In the long list of PC Jobs We Really Hate, there’s one task in particular which stands out from all the others: reinstalling (or relocating) applications. Installing the core program files on a new PC is easy enough, but then you have to manually recreate accounts, remember and restore all your old configuration settings, perhaps download extensions and addons: it can take forever to get everything working as it was.
You could avoid most of this hassle by using the appropriate Laplink package to relocate the programs for you, of course, but that can be a little expensive. And so you might prefer to opt for PickMeApp, a free tool which also promises to help move just about all your applications from one system to another, without requiring any manual reinstallations at all.
Free? Yes, although this does mean you’ll have to navigate more than your share of adware issues while using the program. On installation PickMeApp wanted to install Babylon Search and 2YourFace, for instance. And the terms and conditions also state that you’ll be offered further “interesting” software once every 4-7 days of program usage.
And for some reason the developers also make it unusually difficult to download the program. You must create an account, wait for an email, log in and set a password before you get access to the PickMeApp build.
If this isn’t enough to put you off, though, the underlying functionality of the program seems reasonably solid. It appears to recognise a lot of programs; it can capture them (store their files and state) in a click or two; and it’s just as easy to deploy those programs onto a new PC.
There are some conveniences we weren’t expecting, too. If you need to configure multiple new PCs in the same way, for instance, you’ll appreciate PickMeApp’s command line interface, which makes it easy to automate the processes of capturing, installing or uninstalling applications.
And once you understand the basics then the program is generally fairly easy to use. (If you’d like a preview, the User Manual will tell you more.)
Aside from the adware, though, our major concern with PickMeApp is that it’s still a beta, more liable than usual to contain bugs. And if your applications aren’t relocated with 100% accuracy then it could cause you all kinds of hassles. Don’t let that put you off entirely – if PickMeApp works for you then it’ll probably save you a great deal of time – but just be careful, test it with a few minor applications before you relocate a complete system.