Computer migration – also referred to as personal computer (PC) migration, data migration, or software migration – is the moving of data and applications between two different computers. Reasons for requiring a computer migration are varied; two of the most common reasons are the purchase of a new PC and the upgrading of PCs in a business environment. These situations could create the need to transfer all of the information from the older computer systems to the new ones. The migration of data can be performed manually, though full computer migration is usually facilitated by the aid of a software package and hardware, such as a data transfer cable.

Usually, transferring all of the files or applications between two computers is not necessary. Transfer of data can either be avoided entirely or the movement can be accomplished through means such as external memory devices. Some companies offer Internet storage where data can be uploaded from the old machine and then downloaded onto the new machine, negating the need for a full computer migration.

Other times, though, these methods are not feasible. When many applications are manually copied to a new system, for example, the applications can revert to their original settings or fail to work entirely. In these cases, certain information, such as registry data, needs to be transferred directly to the second machine. It is in this type of circumstance when computer migration becomes necessary.