Do you need to transfer files from one computer to another?
This happens more often than you’d think. You may need to transfer files from your PC to one connected to a printer. You might need to bring files from your home PC to one at work or school.
Don’t fret if you don’t know how to transfer files. We’ve got a list of different methods listed below to help you out. Keep on reading to learn about your options and start transferring files!
Using an External Storage Device
Transferring files is easy if you have an external storage device. You can use anything from a USB flash drive to an external hard drive.
Connect the storage device to one PC through a USB port. Once the PC reads the device, you can start transferring data to the device. Once this finishes, remove the device and then insert it into the second PC so you can transfer the files.
Make sure to use a storage device with the latest USB types. Using a flash drive with USB-C, for example, is a good way to cut down transfer times.
Keep in mind that USB flash drives and external hard drives might not work immediately when transferring between a Windows PC and a Mac.
You may have to make adjustments in your settings to access the files on the device. You also need to format the device if you plan on transferring files larger than 4 GB. The default FAT32 format only allows 4 GB but you can reformat a flash drive to exFAT or NTFS to work around this restriction.
Cloud Storage Access
If you don’t have a physical storage device available but you do have a fast Internet connection, you can still transfer files from one PC to another through cloud storage. There are a bunch of cloud storage services available, such as DropBox, iCloud, OneDrive, and Google Drive.
One on PC, sign in to your cloud service of choice. Make a folder and start uploading the files you want to transfer over. This will take time depending on your Internet connection.
Head over to the second PC and sign in to the cloud service. You should be able to access them from the second device. Simply right-click and download to save them on the new PC.
You don’t need to pay anything to use these cloud services. However, the free versions restrict how much data you can store. For more storage space, you will need to pay a monthly subscription.
File Transfer Cables
Are the two computers or laptops side by side? If they are within a reasonable distance, you can use file transfer cables instead. These are cables that allow you to instantly move files from one PC to another.
How do these work? Simply plug in the cables to each PC through USB ports. Once connected, both PCs have to read and enable the transfer device. Once this finishes, you can transfer files between each PC as if you were moving files from one folder to another.
This is a lot faster than using the two methods above. It cuts the middle man, eliminating the need to store the files before transferring them to the next PC.
Unfortunately, most commercial transfer cables aren’t long. These only work if the two computer devices are only a foot or so apart from each other. This is an ideal option, however, when transferring files between laptops since you can put those mobile devices side by side.
Data Transfer Via Bluetooth
Head to your Windows settings panel or Mac settings and enable Bluetooth. Do this for both devices and then pair them together. You can also choose to simply right-click on a file and then select “Send to” to transfer it to the other device over a Bluetooth connection.
Bluetooth file transferring is a bit hit-or-miss. The speed of transferring the files depends on the type of Bluetooth supported by both devices. Distance and signal strength can also affect the transfer.
This is a good method when an Internet connection isn’t available but you have two devices within proximity of each other. Even without an online connection or a USB flash drive, you can still wirelessly transfer files this way.
Ran into a problem trying to use Bluetooth on your Mac? You can find a few solutions at setapp.com.
How to Transfer Files Through Lan
There is also the old-fashion way of setting up a LAN network. Make sure the two computers connect to the same LAN hub. You can also connect them directly via a LAN cable.
On both units, you have to go to the control panel and then enable file sharing on your network settings. This will allow you to right-click on folders and files and then share them in a public folder that both computers can access.
Transfer Files Over WiFi
Did you know you can also share files over a WiFi connection? On Windows, go to your Settings panel. Click on “Nearby Sharing” and access the advanced settings. Enable sharing with everyone nearby, edit where received files go, and who you can send or receive files from.
Once complete, you can now send or receive files to any PC that connects to the same WiFi and router.
Transfer Important Files With Ease
Now you know how to transfer files from one computer to another. You can use physical devices like a USB flash drive or transfer cables. There is also the option for wireless transferring, such as using cloud services or Bluetooth file transferring.
That said, learning how to transfer files is only the start. Fortunately, we’ve got a library of guides about technology to help you learn more great tips and tricks.
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