By Ivy / Last update December 15, 2022

The need to transfer files from Windows 10 to Windows 11

You may already know that the latest version of Windows is officially released and Microsoft says you can free upgrade to Windows 11 if you are currently using Windows 10 which meets the minimum system requirements for Windows 11. Thus, some users may already upgrade from Windows 10 to Windows 11 and want to transfer files from Windows 10 to Windows 11.

Transfer Files from Windows 10 to Windows 11

If you use the Check for update or Windows 11 installation assistant to free upgrade Windows 10 to Windows 11, your files may stay as it was in Windows 10. But if your computer does not meet the Windows 11 system requirement or you choose to clean install Windows 11, you may lose all of your data during the process unless you keep a copy of your files in advance.

No matter what your situation is, you can learn 3 useful ways to transfer files from PC to PC over network or without internet.  

How to Transfer files from Windows 10 to Windows 11

You can easily transfer files from Windows 10 to Windows 11 to prevent any data loss in the Windows installation process. And here are 3 useful methods in the following:

  • Way 1: Transfer files from PC to PC using OneDrive. You will use Microsoft OneDrive to backup important folders,  including Desktop, Documents, and Pictures, and transfer them to Windows 11 as long as you sign in with the same account. Then, you access all your files on your computer. 
  • Way 2: Use external hard drive. If your computer does not have internet, try external hard drive or USB flash drive and use it as an intermediary between the two computers. You just need to be sure it can hold all the data you want to transfer.
  • Way 3: Use free file sync software. In this method, you have more choices, such as, from cloud drives like OneDrive, NAS or network drive, external disk, etc. And it helps update changes regularly.

Select one of the methods and transfer files from PC to PC with the steps in the corresponding method.

Way 1: Transfer files from PC to PC using OneDrive

If you are currently using Windows 10, you may know or already use OneDrive, cloud storage that comes preinstalled into this version of the computer. And the same is true in Windows 11. It helps to transfer files from Windows 10 to Windows 11 over network.

Step 1. Search “onedrive” on your Windows 10 computer and you will be asked to set up your OneDrive if this is the first time you use it. Type your email address and then password, please remember to click “Sign in”.

Set Up OneDrive

Note: If you don’t have an account, click “Create account” and fill in with required info first.

Step 2. After loading the account info, you will see Your OneDrive folder window and the default location of OneDrive. Confirm it and click Next.

Your OneDrive Folder

Note: If you want to change the location of the OneDrive folder, click “Change Location” in the lower left corner. And this is the best time to change location, since it does not contain any data. 

Step 3. Then, you will be asked to get to know your OneDrive, click "Next" three times, and "later".

Later

Step 4. In the Your OneDrive is ready for you window, click  “Open my OneDrive folder" and check if all of your files are here. Also, you can check it in cloud storage or other devices.

Open My OneDrive Folder

Step 5. Start your Windows 11 computer. Then, sign in and set up your Microsoft OneDrive account as previously. By default, it will sync Desktop, Documents, and Pictures folder automatically.

How to stop syncing certain important folders 

  •  From Manage Backup: Right-click the cloud icon and select Help & Settings > Settings > Backup > Manage Backup, then you can uncheck any of them.

Manage Folder Backup

  • From Account: Right-click the cloud icon, select Help & Settings > Settings and go to Account this time. Click Choose folders to select which folder will be available on-demand in your “OneDrive” folder.

Make All Files Available

Way 2: Transfer files from Windows 10 to Windows 11 using external hard drive

Step 1. Connect your external hard drive to Windows 10 computer. Then, open the File Explorer, click This PC at the sidebar, find your drive and double-click it to open a new window.

Connect External Hard Drive to Laptop

Step 2. Copy all the files you want to transfer into a folder. Right-click this folder and select the Copy option.

Step 3. Go back to your drive in File Explorer. Right-click the blank space and select the Paste option, then your files will get started to transfer, just wait until the process completes.

Copy and Paste Files to HDD

Step 4. Disconnect your drive to Windows 10 and then connect it to your Windows 11 computer. Then, open your drive in File Explorer, copy the folders you previously saved in the external drive and paste them into your current computer.

Way 3: Transfer files from PC to PC using free sync software

Whether your computer has Internet, or not, you can use free sync software for Windows 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP/Vista to transfer files (eg: documents, videos, email, photos) from Windows 10 to Windows 11 with help of different storage devices, including OneDrive, share or NAS, network drive, external hard drive, USB flash drive, etc. 

