Transferring your old files to your new device - | WBTV Charlotte

Transferring your old files to your new device


A popular gift for the holidays will be a new tablet, laptop, desktop or smart phone.

It may be faster, lighter, and have more features, but maybe there is a year's worth of information on your old device.  It's often hard to know what to do to get that information moved over so it's not lost forever but who wants to use the old and new forever too? 

Sometimes just the thought of all the hours it will take to move everything over and get it exactly as you like it might make you just skip getting something new altogether.  However,  WBTV's cyber expert, Theresa Payton, says that shouldn't stop you from getting new technology.  She outlines how to do this in 4 easy steps with some tips and tricks that don't require an engineering degree or reading pages and pages of instructions: 

1.  Plan what to move

œ     List the files you know you need

œ     Some examples include

›     Photos

›     Music

›     Spreadsheets

›     Documents

›     Financials

›     Website bookmarks:  export "favorites" to a file and load these onto your new device or computer!

›     Also consider things such as:  favorite email client settings, contacts/address books, and any specific software program configurations

œ     Look on your hard drive and estimate how much space these files take up which will help you determine the best method to move them over

2.  Be Spic and Span - before you do a backup, run antivirus and antimalware software

There is no point in taking infected files with you!  Run antivirus and anti malware software as your next step

3.  Stop!  Before you move a thing, do a full backup of everything first.

œ     There are many ways to do this and you need to decide what options work best for you needs.  We suggest the following:

›     External hard drive or thumb drive:  An external hard drive is a great way to create a back up of all of your information and then place a copy onto your new computer or device

›     Forgetful at Back ups?  Consider back up services in the cloud

›     Old and new are the same? 

¡     Some companies, like Dell, offer a transfer cable that you can purchase.  The cable connects the new and the old computer like a small network so you can move files over.

¡     Migration programs:

œ     For Mac Users, the Apple store will do the transfer for you!  But, if you want to do this yourself, you have a few options to choose from.  Apple has the cloud but it also has a program called the "Migration Assistant" that will help you move your PC to a Mac or a Mac to Mac; or if you have Mac to Mac, you can use the "Home Sharing" option; and you also have the "Transferring purchases" option for anything you previously bought through the online Apple store.

œ     Windows users have an option called the "Easy Transfer" program.

›     Small set of files?  If it is just a small amount of information that you want to move over, you could email it to yourself and then download those emails on your new computer

4.  Move over those important files.

œ     Make sure you do a full back up of all files, even if you are not sure that you need them anymore

œ     Use your new device for at least 2 weeks to make sure you did not forget something! 

œ     Once your new computer or device is up and running, remember to make regular back ups


Microsoft transfer instructions can be found by clicking here

Apple transfer options and instructions:

Apple store genius bar process  

Migration assistant for Mac to Mac 

Migrating a Windows PC to a Mac   

If you do not already use a back up service in the cloud and are wondering how to pick a service that's right for you, Computerworld did a recent price and feature review.  This article shows their top 5 favorites.

External hard drive back up:  For those small jobs, a thumb drive or even CDs might do the trick.  If you need a lot of storage space consider purchasing a 1 Terabyte or 2 Terabyte external drive.  An example of one of these is the Rugged Lacie drive.  These are great to have around for your daily, weekly, and monthly back ups.

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