Windows PC guide: How to move files to a new computer

If you have treated you to a new Home windows Computer, you will possibly want to transfer some of your documents from the previous computer. In our walkthrough manual, we clarify how to get the task performed in just seven quick ways.

Microsoft employed to contain a helpful resource referred to as Windows Uncomplicated Transfer, which automated the procedure of transferring data from 1 Home windows Pc to yet another. This is no longer obtainable in Home windows 10 or 11 but, even so, going your facts isn’t as sophisticated as you may assume.

Under, we reveal how you can very easily shift your most essential documents from a person Home windows Computer to another.

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Transferring data files: the limited model

If you happen to be limited on time, run through our seven-place checklist to get accessibility to all of your most-utilized data files on your new laptop or computer. Normally keep scrolling for a in depth rationalization of every step and consult our screenshots together the way.

  1. On your previous Home windows 10 Personal computer, click on Commence > Configurations > Accounts > Sync your settings and make absolutely sure the Sync options change is set to on. This will permit you transfer themes, passwords and user settings. If this action won’t operate for you, it usually means you happen to be using a regional (offline) account instead of a Microsoft account – scroll down for information on how to alter it.
  2. Head to Start > Configurations > Apps and notice down the applications you use the most.
  3. Plug in an exterior drive and transfer vital files, images and movies. Alternatively, add files to a cloud storage services.
  4. On your new Personal computer, open up the Microsoft Retail store, pick out the Library icon and re-obtain your previously-made use of Home windows applications.
  5. By way of your world-wide-web browser, re-download and set up the non-Windows applications you built a be aware of in step two.
  6. Plug your exterior push into your new Pc and go your aged documents in excess of. You can also obtain your information from your cloud storage support.
  7. If you want to factory reset your outdated Personal computer, head to Start > Settings > Update & Stability > Restoration, then pick out Get started beneath Reset this Computer.

Sync your accounts

Signing into apps and companies with the exact same accounts you employed on your aged Personal computer is an effortless way to decide up the place you still left off. If you log in to your outdated Windows 10 Computer system with a Microsoft account, you can sync sure Personal computer settings, which includes your theme, passwords and far more by signing in with the exact account on your new Computer.

How to set up a Microsoft account

If you presently log in to your Computer system with a regional account, instead of a Microsoft one, you will not be in a position to sync options. But you can effortlessly change your area account to a Microsoft a person by clicking Get started > Options > Accounts > Your details and deciding upon Indicator in with a Microsoft account as an alternative.

How to sync two Home windows desktops

Syncing needs to be enabled on your previous Computer system. To do this, select Get started > Options > Accounts > Sync your options and make sure the Sync settings change is on.

The Sync your settings page in Windows
The Sync your settings website page in Windows

Now you merely need to have to indicator in to your new Windows 11 Personal computer with your Microsoft account. Select Start > Configurations > Account > Your facts. If you see Signal in with a Microsoft account alternatively, pick it (viewing ‘Sign in with a local account’ instead’? Then you might be presently making use of your Microsoft account).

Syncing your browser

Just as signing into your Microsoft account allows you sync your PCs, signing in to your world wide web browser making use of its account will imply you can effortlessly transfer your bookmarks, historical past, passwords and configurations from your old Personal computer to the new a single. 

If you use Google Chrome, for example, make absolutely sure you are signed in with your Google account on both of those PCs. Then simply click your person icon in the best right. If you see Sync is on below (and a tiny green arrow icon), you are already syncing your info – simply click Turn on sync below if not.

Use Google Chrome sync to transfer bookmarks to your new PC
Use Google Chrome sync to transfer bookmarks to your new Computer

The exact same principle applies to cloud storage accounts, like OneDrive and Google Push, and also your e mail accounts.

Put in your favourite applications on your new computer system

A person way to make this phase simpler is to go to Start > Settings > Applications on your old Computer system and make a be aware of all the apps shown here. If you want to, you can use this as an chance to start off afresh – only convey the crucial apps with you so you can help save some storage house on your new device.

Take a look at the apps on your old PC and see what you need to reinstall
Consider a look at the apps on your aged Personal computer and see what you need to reinstall

You will need to reinstall any applications that really don’t come pre-installed on Windows – signing in with your Microsoft account delivers another benefit right here. Fire up the Microsoft Retail outlet app on your new computer (choose Start out and type Microsoft Retail outlet – pick out it to open it) and click the Library icon (base still left) to re-obtain apps you have earlier set up on other PCs.

Not all apps are available from the Microsoft Retail outlet, on the other hand. Any that you can not get from here – Google Chrome, for case in point – will need to have to be downloaded from the developer’s internet site.

Whilst we are on the subject of applications, at this stage you may well want to think about downloading antivirus software to your new Computer system. If you now had this on your outdated computer system, you can signal in to your account on your new Personal computer as soon as you have re-downloaded the software program.

To see which antivirus deals we advise, see which cost-free and paid-for systems carried out the very best in our challenging lab checks – go to the finest antivirus program.

Transfer your significant files

With any luck, you hold a tidy Computer system and most of your documents will be saved within just your Paperwork, Desktop, Downloads, Photos, Tunes and Movies user folders on your aged computer. Assuming this is the case, you can use an exterior USB tough push with a decent sum of cost-free space (around 512GB) to ferry these folders from the old Pc to the new 1.

On your aged Personal computer, open up a File Explorer window and navigate to This Computer system > Nearby Disk (C) > End users > yourname, then open a further File Explorer window, navigate to your exterior drive, and drag the user folders named previously mentioned to your USB storage.

Unplug the drive, insert it into your new laptop or computer, then drag the contents of each individual folder on the travel into the equivalent user folders on the new Computer, all over again applying two File Explorer home windows.

Alternatively, you can transfer information working with cloud storage. Upload your data files to the cloud from your old Personal computer, then obtain them from your new Personal computer. 

For extra guidelines on utilizing cloud storage, moreover further advice on organising your information, see our 5 effortless ways to no cost up room on your Home windows Pc

Manufacturing facility reset your aged Home windows Pc (optional)

If you are fully carried out with your previous Personal computer and want to permanently delete the data files that have been left guiding, it is time to execute a factory reset.

Ahead of you proceed, make sure that you have all of the files you want on your new Laptop.

Factory reset your old PC to remove your personal files for good
Factory reset your previous Personal computer to clear away your personal files for fantastic

On your previous Laptop, go to Get started > Settings > Update & Protection > Restoration, then decide on Get begun beneath Reset this Laptop. You can be introduced with two possibilities: Retain my documents (which eliminates apps and configurations but retains particular information) and Remove everything (which deletes personalized files, applications and settings).

What to do with your previous Windows Laptop

When the manufacturing facility reset is comprehensive and you have an old Home windows Laptop without the need of an quick use, you have a pair of solutions:

  • Preserve the outdated laptop in storage – This could be a superior strategy if you think there is a probability you can expect to will need another Home windows Computer in the future. Or perhaps you will be handing the pc around to a buddy or family members member.
  • Provide your old PC – The amount of income you can expect to get for the computer will fluctuate, based on its situation. You can promote itthrough a area market or auction web site, or head in-retail store to a retailer that buys applied electronics – CeX, for illustration.
  • Donate your previous PC – There are a range of Uk charities that settle for unused computers. The list consists of Desktops4Charity, The Restart Project and the Turing Belief.
  • Recycle your old Computer system – Head to Recycle Your Electricals, enter your postcode and see which nearby vendors and donation points will take your made use of pc.

For information on having rid of undesired electricals, see our specialist information on how to recycle electrical things.

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Extra reporting by Tom Morgan