How to Transfer Files to a new PC

You’ve just upgraded your PC. Exciting, right? Well it all boils down to one thing: How will you transfer those many gigabytes of pictures, videos, programs and other personal information from your old computer onto the new one without spending hours on end transferring them one by one? There are different ways to do this depending on whether or not there is still life left in the old PC and which operating system you’re using on the new one.

Windows XP, Vista, or 7 to Windows 7 64 bit or Windows 8.1 – Windows Easy Transfer

You can easily transfer data between a Windows 7 64-bit or 8.1 PC and an old Windows XP, Vista, or 7 PC using Windows’ built-in Easy Transfer tool.   To do this, either you’ll need two displays, or you’ll need to be patient enough to move one display from one computer to another and back again. On the old PC, launch the tool and follow the prompts to choose which data you want to transfer.

In addition to using an external hard drive, your data can also be transferred using a network or transfer cable. All methods will be discussed in detail. Once the process is complete, open up the Easy Transfer Tool on the new computer and follow its prompts until everything has been transferred successfully including games, music files, documents etc. Windows Easy Transfer also allows for transferring user accounts, email addresses, favourites etc., so there won’t be much work at all afterwards!

Detailed instructions are provided in this video:

OS versions not supporting Easy Transfer – Manual Transfer

When moving from a computer running an older version of Windows or another operating system, it is best to use one of the methods below for transferring your data. A program and its settings may not transfer over, but at least all your important data will be safe.

External Media (USB key, DVDs, External Hard Drive) – You can store many gigabytes of data on an external device such as a hard drive, a large USB thumb drive, or a DVD/Blu-ray disc. One way to move large amounts of data is manually moving your old computer’s files into a single spot; then copying them over one at a time onto the new media. Connecting the device to the new computer will allow you access to all your stuff right away!

USB Easy Transfer cable – If you’re lucky enough to get the new and right next to the old PC, there’s an easy solution. They’re called Easy Transfer Cables; they connect through USB between the two PCs, making it easy for you to transfer all your data without much fuss. These days, most cables come with software that works just like Windows’s Transfer Tool, which simplifies the whole process. 

Network – Transferring files from one PC to another is possible if they are both connected to the same Home or Business network. File transfers may be affected by your wireless connection speed.

A non-working computer to new Windows 10 PC – Slave the old drive

If the old PC has officially died or if it cannot be booted up for some reason, you will need to find another way to recover and transfer that data. Connecting the hard drive from your old system as a slave in your new one is an option you may want to consider. If you don’t want to permanently attach it then you can use it until all of your data has been transferred. For a step by step guide on how this process works, see this article on connecting two drives together through cable management.

The following points should be noted about this process:

  • This process won’t work if you have a failed hard drive on your old PC.
  • If you are moving any files from the old drive, run a virus scan on it first! A brand new PC infected with a virus will ruin your day for sure.

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