the program state from one computer and then restore the same state on another computer. This includes all program executable and other files, settings and registry keys etc.
PickMeApp is still in beta so the publisher does not give any direct download link of the app. You will need to register with the service and then download and install the app on your computer. Go to PickMeApp download page and register with your email address and personal information. Once you confirm the registration through email, you will be able to download the app using the same URL.
A word of caution about the installation process, you should be careful while installing PickMeApp as it will install extra software (crapware) which seems like agreeing to the terms and conditions of the software usage. You don’t need to check any of the checkboxes. Clicking on the Agree button will proceed further.
The next screen was also a promotion. So I clicked Decline instead of Agree which would have installed the crapware software on my computer.
Apart from this, the setup is smooth and easy. Actually, PickMeApp is a portable application. You can take the folder of the app anywhere you want and run it from the folder without installing it again and again.
The graphical user interface is a little confusing because there are no labels on the two columns. The left column shows all the installed programs in the computer while the right column shows all the software compatible with PickMeApp and can be installed with a single click.
To backup any program along with data and settings, select and check it from the left column and click on the Capture button. The backup process takes some time depending upon the size of the program. Behind the scenes, PickMeApp will create a .tap backup file. The default location of the backup file will be the default Downloads/PickMeApp folder. You can take the tap file with you anywhere and restore it using PickMeApp on any other computer.
Another way to take the backup file anywhere and restore it anywhere without using PickMeApp is to make an executable of the backup file. To create an executable from the backup file, select it from the right hand column and click on Save as EXE button.
After the conversion process is completed, the PickMeApp collection folder will open where you will find the converted executable file. The size of the executable is larger than the normal tap backup file, but the advantage is that it can be run and installed anywhere without installing PickMeApp first. This is very useful where a network administrator has to install a single application with required settings on multiple computers.
Please note that sometimes you will not find all the installed applications on the left column of PickMeApp. This is because it does not list down the apps which are not supported at the moment. You also have to take care of the run time environment needed by each application. For example, some applications require environments like .NET framework, Visual C++ Redistributables, Java Runtime Environment etc. You will need to install these environments on the target computer where you are going to restore the backed up application.
I hope this will be useful for all the users changing their computers. What are your thoughts about this nifty software? What backup and restore software are you using at the moment?
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