Laptops have an extended lifetime. And throughout the lifetime, you’ll have lots of personal files stored on it. Once you buy a new laptop, you don’t want to lose your media files, personal documents, and other important things.
There are different files you’ll want to migrate with them to your new device; photos, work-related documents, you name it. You can transfer your files from your old laptop in a variety of ways.
Buckle up, because we are going to provide you with lots of options to choose from.
In summary, you can transfer data from an old PC to a new PC using;
- A transfer cable
- Portable storage devices
- Via the cloud
We’ll go through each of these ways in detail.
Using a USB transfer cable
If you don’t have access to an internet connection, using a USB transfer cable is one of the easiest – and fastest – ways to transfer your files. The good thing is, USB transfer cables are cheap. Just $20 will get you a solid Plugable USB 2.0 Transfer Cable. The cable uses USB 2.0, which boasts transfer speeds of up to 480 Mbps, at least on paper.
The only caveat is it only works across Windows PCs. But with Windows, the cable works across Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7, Vista, and even the 2001 Windows XP. With such transfer speeds, however, you can be able to migrate a huge chunk of your files in just a few minutes.
Setting up is easier, and the cable ships with proprietary software that makes the whole process straightforward. File transfer is a drag and drop experience, which is among the many reasons this cable has thousands of positive reviews.
Oh, and there’s also a two-year warranty so you’re sure it’ll will still work in your next laptop upgrade as well.
Get the Plugable USB 2.0 Transfer Cable from Amazon.
Using Portable Storage
Another way to transfer your files from your old laptop is via portable storage devices. This is, nonetheless, not as convenient as directly transferring files from an old laptop to a new one directly using the USB cable.
But if you have removable storage already, you can use it. And most people already have portable storage devices lying around, so this might be the most accessible method. You can use whatever you have. A USB thumb drive, external HDD or SSD, or even SD card. We’ll get into each in a few.
The main limitation of using this method is you might have to do the transfer severally to get all your files on the new laptop.
For instance, if you have a 32GB Transcend 32GB SDHC Class 10 Flash Memory Card, you’ll have to repeat the process a couple of times before porting over all your files weighing in at 200GB. We recommend the 32GB Transcend 32GB SDHC Class 10 Flash Memory Card, which is a very stable and fast option if you’re in the market for a new SD card. It boasts transfer speeds of up to 90MB/s, thanks to its Class 10 rating.
It has garnered lots of reviews, so you can bet on it to serve you for a while. But nothing lacks a caveat. And for this one, both laptops must have an SD card slot. Not to mention, you’ll have to do transfers several times to move all your data.
If one or both of your laptops have no SD card slot, you’ll have to use the next viable option – a USB flash drive. At least most if not all laptops have USB ports, so you can be sure the two have at least one port. Besides, you can use a thumb drive to transfer data between Windows and Mac.
For about $20, Samsung’s 128GB USB 3.1 Flash Drive should get your needs sorted. USB 3.1 ensures high transfer speeds of up to 1.25 GB/s. The high transfer speeds should make the transfer process faster even if the storage is just (a meager?) 128GB. Good thing, Samsung has a larger 256GB storage option for around double the price.
For more storage, opt for an SSD or HDD instead. The good thing about having an SSD or HDD is the larger storage, and you can also use it for carrying around your large files, especially if your new laptop has less storage.
Check out our top recommendations below. ‘
Using Cloud storage
If you have a strong internet connection, this is your go-to way for transferring data. Cloud storage basically involves backing your files to a computer connected to the internet, which you can access later from anywhere as long as you have an internet connection.
The cloud is as convenient as it can get. But…, in most cases, you might have to cough up some dollars to store your large files. Every cloud storage service has storage limitations. Common cloud storage platforms include OneDrive, Dropbox, and Google Drive.
Another alternative, Mega.NZ is better because it provides up to 50GB of storage for free when you sign up. And you can stretch the storage to 16TB for just ~$30. Another great alternative is iDrive.
PCMover provides a powerful way for transferring files from one PC to another. On top of transferring personal files, PCMover can also move your user profiles, apps and settings. It also provides additional functionality like restoration of old PC image to new OS. The software is easy to use, all you need to do is download and install PCMover on both PCs. Some features are, however, placed behind a paywall.
Get PCMover Express for free.