Windows 10: Transfer your Files to a New Computer

If you're making the move to a new PC, you don't have to leave behind your files and folders. You can bring them all with you to your new PC using an external storage device or Microsoft OneDrive.

Video Instructions

Click the links below for short (aprox 2 mins) videos from Microsoft to learn how to backup files:


Written Instructions

Video instructions: Watch this 2 minute video from Microsoft for visual instructions.


Copy files to an external storage device

  1. Connect your external storage device to your current PC.

  2. On the taskbar, select File Explorer.

  3. Locate the files you wish to copy, or the folders where those files are stored.

  4. To copy multiple files, hold CTRL as you select additional files or folders.

  5. Once you have files and folders highlighted, make sure you're in the Home tab, then select Organize > Copy to, and select your external storage device name from the list of options. 

  6. Your files and folders will begin copying to your drive. You may need to repeat steps 3 – 5 if you have files stored in multiple locations. Make sure to also move files from locations like your DocumentsDesktopDownloadsFavoritesMusicPodcastsPictures, and Videos folders.

Verify your files are correct and remove the storage device

  • After you have copied or moved your files onto an external storage device, you can verify they're in the right location by browsing the external drive.
  • Then you'll need to safely remove the drive to ensure no files are lost or corrupted. To remove the device, select Eject before you disconnect the drive from your PC.
  • Once you have moved your files onto your external storage device, you'll be able to transfer them onto your new Windows 10 PC.

Transfer your files to your new PC

  1. Connect your external storage device to your new Windows 10 PC.

  2. Select File Explorer from your task bar.

  3. On the left guide bar, select This PC.

  4. Locate the external drive and double-click its corresponding icon.

  5. Locate the folder where your files are saved, and then double-click that folder's icon.

  6. To select all the files in this location, select Home in the top left and then Select all. All the files in this folder will now be highlighted. To copy only one file, select it by clicking on it once.

  7. Select Home tab in the top left, select Copy to, and then select the folder you'd like the files copied to: DocumentsMusicPictures, or Videos. You can also choose a custom location by selecting Choose location....

  8. Your files will begin to transfer to your Windows 10 PC. Note that this may take time depending on the number and size of the files you transfer.

  9. After the files are copied, you can navigate to their new location to make sure the files were successfully copied over.

Video instructions: Watch this 2.5 minute video from Microsoft for visual instructions.


Install and set up OneDrive on your current PC

For backing up work files, use your Columbus State credentials to log in to OneDrive.

  1. If you’re currently using a Windows 10 PC, you may already have OneDrive installed. Skip to step 2. If you don’t have Windows 10, install the OneDrive sync app.

  2. Set up OneDrive:

    If you don’t have accounts signed in to OneDrive

    1. In the search box on the taskbar, enter “OneDrive,” and select it from the list of results.

    2. When OneDrive Setup starts, enter your personal, work, or school account. You can use your current email address or phone number to set up a personal Microsoft account, or create a new email address for free to give you access to OneDrive, Skype, Office for the web, and more. 

    3. Follow the remaining steps to complete your OneDrive setup.

    If you have accounts signed in to OneDrive

    If you’re already signed in to OneDrive with one account and would like to add another, you’ll do that in OneDrive settings.

    1. Select the OneDrive cloud icon in the Windows notification area of your taskbar.

    2. Select Help & Settings Settings.

    3. On the Account tab, select Add an account.

    4. OneDrive Setup will open. Enter your new account and select Sign in.

Sync the files and photos you want to OneDrive

Any files, folders, and photos you select will sync to OneDrive, and you can then access them on your new device. Learn how to upload photos and files to OneDrive

Access your files on your new PC

On your new Windows 10 PC, sign in to OneDrive with the same Microsoft account you used on your other PC. Then, get to your files by opening File Explorer or by selecting the OneDrive cloud icon in the Windows notification section of your taskbar.

Automatically back up folders on your new PC

Now that you can access your older files and folders on your new PC, make sure to keep your new files synced as well. Use PC folder backup to keep all new files syncing to OneDrive. You can then get to those files from other devices like your phone and tablet.

  1. Select the OneDrive cloud icon in the Windows notification area of your taskbar.

  2. Select Help & Settings > Settings.

  3. On the Backup tab, select Manage backup.

  4. On the Back up your folders message box, select the folders you’d like to back up, then select Start backup.



Move your files to new Windows 10 computer

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Article ID: 614
Wed 9/8/21 11:29 AM
Wed 10/27/21 10:26 AM