If you’re reading this, you’ve likely found yourself wondering how to transfer files from one computer to another. Whether it’s because you just got a new PC or need to collaborate on a project with someone else, file transfer between computers is an essential task that everyone should know how to do.
Fortunately, transferring files has never been easier, due to the wide range of options available today. From using a USB drive to utilising cloud storage services, there are varying solutions for different needs and preferences. We’ll take a deep dive into the most popular methods on how to transfer files from one PC to the next.
1. Use a USB storage device
One of the most popular ways to transfer files between computers is using a USB storage device, such as a flash drive or an external hard drive. These devices are compact, portable and easy to use, making them a go-to option for many people.
To transfer files between computers via a USB storage device, simply plug the drive into the source computer and copy the files you want to move. Once done, remove the device and plug it into the receiving computer. Then, copy the files from the USB drive onto the target computer.
A USB storage device is ideal for moving smaller files, such as documents, photos and music, and it’s a convenient option when you don’t have internet access. If you need to transfer larger files, such as high-definition videos or large software applications, an external hard drive is the better option. These drives have a larger storage capacity and can transfer data faster than a USB flash drive.
If you’re wondering how to transfer data from laptop to laptop, another solution is using SD cards. Most laptop models have dedicated SD card readers that make this possible, and these cards now come in wildly large capacities, with some reaching up to 2 TB.
2. Transfer via HDD or SSD
This method is a more advanced option for transferring files that can be faster and more efficient for large amounts of data. However, ensure you handle the hard drive carefully and take the necessary precautions to avoid damaging it or the computer.
Begin by shutting down both the source and target computers. Open the case of the source computer and disconnect the hard disk from the SATA port and power supply. You can now remove your hard disk by unscrewing it from the case.
Connect this hard drive to your target PC by plugging in the SATA data and power supply cables. You may then boot this PC and extract all the data you need.
Note that this method only applies to SATA SSDs and HDDs. There’s a different process when dealing with NVMes and m.2 SATA disks — which are mounted onto your motherboard via a screw. These drives are more modern and straightforward to plug in and remove.
3. Use a transfer cable
Using a USB networking cable can be a great option when transferring files between computers. This method is faster than using external drives, as the copy-and-paste process happens simultaneously between the connected systems.
If transferring files between two Windows computers, simply plug the USB cable into both computers. The computers should recognise the cable and automatically install the necessary drivers. From there, launch the transfer app on both computers and transfer your files.
For Mac to Mac transfers, you can connect the two computers via a proprietary Thunderbolt cable. Once you’ve joined the two computers, they should detect each other automatically. From there, it’s as simple as dragging and dropping the files you want to transfer between the two systems.
4. Use cloud storage
Not a fan of wires and local transfers? Cloud storage is for you. Services like Dropbox or Google Drive offer a convenient and efficient way to store and share files, and they can be accessed from any device with an internet connection.
To transfer files via cloud storage, simply upload the files you want to transfer to the cloud storage service on one computer and then download them on the other computer. Both Dropbox and Google Drive offer apps for Windows and Mac that make uploading and downloading files even more manageable.
Dropbox is a popular cloud storage service that offers a free plan that gives you 2GB of storage. If you need more space, you can upgrade to a paid plan. Google Drive is even more widely used and offers 15GB of free storage.
For Apple users, iCloud is the go-to cloud storage service for transferring files. With iCloud, you can easily store and share files, photos and documents across all your Apple devices, including your Mac, iPhone and iPad.
Using cloud storage services is not only convenient but also secure. Your files are stored in the cloud, meaning you can access them anywhere. However, remember that you need a reliable and stable internet connection to transfer files via cloud storage.
5. Transfer over LAN or Wi-Fi
This method is ideal if you need to transfer files between multiple computers on the same network.
First, to transfer files over LAN, ensure that both computers are connected to the same network. You can then use the built-in file-sharing feature in Windows or macOS to share files between the two computers.
For larger data, you can use a file transfer protocol (FTP) or a network files transfer tool like FileZilla. These tools allow you to transfer files between computers on the same network faster than via external drives or cloud storage services.
Still unsure of how to transfer files? Bring in the experts at Jim’s I.T!
Transferring files between computers is a task that’s important for many people. Luckily, several options are available to make the process quick and easy.
If you need expert computer services to help you with transferring files, you can count on Jim’s I.T. Our team of experienced technicians can assist you with a wide range of computer needs, including data management and data recovery for homes and offices. We can provide computer and laptop repairs to deal with hardware issues to software glitches.
Our services are designed to make your life easier. We provide same-day service and insured technicians to give you peace of mind. Plus, with our no-fix-no-fee guarantee, you can be confident that we will do the job right. Don’t hesitate to contact us or book a service.