Transferring files from one computer to another is important. Think of it like transferring dinner plates from the cupboard to the dinner table. You can carry them by hand. You can use a tray. You can use a trolley. And you can ask someone to carry them for you. But definitely cannot throw them though. Anyway, there are many ways on how to transfer a file from one computer to another. And this article will show you how.
The ideal way to go will depend on the number or amount of files you want to be transferred and the computer that will do the transferring and receiving. Transferring from PC to PC can be easy. But from a PC to Mac or vice-versa can be tricky.
Using external storage devices is the simplest. A USB or external hard drive can be connected to the computer, copy the files, safely remove it (or not), then plug it into a Mac or PC to transfer the files.
Transferring files to a USB drive or an external drive and then to another computer has the added benefit of supplying you with backup copies of your files, but it’s one of the slowest methods and comes with added expense. You’ll need to purchase the storage device, which can range in price from less than $50 to a few hundred dollars, depending on size and other features.
Files can also be transferred through a local network.
You may be able to transfer files between computers on the same network if both computers are within range. When configured correctly, computers on the same network can access each other’s hard drives and files can easily be moved between them. In Windows 10, simply access the file or folder you want to move in File Explorer, press the right mouse button over it and select Give access to. A dropdown menu displays the options Specific people and Remove Access that allow you to enable or disable access to the file by other network users.
You can also use the Nearby Sharing feature in Windows 10 to share files with nearby computers and tablets running Windows 10 over Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. First, enable the feature under Shared experiences in Settings on both computers. Then access the file you want to share in File Explorer, press the right mouse button and select Share. The Share panel is displayed, showing other enabled devices within range for sharing. When you select a device, a notification will be sent saying the file has been shared.
Cloud Storage. The ever-reliable cloud. Google’s version, Google Drive, Microsoft’s OneDrive, and Dropbox are some of the popular cloud storage services. They make storage and transfer a whole lot easier especially from PC to Mac or vice-versa. Just open them in a browser and download the files you need.
You have the advantage of being able to preserve the file structure on your computer by uploading entire folders rather than individual files. Many cloud storage providers offer free accounts with a minimal amount of storage, though you may have to pay extra if you want to upload a large amount of data.
Transferring to a New PC was possible in Windows before but it no longer exists today.
Prior to the introduction of Windows 10, Microsoft offered a free utility called Windows Easy Transfer that helped people with new computers move their files from their old system to their new one. The utility required users to purchase a special cable, USB drive or external hard drive for file transfer.
Since Windows Easy Transfer is no longer available, Microsoft recommends using the OneDrive cloud or an external drive to move files to a new computer running Windows 10. To get some of the same functionality as Windows Easy Transfer, which automatically copied over many system settings and programs, Microsoft recommends using a third-party utility like Laplink PCmover.