5 Tips to Transfer Data from Your Old PC to a New One

This is part of a weekly series featuring content written by the Lenovo Companion App Content Team

Getting a new computer is an exciting undertaking. The possibilities of faster computing speed, more space and more organized files await you, as soon as you boot up for the first time. As does the prospect of moving all your old files to your new PC.

If you’re not sure where to start, following is an overview of the steps you should take when moving data from one PC to another – and some of the options available for transferring those files.

1. Archive and put your older files in storage

The first question you should ask yourself before you transfer is whether you really need all your old files on your new PC. After you’ve done a thorough job of deleting the files you no longer need, you should definitely archive important files older than three years (or sooner, if needed). Depending on the size of your files, you can save them onto discs, USB storage, an external hard drive or online/cloud-based storage. To archive the most files possible, consider compressing your files using applications such as Zip or Stuffit.

Once your older files are deleted and archived, you can more easily organize your remaining files and folder structures, so that your new PC will be easier to navigate.

2. Backup before you transfer

When it comes to your personal files, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Although most migrations go off without a hitch, there is always the possibility you could lose or damage some files during the transfer. To ensure that all your files are protected, be sure to backup all your data to an external hard drive or to cloud-based storage.

3. Transfer your data

Once you’re ready to migrate your files, there are different options available for getting your old data onto your new Lenovo PC:


Many Lenovo PC users move their files using OneDrive – free cloud-based online storage that comes with your Microsoft account. When you sign up for OneDrive, you will get 15 GB free. OneDrive works like an extra hard drive that’s available on any device you use. There are several ways you can to move files onto OneDrive, which include:

  • Moving files to OneDrive using the OneDrive app (found on the Windows Start screen)
  • Saving files to OneDrive directly from an app
  • Saving files to OneDrive directly from a desktop app (i.e., Microsoft Word)

Manual transferring

Using technology such as an external hard drive or an “easy transfer” migration cable, you can move data to your new PC by physically moving the files from one device to another.

4. After you transfer your files

After you migrate the data from your old PC, it pays to stay vigilant about protecting your information. Here are some tips to keep your data organized and safe:

Backup your new PC regularly with File History

Windows 8.1 offers File History, a unique backup drive option to protect your data against a crash or other PC issues. Using File History, you can backup copies of files that are in Documents, Music, Pictures, Videos, Desktop folders and the OneDrive files available offline on your PC. To backup files that are located elsewhere, you must first transfer them to one of these folders.

By regularly backing up to File History, you’ll gain a complete history of your files. If the originals are lost, damaged or deleted, you can easily restore them. You can also browse and restore different versions of your files.

To restore your files and folders, follow these steps: 

  • Swipe in from the right edge of your screen and type or click Search 
  • Type Restore your Files in the search box
  • Then tap or click on Restore your files with File History

5. Wipe your old hard drive

Once you move files off your old computer, they are not completely gone. One of the best ways to clear off your hard drive (or “wipe” it) is to use a third-party software program that will remove all traces of information that existed on your hard drive.

By wiping your old PC, you can donate it to someone new, and rest assured that information like passwords or bank information are truly gone forever. Just look for “data destruction” software programs, many of which you can find for free online. Read more tips on how to remove personal data from your old PC in this blog post

Ready to get started with a new PC or discard your old one?

Lenovo offers a Trade-In program for customers in the United States and select countries in Europe. Lenovo Trade-In offers free shipping for your old PC, securely wipes your data, recycles your old PC, and offers cash back on the purchase of a new Lenovo Windows 8 PC.

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