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Tech tips

One simple trick to transfer files from one device to another

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It’s tough to decide which is right for you: a PC or a Mac. Tap or click here to see which is a better fit

After the initial thrill of purchasing a new Mac or PC is gone, you’re hit with the realization you have many files in your old computer that you want to put into your new device. The task may seem daunting, but there are programs and DIYs available to help you get the job done right.

Here are some tips on transferring your old files to and from both PC and Mac.

The PC move

Depending on how much you have to move, plug a USB flash drive or an external hard drive into your old computer. Move all your files to the external device. Take the external device out of the USB port on your old computer. Now plug it into your new computer and move the files from the external devices to your new computer.

That’s it.

Another option is to move everything from your old computer to the cloud through such programs as Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive, IDrive or Dropbox.

We prefer to use our sponsor IDrive for its speed, reliability and security. Tap or click here to find out why we recommend IDrive. Though cloud storage is indeed simple, there remains one caveat: there is limited free space. After you fill the space that’s offered for free, you have to pay for more.

If you want to be thrifty, you can move as many files as you can into the free space, move them to the new computer, go back and empty the free space, then add more files and on and on and on. This is very time-consuming, so you may want to buy more space.

The fastest way to move files from PC to PC is with a transfer cable. Connect both computers with the cable and begin transferring files. Because the computers are connected, the transfer process will be faster than using an external hard drive.

Face it. If you want to transfer files from your old computer, you’re going to have to put in some money for either an external hard drive, a cloud storage product or a transfer cable.

The PC to Mac move

You finally obeyed Apple’s siren song and purchased a Mac. To some extent, they are very different computers. Will it be impossible to move your files from the PC to the Mac? Not at all.

You can use the same external device or cloud storing methods you used from moving files from one PC to another; however, there is one difference that makes the external device method a bit more difficult if you’ve purchased a new Mac laptop.

Mac laptops no longer have USB ports, so you’ll need to buy a USB adapter or docking station to connect the two computers. We recommend buying one of those adapters anyway since many traditional products have USB connectors. If you purchased a desktop Mac, the USB ports are still there.

Another way you can move files from a PC to a Mac is by using Mac’s Migration Assistant. The Migration Assistant was first included in macOS X Lion and continues for later operating systems. If you bought a new Mac, you’d have the assistant.

Migration Assistant transfers your contacts, calendars, email accounts and more from a PC to your Mac or from Mac to Mac. The helpful tool also provides step-by-step instructions on how to use the program.

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