How to transfer files to a new computer or laptop

We can imagine you are eager to get your new device set up ready to use as quick as possible.

But what about all those files from your old machine? Unfortunately, we can’t do this for you; we can however offer you some solutions for transferring files from an old device to a new one.

Computer monitor, keyboard and mouse on a deskComputer monitor, keyboard and mouse on a desk

Cloud Storage

Cloud storage has become one of the most popular ways of storing files. This is due to the ease of its accessibility from different devices and the fact that it requires nothing more than an internet connection to upload and download files.

Most cloud-based storage services offer some sort of free storage as well as paid plans. All you need to do is download their app or access their website on both your old and new machine. Then you can upload your files from your old device to the storage service before downloading them onto your new computer or laptop. It’s as easy as that!

Three of the most used cloud storage services are:


Microsoft OneDrive

If you have a Microsoft account, then you will already have a OneDrive account, but if you don’t then OneDrive is free to sign up.
OneDrive’s Basic package is free and allows up to 5GB of storage, which isn’t a great deal of storage when you’re wanting to transfer over a lot of files to a new device. It may be enough however to transfer over important documents, including Word and Excel files.

Plus, for just £1.99 a month you can get access to 100GB of storage; there are further options too beyond that of course.


Google Drive

Another popular cloud-based storage service is from Google. Google Drive offers 15 GB of free storage space to anyone with a Google account. This allows users the flexibility to store photos, documents, videos, recordings and more.

Again, 15GB probably isn’t enough storage if your old machine contains a lot of files that you wish to be transferred over to your new device. So like OneDrive Google offer various paid plans starting from £1.59 a month giving you access to more storage space.



Although Dropbox offer the smaller amount of 2GB storage on their free plan, they are still a widely used and trusted cloud-based storage service.

To make the most out of Dropbox when transferring files to a new device, it would be more beneficial to purchase one of their paid plans which could give you access to 2TB of storage for £7.99 a month (when billed yearly).

External Hard Drive

External hard drives typically tend to have a good amount of storage space that would allow you to transfer files over in one attempt. They’re easy to use too!

Simply plug in the hard drive to your old computer or laptop and transfer all the files you wish to be on your new device.

Once all files have been stored onto the external hard drive, it can then be plugged into your new device and all the files can be transferred over.

External hard drives are also useful for when you wish to store old files which you may not need on your new machine, but still wish to hold on file for future use. 


Transfer Cable

If you aren’t so bothered about backing up your files and therefore do not require storage space, then a data transfer cable could be the option for you.

This could be an attractive option as a cheaper alternative to paid cloud storage service or external hard drive. A transfer cable is a double ended cable connecting to both your old and new device. Of course you will need to ensure you choose the right cable to connect BOTH of your devices, as there are a few machine-specific variants. Some cables come with software to install before you can transfer your files, but others allow you to do a straight transfer between devices by simply copy and pasting the files.

There are even transfer cables that allow you to use one mouse between devices so you can literally drag and drop files from your old computer to the new one.