How to Transfer Files from one Computer to Another

Copying files from one computer to another can be done through several techniques. Before attempting to copy information from one computer to another, it is important to realise you cannot copy a program that has been installed to another computer and have it successfully work. Therefore, you should only copy the files for that program and install the program on the new computer.

Example: a user who has Microsoft Word cannot copy that program to the other computer, they must only copy Microsoft Word documents to the other computer and then install Microsoft Word on the computer the files were copied to.

You will need

  • Flash drive
  • CDs and CD burner
  • Cable or wireless networking between computers
  • USB external hard drive


Flash drive

  1. To copy only a few files, connect a USB drive or Flash drive to the computer with the files.
  2. Locate files and drag them to the USB folder.
  3. When transfer of files is complete, safely disconnect the Flash drive hardware.
  4. On Windows computer select “safely remove hardware” in the bottom right corner of the menu bar, and on Mac computers, simply drag the USB icon to the trash bin on the dock to eject it.
  5. Now, connect the Flash drive to the receiving computer.
  6. Locate the files and drag them from the Flash drive folder to the computer.
  7. Disconnect the Flash drive safely.

Burning CDs with Windows XP

  1. Insert the recordable CD into your CD burner.
  2. If a pop up appears asking you to choose the manual or wizard option of writing to the CD, choose the wizard.
  3. If you’re saving data files to the CD, choose data and not audio when asked what type of CD you want to write. Note that for archiving music, a CD-R is best; use a CD-RW for data you want to save.
  4. Choose the files you want to write to the CD. You may either choose files manually or drag and drop them.
  5. Select the option to burn the CD.
  6. When burning is complete, eject the CD and put it into the CD drive of the receiving computer.
  7. Find the CD drive and open it; drag your files to the new location, or select another option to transfer them to their new location on the computer.


  1. If you have a wireless or cable network set up between the computers you are transferring files to and from, use your local area network to transfer the files.
  2. Simply ensure that the files are not protected, or that the receiving computer has sufficient permissions to locate and transfer files from the sending computer.
  3. For additional information on networks, follow


  1. Perhaps the most efficient way to transfer files from computer to computer is by using an USB external hard drive.
  2. Simply connect the USB to the computer and open the external hard drive folder.
  3. Locate and select the files you want to transfer and drag them to your external hard drive.
  4. Once the file transfer is complete, safely remove the external hard drive, as you would a Flash drive.
  5. Now, attach the external hard drive to the receiving computer, open it and drag the files to their new location.

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