How to copy information from one computer to another

Below is a listing of all the different ways you can copy information from one computer to another computer. Review each of the below solutions to decide what works best for you.

Note: When copying information, only copy the data files. For example, do not copy the Microsoft Word program, only copy Microsoft Word documents and then install Microsoft Word on the new computer.

Tip: Microsoft Windows users can find most of their data files, pictures, and documents in the Documents or My Documents folder.

Network

If you have a network or plan on setting up a network consider transferring and sharing their files on the local area network. A network is the fastest means of transferring files between your computers, and once setup allows to you to continue to share files.

Cloud computingOver the cloud

Online cloud services make it easy to move and share data between multiple computers and other devices. Our favorite online cloud services are Google Drive and Dropbox. Once in the cloud, any device with Internet access can access the data.

USB

USB ports and devices such as thumb drives are also a fast and easy way to transfer files from one computer to another computer using either of the below USB options.

Method one

16GB SanDisk Cruzer Micro USB Flash DriveUSB thumb drives and USB hard drives are another easy way to transfer data between computers and a good backup solution. Once information has been copied to the device it can be connected and transferred to the another computer.

Method two

A USB to USB connector allows you to transfer information from one computer to another computer over a USB cable. This solution is sometimes easier to setup than a standard Ethernet network and still allows an unlimited amount of data to be shared.

USB to USB connectors are found online and at most major computer retail stores.

Internet and e-mail

EmailToday, there are dozens of online services that allow you to move and copy files from one computer to another computer. Alternatively, if you have only a few files you want to copy you may want to consider just sending the files through e-mail.

CD and DVD

If you do not have any USB drives, burning your information to a CD or DVD is another good solution to move files from one computer to another.

Floppy diskette

For older computers that do not have a disc burner, USB, or the Internet copying files to a floppy disk may be your only alternative. However, if you need to copy large amounts of data from one computer to another, you should try an alternate solution since a floppy disk does not hold much information.

Direct serial connect

Direct serial connection is a method of connecting older computers together using the serial port and a serial cable. Although this is a much slower solution of connecting computers to each other, this may be the only solution for computers without Internet access, drives, or USB.

Additional information

  • See our copy definition for further information and related links on this term.