Thanks to its Schedule Sync feature, the file sync process becomes much easier than previous methods:

It will sync changes from Windows 10 to Windows 11 as long as you add files or folders in a sync task.
The sync task is automatic. So you don't need to copy and paste files after you set it up.
In the advanced edition, it will allow you to automatically copy files when USB drive connected. So you just need to insert it into Windows 10 and then Windows 11, and your files will be synced automatically.

Please download the free file sync software - AOMEI Backupper Standard to transfer files. For server users, try AOMEI Backupper Server!

 

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

Step 1. Open free sync software - AOMEI Backupper Standard. Then, navigate to “Sync” and “Basic Sync”.

File Sync

Note: If you want to sync files in real-time, you need to use “Real-Time Sync” feature. It will keep track of your files immediately after you made changes to it.

Step 2. In the Basic Sync window, click “Add Folder” and select the folder containing all the files you want to transfer from Windows 10 to Windows 11.

Add Folder

Note: If you want to sync multiple folders, you can click “+” to continue adding folders.

Step 3. After selecting files, you need to select a way to transfer files from Windows 10 to Windows 11. 

  • From a local path: Click Select a local path and select external hard drive or USB flash drive. Please connect it to your computer and be sure it’s recognized.
  • From a cloud drive: Click Select a cloud drive if want to sync files to OneDrive in Windows 10. Be sure you download and sign in with your account.
  • From NAS or network share: Click Add Share or NAS Device if you want to sync folder to network drive or NAS. Confirm you have the read and write priority. Otherwise, you will fail to connect it.

Here take Select a cloud drive as an example. 

Add Share or NAS

Then, in the Select Cloud window, select OneDrive and click "OK" to confirm.

Select OneDrive

Step 4. Confirm the sync task and set schedule settings if you want to get changes. Select Daily, Weekly, or Monthly in the Schedule Sync feature and click “Start Sync” to transfer files from Windows 10 to Windows 11.

Transfer Files from Windows 10 to Windows 11

Tips:

  • If you want to sync deletions automatically, you can choose to enable the “Sync the deletions in the source directory to destination” setting in the Options.
  • The “USB plug in” and “Event triggers” are premium features available in the professional version or higher. Please upgrade to enjoy if necessary. 

Except for OneDrive, this software also offers you a Cloud Backup to help you transfer files. It will backup Windows 10 files to AOMEI cloud and then you can restore them on Windows 11 PC. And it offers 1TB of free storage in 15 days after you sign up for an AOMEI account.

Cloud Backup

Hot topic: about Windows 11 free upgrade

Searching “transfer files from Windows 10 to Windows 11” online, many users still want to know if they can upgrade to Windows 11, how to download and install Windows 11, how to downgrade from Windows 11 to Windows 10, etc. Please stay for a while and read the following content, you will get the answer.

1. How to check if I can upgrade to Windows 11

According to Microsoft, if your computer is running Windows 10, with version 2004 or later, and it meets the minimum system requirements for Windows 11, you will get the free upgrade option, no later than mid-2022, depending on device age and hardware.

To check if your computer meets these requirements:

  • #1: Use PC health checker provided by Microsoft.
  • #2: Use a third-party update checker, Windows 11 update checker in AOMEI Backupper Standard, for example.

PC Health Checker

2. How to download and install Windows 11

#1: From Windows Update: Go to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update and select Check for Updates. If the free upgrade option is available, click Download and Install to perform a Windows 11 in-place upgrade.

Upgrade to Windows 11 Is Ready

#2: Use Windows 11 installation assistant or Windows 11 ISO file. If you cannot see Windows 11 update in the previous method, you still can choose to upgrade Windows 10 to Windows 11 using Windows 11 installation assistant or Windows 11 ISO file.

3. How to downgrade Windows 11 to Windows 10 without losing data

#1: Use Previous version of Windows: Microsoft offers users a Previous version of Windows recovery option to return Windows 11 to Windows 10 and keep their files as it was. It is only available if your Windows 11 is installed within 10 days. 

Previous version of Windows

#2: Uninstall Update or clean install Windows 10. Try #2 if the Previous version of Windows does not work or you upgrade to Windows 11 more than 10 days. Please remember to backup files to external hard drive in Windows 11, otherwise, you may lose your data.

Final words

You may already know how to transfer files from Windows 10 to Windows 11 over network or without internet. If you want the easiest way or to keep files in sync regularly, try free sync software - AOMEI Backupper Standard.

It supports all kinds of storage devices, not only OneDrive, external hard drive, but also other storage devices recognized by Windows, and provides you with a schedule sync feature to transfer files daily, weekly, or monthly sync.

Besides, it still has more advanced sync methods, such as real-time sync, mirror sync, etc. Please upgrade to the professional version to unlock these features.