New computer? Easy Ways to Transfer Old Files


It’s hard to decide which one is right for you: a PC or a Mac. Tap or click here to see which one fits best.

After the initial thrill of buying a new Mac or PC is over, you realize that you have a lot of files on your old computer that you want to put on your new device. The task may seem daunting, but there are programs and DIY programs available to help you get the job done right.

Here are some tips for transferring your old files to and from both PC and Mac.

The PC move

Depending on how much you need to move, connect a USB stick or an external hard drive to your old computer. Move all your files to the external device. Unplug the external device from your old computer’s USB port. Now connect it to your new computer and move the files from the external devices to your new computer.

That is it.

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Another option is to move everything from your old computer to the cloud using programs like Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive, IDrive, or Dropbox.

We prefer to use our sponsor IDrive because of the speed, reliability and safety. Tap or click here to see why we recommend IDrive. While cloud storage is indeed simple, one caveat remains: there is limited free space. After you fill the free space offered, you have to pay for more.

If you want to be frugal, you can move as many files as possible to the free space, move them to the new computer, go back and clear the free space, then add more files and so on. This takes a lot of time, so you may want to buy more space.

The fastest way to move files from PC to PC is with a transfer cable. Connect both computers with the cable and start transferring files. Since the computers are connected, the transfer process is faster than using an external hard drive.

Face it. If you want to transfer files from your old computer, you’ll need to shell out some cash for an external hard drive, cloud storage product, or transfer cable.

Move PC to Mac

Finally you obeyed Apple’s siren song and bought a Mac. To some extent they are very different computers. Will it be impossible to move your files from PC to Mac? Not at all.

You can use the same external device or cloud storage methods you used to move files from one PC to another; however, there is one difference that makes the external device method a bit more difficult if you bought a new Mac laptop.

Mac laptops no longer have USB ports, so you’ll need to buy a USB adapter or docking station to connect the two computers. We still recommend that you buy one of those adapters, as many traditional products have USB connectors. If you bought a desktop Mac, the USB ports are still there.

Another way to move files from a PC to a Mac is to use Mac’s Migration Assistant. The Migration Assistant was first included in macOS X Lion and continues for later operating systems. If you bought a new Mac, you had the assistant.

Migration Assistant transfers your contacts, calendars, email accounts and more from a PC to your Mac or from Mac to Mac. The handy tool also provides step-by-step instructions on how to use the program.

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