Windows 8: How to Move Files From a Windows 7 PC

Dennis Faas's picture

This question recently came to us from several readers, including one in Colorado:

"Hello Infopackets team,

I recently purchased a Windows 8 PC and want to move my files from my old computer -- a Windows 7 machine -- to the new one. Since you seem to know so much about Windows, I thought I'd ask you for the best way to do that.

Thanks very much,

Mona S."

My Response:

When buying a new PC, transferring files from our old computer is one of the first things we think to do.

Thankfully, the process has now become really straightforward.

Using Windows Easy Transfer

Begin by going to the desktop on your Windows 7 machine. Click on the Start Menu, then 'All Programs,' 'Accessories,' and finally 'System Tools.' When the drop-down menu appears, select 'Windows Easy Transfer.'

Windows Easy Transfer gives you several options for transferring files from your old computer to your new one. You can use an external hard drive, a USB storage device, an Easy Transfer Cable, or a network connection.

Most people choose an external hard drive or USB stick, so that's what I'll describe.

Select an external hard drive or USB storage device, then choose 'This is my old computer.' Windows Easy Transfer will then guide you through the process of moving selected files to your selected external drive.

Transferring Files to a Windows 8 PC

When that's all done, start up your Windows 8 computer and tap the Windows key. Then type 'Windows Easy Transfer' (no quotations).

Click the Windows Easy Transfer icon and then click 'Next.'

Again, select your transfer method: external device, network connection, or Easy Transfer Cable.

Then tell Windows Easy Transfer 'This is my new PC.' The program will automatically copy your old files from the external drive and allow you to complete the file transfer process.

Congratulations -- you've just moved your data files from your old Windows 7 PC to your new Windows 8 PC!

Transferring Files From Windows XP or Vista PCs to a Windows 8 PC

You can do pretty much the same thing with a Windows Vista or XP computer.

In this case, however, you'll need to first access Windows Easy Transfer on your Windows 8 computer. Select the external hard drive transfer method, and again select 'This is my new PC.'

Next, select 'My old PC is running XP or Vista.'

Windows 8 will then move the Windows Easy Transfer program onto your external storage device.

Next, plug the external drive into your Windows Vista or Windows XP machine and install Windows Easy Transfer onto the old computer so you can begin the process of copying its data files from there to your new Windows 8 machine.

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