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You can use an external storage device such as a USB drive, SD card, or external hard drive to help you move all your favorite files off a Windows 7 PC and onto a Windows 10 PC. Here's how to copy your files onto an external storage device and move them to a new PC.

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Copy your files on Windows 7 to an external storage device

Note: Copying files from one location to another will not remove the files from their original locations.


  1. Connect your external storage device to your Windows 7 PC.

  2. Select the Start button > Computer.

  3. Locate the files you wish to copy, or the folders where your files are stored.

  4. Select the file you wish to copy, but do not open it. If you'd like to copy multiple files, hold down the CTRL button as you select additional files. You can also select folders, and this will select all the files that are stored within them.

  5. All files you selected should now be highlighted. At the top of the window, select Organize > Copy to copy the files to memory.

  6. Now, go to the external drive location by clicking on the corresponding letter of the drive.

  7. Once the drive is highlighted, select Organize > Paste. This will copy the files you selected earlier onto the drive.

Note that you may need to repeat steps 3-7 multiple times if you have files stored in multiple locations.

Verify your files are correct and remove the storage device

After you have copied or moved your files onto an external storage device, you can verify they're in the right location by browsing the external drive.

Then you'll need to safely remove the drive to ensure no files are lost or corrupted. To remove the device, select Eject before you disconnect the drive from your PC.

Once you have moved your files onto your external storage device, you'll be able to transfer them onto your new Windows 10 PC.

For another option to transfer files, see Move files off a Windows 7 PC with OneDrive.

Copy your files to Windows 10 from an external storage device

  1. Connect your external storage device to your Windows 10 PC.

  2. Select File Explorer  from your task bar.

  3. On the left guide bar, select This PC.

  4. Locate the external drive and double-click its corresponding icon.

  5. Locate the folder where your files are located, and then double-click that folder's icon.

  6. To select all the files in this location, select Home in the top left and then Select all. All the files in this folder will now be highlighted. To copy only one file, select it by clicking on it once.

  7. Select Home tab in the top left, and then select Copy to and select the folder you'd like the files copied to: Documents, Music, Pictures, or Videos. You can also choose a custom location by selecting Choose location....

Your files will begin to transfer to your Windows 10 PC. Note that this may take time depending on the number and size of the files you transfer.

After the files are copied, you can navigate to their new location to make sure the files were successfully copied over.

Get more info about moving to Windows 10

 If you're considering a move to Windows 10, download the Guide to Windows 10 app to get the info you need to make a smooth transition, including personalized recommendations for your PC.

Get the Guide to Windows 10 app

*This app is for Windows 7 only

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