Moving from an Old PC to a New Windows 10 PC

By Andy Rathbone

According to Microsoft, moving from an old PC to a new PC is easy. First, you log in with a Microsoft account on both your new and old PCs. Then you copy your old PC’s Documents, Music, Pictures, and Videos folders to OneDrive, your online storage space.

When you step over to your new computer and sign in with that same Microsoft account, your settings travel automatically to your new PC. And, because Windows 10 includes OneDrive built‐in, your old PC’s files and folders are waiting for you.

However, Microsoft’s method works only with PCs running Windows 8, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10; earlier Windows versions don’t support Microsoft accounts as well. Copying files and folders to and from OneDrive can take a lot of time and effort, as well. When you move your files to OneDrive, Microsoft is banking that you’ll simply keep everything stored there. As soon as you fill up your allotted OneDrive storage space, you need to pay Microsoft a monthly fee for more storage.

If you know how to find all of your old PC’s files, and if they all fit onto OneDrive, and if you’re well‐versed in file management chores with File Explorer, OneDrive might meet your needs. But that’s a lot of “ifs.” Simply put, Microsoft’s method isn’t the best for people who aren’t experienced with computers.