How to transfer your data to a new PC

If you’re anything like me, the moment you purchase a piece of technology of any kind you immediately regress to the point where you are, to all extents and purpose, ten-years-old again. Literally everything has to wait until I’ve got everything setup and running. When the new item in question is a new PC, that includes transferring all of the data stored on my old device over to my shiny new one.

Recently, my parents replaced their PC of several years, with my mother – who, unlike my father, is not a complete luddite – taking charge of the task of transferring over their data to their new one machine. Having not done this before, however, she turned it into a drawn-out process: identifying only the files she absolutely had to keep before emailing them to herself, opening them on the new computer and saving them. It took her hours and was probably also the most dull and uneventful evening of her life. Here are a few easier, faster and ultimately less painful ways of transferring data from one device to another:

The Cloud

If you’ve been backing your computer up to the cloud at regular intervals, then transferring your data is going to be a breeze. All you’ll need to do is login to your account on your new device and start downloading.

If you haven’t been backing up to the Cloud or don’t have an account, don’t worry; you can open an account on your old device, upload your files and simply complete the transfer by following the instructions above.

Sadly, whilst this process is quick, easy and completely wireless, you’re going to need to subscribe to a monthly package if you plan on transferring more than a few GBs of data. The minimum term for such subscriptions is often just one month, however, meaning that you could theoretically cancel your subscription as soon as your data’s been transferred.

Your backup drive

Have you been backing up your data to an external drive? If you have, then simply plug this in to your new device and move everything across. If you haven’t been performing backups but happen to have a spare external drive lying around, great; just copy your files to this before transferring them to your new device. If you don’t, though, transferring via the Cloud is certainly going to be cheaper.

Data transfer cable

In the event that you don’t have an external hard drive and would prefer not to sign up with a Cloud storage provider, a data transfer cable can be purchased for just a few pounds. They’re also exceptionally easy-to-use: simply plug each USB port into the respective devices and follow the on-screen instructions.


There are a number of quick and economical ways of transferring your data from an old device to a new one. The method that is best for you will differ depending on your circumstances but it needn’t ever be a laborious and time-consuming task.