How to Transfer Files From an External Hard Drive to a Computer

By Michael Morris

What happens when you run out of room on your hard drive? Files such as photos, videos and music files can be too large to fit on your current hard drive. Having too many files on the hard drive can make your operating system run slowly. External hard drives can be a safe and effective way to archive files for a later date. What do you do when you want to put the archive files back on your computer?

Prepare for the Transfer

Step 1

Create a folder on the desktop and name it something that you will be able to easily recognize, such as "transfers files." Doing this will help make sure that you do not have all your files scattered on the desktop.

Step 2

Connect external hard drive to computer, make sure it is turned on.

Step 3

Open up the the external hard drive in your computer and click the "restore down" button (the one at the top left in between the "minus sign" and the "X." Resize the external hard drive window, so you can see the folder on the desktop.

Step 4

Select the files you want to move by holding down the left mouse button and 'lassoing' the files, so they are all blue-colored.

Step 5

Put the mouse pointer on one of the files and hold down the left mouse button. Keeping the mouse button held down, move the mouse pointer over to the desktop and to the folder on the desktop until that folder is highlighted.

Step 6

Let the mouse button go, and the files will transfer automatically. This may take some time depending on the number of files and their sizes.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you have trouble with the mouse button actions, you can also cut and paste the files. This will do the same thing as the mouse movement.
  • Be sure to make sure everything has been moved before deleting your files.

References & Resources