How to transfer data between computers using a cable

Updated April 17, 2017

Those who have two computers, or recently purchased a new computer, may want to transfer their data between their two computers. It is possible to make the transfer just by having a certain type of cable. Decide on whether you want to use a USB cable, Ethernet cable or null modem serial cable. You will then be able to transfer your operating system, software, files, pictures, music and videos or documents. You have the ability to decide what you want to transfer as you go along.

Turn on both of your computers. Verify that you have access to your administrator account, if applicable. If not, have both of your computers display their desktops.

Insert the cable into each end of your computers. The USB cable inserts into the USB slots while the Ethernet cable connects to a plug located on the back of your computer's tower.

Install the USB when both of your computers detect its connection. Select it as a link or network adaptor on both of your computers if using a USB cable. Both of your computers should also be able to recognise your Ethernet cable if you are using one.

Start the data transfer between both of your computers. Choose which files you want to transfer from your older computer. Links allows you to choose files, while the network adaptor allows you to access the whole network.

Select which files, software or programs you want to transfer. Drag or copy the files into the newer computer's hard drive. Once the transfer completes, the icons appear on your new computer's desktop.


Verify that the files you want to copy are readable and not hidden files. If you experience trouble when using a cable, try transferring your data with a CD or flash drive.

Things You'll Need

  • USB or Ethernet cable
  • Link or network adaptor software (for USB cable)
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About the Author

Based in Massachusetts, Chanel Adams has been writing since 2009. Her work has been published by the "Lowell Sun,", Coed Media and other print and online publications. She has knowledge in fashion, careers, health, education, computers and electronics. Adams has an Associate of Science in administrative medical assisting from San Joaquin Valley College.