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How to transfer files from one computer to another

Looking for a way to transfer your files from one computer to another? This guide covers several easy options to do that, both manual and automatic transfer.

Transfer Files From One Computer To Another

Need to transfer files from one computer to another?
To transfer data to a new computer?
To move all files from an old computer to a new computer?
This tutorial covers several ways to do that.

There are several ways to transfer files to another computer. Here are the options that we will cover in this tutorial:

Of course, if you are transferring to a new computer (replacing your old one), you would typically want to transfer more than just a few files. Ideally, the goal is to transfer all documents, pictures, the whole user profile, accounts, favorites, bookmarks, emails, everything you have and use. You could even want to transfer the actual programs from your old computer. All of this is covered below.

Let’s go over the options.


Transfer Files From One Computer To Another Via USB drive

Transfer files using a USB stick / USB external drive

One of the simplest ways to transfer files to another computer is to use a USB stick (or a USB external hard drive). You simply connect the USB drive to the computer and copy files to it, same as you would copy them to any other folder.
Then, you move the USB drive to the other computer, and copy the files from the drive to the new computer itself.

Pros:

  • Very simple to use
  • With a USB external hard drive, allows to copy even a large amount of data, and fairly quickly
  • Cheap – no special software is used, and USB drives are inexpensive (you probably already have one)

Cons:

  • Requires a USB drive to use (as opposed to transfer over internet/ network)
  • You have to manually select which files to copy, and manually copy them over.
  • If you are trying to transfer all the files you have on the computer, this will not be as easy. You will almost certainly miss / forget some of them, too.
  • This method does not allow to transfer anything which is not a simple user file – e.g. user settings, program settings, emails, applications and so on.

To summarize, a USB stick / external drive is a great way to transfer a bunch of files from one computer to another.
However, it is not a good way to transfer all files from one computer to another, since that quickly becomes cumbersome or impossible to do manually.
See below for the way to automatically transfer files from one computer to another.


Transfer Files From One Computer To Another Via Cloud

Transfer files using Cloud – Dropbox / OneDrive

Another way to transfer files manually is using a Cloud sync tool, such as Dropbox or OneDrive.
The process is similar to using a USB drive (as described above), but instead of copying files to a USB drive, you copy files to another computer using Dropbox, OneDrive or other Cloud sync tools.

Most of these tools work in a similar fashion. You have a folder on your computer that syncs with all other computers you have. If you put a file into that folder, it eventually appears on the other computer.
So you would simply put the files you want into your Dropbox / OneDrive folder, and, after a while, you would have those files in the Dropbox / OneDrive folder on the other computer.

Pros:

  • Fairly straightforward to use
  • Does not require a USB drive

Cons:

  • Requires a Cloud sync product
  • For any sizable amount of files, a paid subscription to Cloud sync is required (typically around $100)
  • For larger amounts of files, transfer is slow (depends on Internet connection)
  • If you are trying to transfer all the files you have on the computer, this will not be as easy. You will almost certainly miss / forget some of them, too.
  • This method does not allow to transfer anything which is not a simple user file – e.g. user settings, program settings, emails, applications and so on.

To summarize, using Cloud is a good way to transfer small amounts of files files from one computer to another, without paying for software / hardware.
It gets slow and more expensive when you need to transfer a larger amount of files.
It is not a good way to transfer all files from one computer to another, since that quickly becomes cumbersome or impossible to do manually.
See below for the way to automatically transfer files from one computer to another.


Transfer Files From One Computer To Another

How to transfer ALL files from one computer to another, automatically

When you need actually transfer all files from one computer to another (such as when you are replacing your computer with a new computer), the right way to do that is to use a dedicated transfer tool.

On a typical computer, there are 3 types of data that are important in terms of its day to day use:

  • Files, such documents, pictures, music, pictures and emails
  • Settings, such as user profiles, emails, accounts, passwords, favorites, bookmarks, wallpaper and other personalization
  • Programs, such as transferring Microsoft Office, Adobe Photoshop, Quickbooks, TurboTax, Firefox, Chrome, and other programs to the new computer

All of that can be transferred automatically, using a tool called Zinstall WinWin.

It requires no technical knowledge to use, too. If you know how to download a file from the internet, you know how to use it – and can save a lot of time and avoid a lot of frustration when you transfer files to a new computer.

How to transfer all files from one computer to another

  1. Run Zinstall WinWin on your current computer (the one you are transferring from).
    Note: You can get Zinstall WinWin here.
  2. Run Zinstall WinWin on the new computer
    1. You don’t need to do any configurations for the computers to connect – it’s automatic
    2. If the computers are already connect to same router, same Internet connection, or same wireless connection, you don’t need anything else
    3. If the computers are not connected at all, connect them with a network / Ethernet cable
  3. If you’d like to select which applications and files you want to transfer, press the Advanced menu. If you just want to transfer everything, you don’t need to go to the Advanced menu.
  4. Press “Go” on the Windows 10 computer to start the transfer

That’s it!
You can now just let it do the transfer. You don’t need to sit near the computer, don’t need to manually hunt down your files or reinstall your programs.

This kind of tool is not suitable for when you just need to transfer a few files (and you have cheap / free alternatives for that, as described above).

But when you need to transfer to a new computer, it is irreplaceable. It can save hours of painstaking work and ensure that no files are forgotten and no data is missing - making your transfer to a new computer a smooth, pleasant experience.

Ready to transfer all of your your files from one computer to another?

Get Zinstall WinWin here.

Video tutorial - how to transfer files from one computer to another