How to Transfer Files to a New Computer

Upgrading from an old computer to a new one is easily done when you learn how to transfer files to a new computer efficiently and quickly. There are a few ways you can achieve the transfer. You'll just have to determine which method will work best for you based on your old and new computers' capabilities and your own computer expertise.

Burn a CD
If your old computer has CD-burning capabilities, you could simply move the files to the new computer by putting them on a CD and then loading them on the new computer via the CD. For a large file transfer or a fast file transfer, you can use multiple CDs or get a CD-RW disk that lets you write and erase. Keep those CDs and you've got a backup of your important files, which is a plus. The downsides are cost, especially if you've got to burn through a spindle of CDs to move those files, and time, since you'll be waiting for those CDs to write.

Thumb Drive
With a thumb drive or USB key drive, you can do a fast file transfer from an old computer to a new one. Some older computers may not support this method without certain software that recognizes the thumb drive. Most new thumb drives support USB 2.0, which should work with older computers that support USB 1.0, although you won't get the same transfer speeds. This can be an economical alternative to CDs. An 8GB USB drive costs around $20 and holds as much data as 12 CDs. You'll save a bit of time over CD file transfers, but it's still a time-consuming process.

If you have a large file transfer, it may be easier to network the computers together. With a network adapter in each computer, you can accomplish this with Windows XP or higher. If you're running wireless Internet at home, or if you have an Ethernet crossover cable, which works without a router, this is the quickest way to get files from one place to another.

The Internet is another option to use if you need to do a large file transfer. There are several companies that offer hosting services for a small fee, so sign up with one and upload your files from the old computer. Then, on the new computer, you can access the uploaded files and start the download. This option is especially useful if you need to put the files on several new computers at once. You're limited by the speed of your Internet connection, so this option makes the most sense if you've got cable or broadband service

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