Page tree
Skip to end of metadata
Go to start of metadata

This article describes moving files from one computer to another. In many cases this is from an old computer to a new computer. For that reason, “old computer” will refer to the computer that contains the files to be transferred and “new computer” will refer to the computer that will receive the files. However these methods could also be used for regular file transfer. Also note that these instructions assume that both computers are fully functioning and have an active network connection.

Note that any files that you have saved to the M: drive, P: drive, Google Drive, or any other network drive will be accessible from the new computer without additional action. There is no need to copy files from these locations.

Transferring using an External Hard Drive

This method requires the user to have an external hard drive with enough storage capacity to contain all of the files being transferred. This may also be done with a large enough flash drive.

  1. Connect the external drive to the old computer.
  2. Find the files to be transferred to the new computer. Note that programs cannot be transferred over, they will need to be reinstalled on the new computer. However, the files for unique programs can be transferred. These are the typical file locations that are transferred when switching to a new computer:
    1. Desktop
    2. Documents
    3. Downloads
    4. Pictures
    5. Music
    6. Videos (PC) or Movies (Mac)
  3. Copy the desired files from the old computer location to the external drive. Safely remove the drive from the old computer.
  4. Connect the external drive to the new computer. Copy the files to the new computer.

Transferring using Google Drive

In this method you will upload files from your old computer to Google Drive then download them to your new computer. Begin the following steps on the old computer.

  1. Open a browser and navigate to Google Drive (drive.google.com). Log in with your App State credentials.
  2. Create a new folder in your Drive by clicking on the "New" button at the top left of the screen. Name the new folder and open it. This folder will be referred to as the "transfer" folder.
  3. Add files to the transfer folder. You may drag files or folders into the transfer folder or you may add it by selecting the "New" button:
    1. Select the "New" button at the top left of the screen and select "Folder upload".
    2. You may only select one folder to upload at a time, but you can select any folder to upload. Once an upload begins, you may choose other folders to upload concurrently.
    3. Depending on the size of the folders you are uploading, this may take some time. Do not close the browser or shut down the computer until the file upload is complete.
  4. These are the typical file locations that are transferred when switching to a new computer:
    1. Desktop
    2. Documents
    3. Downloads
    4. Pictures
    5. Music
    6. Videos (PC) or Movies (Mac)
  5. Once the files have completed uploading to Google Drive, you are finished with the old computer.
  6. On the new computer, open a browser and navigate to Google Drive (drive.google.com). Log in with you App State credentials.
  7. Find the transfer folder and select it, but don't open it.
  8. Select the three vertical dots to open more options. Select "Download".
  9. Once your files have downloaded, you may move them to a more meaningful location on your new computer. For instance, you may move the transfer folder to the desktop of your new computer or you may sort the files into the same location they were in on the old computer.

Transferring using Backup and Sync from Google

This method backs up your files on the old computer and makes it available from Google Drive. Begin the following steps on the old computer.

  1. Install and set up Backup and Sync from Google on the old computer
    1. For individuals using a university-owned PC on the campus network or campus VPN: Open Software Center and install Google Backup and Sync.
    2. For individuals using a Mac, personal PC, or university-owned PC not on the campus network/VPN: 
      1. Navigate to https://www.google.com/intl/en-GB_ALL/drive/download/backup-and-sync/ and select “Download Backup and Sync”.
      2. Open the downloaded installation file and complete the installation. 
    3. Open Backup and Sync.
    4. Follow the setup instructions and when prompted to log in, select the option at the bottom to “Sign in with your browser instead”. Sign in with your App State credentials.
    5. Continue to follow the setup instructions. There is no need to change the default settings but you may adjust them if needed.
    6. Once the setup steps are complete, it will take some time to back up all of your files to Google Drive. Leave the computer on and connected to the internet until the Backup and Sync has backed up all of your files. In the future, Backup and Sync will automatically back up your files periodically as long as the computer is connected to the internet (any network connection is fine, it does not have to be the university network or VPN).
  2. On the new computer, open your internet browser and navigate to drive.google.com. Log in with your App State credentials.
  3. On the left navigation panel, select “Computers”. Find the old computer and files there. 

From this point, you may pick and choose which files you would like to download or you may download all of the files to your new computer.


  • No labels