So, you got a new computer, and you can’t wait to use it. You can’t familiarize yourself with its shiny keyboard and sleek screen, just yet, however. First, you’ve got to clear a major hurdle: transferring the data from your old computer to the new one.

If you’ve been creating regular backups of your data, this will be a simple process. If you haven’t been backing up your data, it will be a bit more involved. In either situation, though, it’s possible. Here’s your complete guide.

How to Transfer Data: 3 Simple Options

When it comes to transferring data on your new computer, you have a few options: you can do it manually, with a tool, or from a backup. Here’s a breakdown of each approach:

1. Use a Tool

Using a file-transfer tool is an easy way to move files automatically. File transfer programs, or FTPs, come in all shapes and sizes and range from free to paid. Popular options include FileZilla, Fire FTP, and WinSCP, all of which work on PC systems.

You can also use Windows Easy Transfer, Microsoft’s file transfer tool, or Mac Migration Assistant, which is built into OS X, if you prefer.

Once you’ve chosen an FTP, you’ll need to install the program (unless it’s a pre-installed option) on both your computers and run it to move your files. Most FTPs feature simple instructions and are easy to follow.

2. Migrate Your Files From a Backup

Assuming you’re backing up your data on a regular basis, you can back up the files on your old computer and restore them onto your new computer. One of the fastest and simplest ways to run a manual migration, this is what many people choose to do.

A note on backup migrations, though: be sure that both your computers are running the most current operating system possible. You may face migration issues if your OS is outdated.

To complete your manual migration, simply transfer the files from your old computer onto an external hard drive. From there, you’ll just disconnect the hard drive from your old computer, attach it to your new one, and drag the files onto your desktop. It’s that simple!

3. Transfer Files With the Cloud

If you use a cloud storage service, like Amazon Drive, Google Drive, or Dropbox, use the cloud service to back up the files on your old computer. From there, log into the service on your new computer and download the files you need onto your new system. A popular backup option, cloud storage tools make it easy to access your files on all your devices, without having to transfer them manually.

File Transfers Made Simple

While figuring out how to transfer data from your old computer to your new one can feel complex, these three easy options make it simple. Whether you choose to use a tool, an external hard drive, or a cloud storage service, transferring files from one computer to another is easier today than it’s ever been before.

Remember, though, that you should always back your files up, first, no matter which option you choose to use. For example, if you’re going to use a cloud storage option, backup your files on an external hard drive first. This helps safeguard your data and ensures that, if something goes wrong during the transfer process, your files won’t suffer.

Once you’ve done that, use the data transfer option of your choice and get to work using your new computer. If you need assistance during the backup process or have questions about the best approach, contact the techs here at Computer CPR.