By Ivy / Last update October 21, 2021

How do I transfer files from my old PC to new PC in Windows 10? 

"Hello! Not long ago, I bought a new PC with Windows 10 installed. Now, I want to transfer files from my old PC to new PC in Windows 10. Can I just use a USB cable to transfer everything? Is there any other way to do this easily and quickly? Any help would be appreciated."

Transfer Files from Old PC to New PC

Surely, you can transfer files simply using a USB cable. Also, there are many other ways to achieve this goal. Continue to see below and transfer your precious photos, collection music, work files like word and excel etc, which may be essential for your life and work. Before that, you need to know what to transfer to new computer.

What to transfer to new computer?

Transferring files to a new computer in Windows 10 is undoubtedly a matter. Because they mean a lot for you, and you will use them in the near future. Moreover, they are easily damaged by any computer issues, such as, virus infacted, registry error, malware, etc. 

Meanwhile, you still need to transfer programs to new computer if you don't want to reinstall them start over. It's said, some programs require reactivation, which will be troublesome.

So now, let's have a closer look at how to transfer files or programs to new computer in Windows 10.

Method 1. Transfer files using external storage device

Using external storage device to transfer files is the most common used way, because it's easy to operate and requires no skills. However, it need to be done manually and will last for a very long time if you have dozens of files to be transferred simultaneously. 

To transfer files, plug external device into the old computer, copy files in need and paste them to external drive, then plug it out and connect to new computer, copy and paste all files to new PC.  

External Drive

Also, you still can make use of built-in file transfer tool, such as, Windows Easy Transfer or File History to complete the entire processs instead of copy and paste. To be specific, run Windows Easy Transfer or File History and transfer files to external storage, then use them to migrate data from external drive to new computer.

Notes ✎...
• The transferred files will not remain in the old computer, so your files will go forever if you mistakenly delete it.
• Windows Easy Transfer only supports transferring files and most settings in Windows XP/Vista7/8/8.1 and it was disconnected in Windows 10. And this tool cannot migrate data from a 64-bit to a 32-bit operating system. Therefore, if either of your computer is Windows 10,  File History will be a great choice. 

Method 2. Manually copy and paste files on HDD/SSD via SATA cable

Usually, HDDs and SSDs use standard SATA cable to connect motherboard and the desktop computer always have one more slot, so you can manually connect the disk to your computer and it will be recognized as internal hard drive, then copy and paste the files need to be transferred. If your computer is laptop, you need a SATA-to-USB adapter or encloser to connect your disk. 

Sata Cable On Motherborad

Method 3. File transfer with Cloud storage device

Most cloud storage device offers users free cloud storage, for example, OneDrive 5GB, Google Drive 15GB, Dropbox 2GB, but it's limited and the space will run out sooner or later. Therefore, if you only have small amount of files need to be transferred, you can use cloud drive as middleman. If you want to sync a large amount of files, you can do a deep invest in one of cloud storage or try free file sync software like AOMEI Backupper.

To transfer files, take OneDrive as an example, open its desktop folder on the old PC, copy and paste files to OneDrive, then sign in the same account with OneDrive on your new computer. Later, you will see all your files.

Transfer Files using Cloud Storage

Method 4. Transfer cable to transfer your data

Using transfer cable to transfer files between computers is one of the cost-effective ways. With it, you no longer need to subscribe to cloud storage or buy external storage. Moreover, the operation is quite simple, and the transfer speed is relative fast. 

To transfer files from one computer to another, you only need to connect both computers via this cable, then transfer files with the included software, such as, Windows Easy Transfer.

Transfer Files using Cable

Method 5. Transfer files and programs with AOMEI Backupper Standard

AOMEI Backupper Standard is a free file transfer software for Windows 7/8/8.1/10/11/XP/Vista. It has a feature called "File Sync" that can transfer files between computers on the same network effortlessly. Also, you can make use of  cloud storage device, external hard drive, internal hard drive, NAS etc. 

Moreover, you can automatic sync files with its schedule settings, such as, daily, weekly and monthly, and enable email notification to get final result without waitting. In additition, it can still move old hard drive to new PC or just operating system including programs.

To automatic sync files to new computer, download and run this software, click "Sync" and "Basic Sync", select the folders you want to sync and add the computer as destination via "Select a network location", set a schedule setting if needed, click "Start Sync". 

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

File Sync

Notes ✎...   
• Don't modify the source folder name, otherwise the program will not sync changes anymore.
• This software does not sync files over 4GB to FAT/FAT32, because it limites the file size up to 4GB.
• Its advanced version AOMEI Backupper Professional still supports mirror sync, real-time sync.

To transfer programs, click "Disk Backup" or "System Backup"  to create a image and save it to external hard drive or other devices. Either of them will include programs. Then, restore Windows 10 image from external drive with "Restore" feature. 

Disk Backup


That's all for how to transfer files from old PC to new PC. You can choose any of them which can satisfy your needs. If you happen to have a spare external storage, use it as a middleman. If your HDD/SSD on old computer is still working, connect it your new computer and migrate data. If you merely have light data or already invest any of cloud storage, use it to transfer data. If you want a cost-effective way, get a transfer cable. If you want a freeware or need to transfer programs, file transfer software AOMEI Backupper is a worth a shot.

Also, it's suggested to keep AOMEI Backupper installed on your computer, which be used to automatic backup files, system, disk and partition. Therefore, you will never miss any changes of your files and recover your computer in a very short time when it crashes.