User State Migration Tool, or USMT is a “free” profile migration tool from Microsoft. It is free in that it doesn’t cost anything to download and use. USMT is, however, also “free” in the sense that there is no support provided for it from Microsoft. USMT also necessitates dozens to hundreds of hours of integration programming and edited XML files; or the use of third-party interfaces to operate. While helpful, these interfaces do not improve the underlying performance of the tool.

At a high level, Tranxition Migration Manager is superior to USMT in four significant ways:

  • Speed to migrate – It is faster and easier to configure migrations, choose what to migrate and what to not migrate using Tranxition Migration Manager, since the user interface included configures all aspects of the migration setup and saves it in a single XML file.
  • Simplicity of Integration – Migration Manager delivers a short, concise, automation command line what will take many hours to emulate with USMT
  • Quality of migration – Tranxition Migration Manager does a more thorough job of migrating user settings and data than USMT by supporting the current versions of mainstream applications and going far deeper in terms of what settings are actually migrated.
  • Reliability – Users have reported that USMT often fails without notifying the operator. News reports suggest that error rates can be as high as 29%. Migration Manager has been customer-reported to deliver two-sigma reliability (99.9%), or less than one fail in 10,000 migrations.
  • Integration – Migration Manager more easily integrates with Systems Management tools such as PDQ, SmartDeploy, PDQDeploy, Microsoft Intune, AutoPilot, System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM), MDM and most other tools.

At a deeper level, some of the features Tranxition Migration Manager provides that USMT can’t match include:


USMT is slower than Migration Manager

The graph shows the speed differences in a customer-developed bake-off between USMT (gray) and Tranxition (blue) performed at Insight Enterprises. This is the data they reported, which is slightly better than our internal testing.



USMT is broken into two executables: Scanstate and Loadstate.   To program a re-creation of a user profile with USMT requires the following actions:

loadstate “Y:\temp\Migrationstorage\WS_toolshop1”




          /ue:*\* /ui:gutte /ui:Lotta /lac /lae

          /progress:”C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Local Settings\Temp\USMTprog.log”

          /l:”C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Local Settings\Temp\USMTscan.log” /c

Migration Manager:

START /w \MyServer\Migrate7\se.exe /autoextract /IncludeUser %1 /config \MyServer\Migrate7\configuration.xml


Microsoft Office Suite Support

USMT supports Office in a limited fashion. Many of the user settings (particularly in Word and Outlook) are not migrated at all for any version. Tranxition Migration Manager in contrast provides very rich support for migrating user settings for all of the applications in the Office suite, including Word and Outlook (as an example, we migrate over 600 individual settings between Word 2007 and Word 2019 alone).

Basic Feature Comparison

Comparing Migration Manager and USMT: Key FeaturesMigration ManagerUSMT
GUI Interface and configuration editing systemYesNo
Command Line ScriptingYesYes
Native Compression of Stored DataYesNo
Duplicate File AwarenessNoYes
User Data Password ProtectedYesNo
Migration Tool Can be Executed From Network LocationYesNo
Supports Roaming Profile MigrationsYesNo
Supports Terminal Service ProfilesYesNo
Supports Cross Domain MigrationsYesYes
System Center Configuration Manager IntegrationYesYes
Encryption of user state data while transiting networkYesNo
Flexible Storage of User State DataYesYes
Agent-less Migration (No binaries installed on client system)YesNo
Backup Logged on User incrementallyYesNo


Tranxition has trained support for customers with a support contract. USMT has no support.

You will not be criticized for choosing commercial-quality Migration Manager and setting aside USMT.  In fact, one engineer recently told us he was promoted for just that very thing. They had to perform an 896-seat profile migration in a weekend.  We worked with the firm to set up and deploy the solution in two weeks.   They were done with four hours to spare.  He was promoted and said it was because of Migration Manager.