How to copy information from one computer to another

There are several ways a user can go about copying data from one computer to another computer. Below is a listing of some of these methods of how a user can get information from one computer to another computer.

Note: Before attempting to copy information from one computer to another computer it is important to realize that not every program that has been installed can be copied from one computer to another. Therefore, we recommend only copying the data files of a program. For example, a user who has Microsoft Word cannot copy that program to a different program, instead only copy Microsoft Word documents and install Microsoft Word on the new computer.

After you have located the files you want to copy, you should decide the best method of transferring those files to another computer. Below are a listing of all the different methods a user can use to setup their computer to share files. Make sure you review each of the below solutions to make sure you are using the solution that best meets your needs.


Users who have a network setup or plan on setting up a network should definitely 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.


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

Users who have USB thumb drives or USB hard drives can copy information to the USB hard drive and then connect that drive to another computer to transfer data. This solution enables the user to make quick backups of the data as well as have the ability to transfer information from one computer to another.

Method two

Users who have USB on both computers can network the computers using USB to USB. This solution is sometimes easier to setup than a standard Ethernet network and still enables the user to transfer large amounts of data between computers.

USB to USB connectors can be purchased at most major computer retail stores.

Internet and e-mail

Today, 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 don't 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 don't 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 a lot of information.

Direct serial connect

An older and slower solution of connecting computers to each other to share information is by using the computer's serial ports.

Additional information

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