How to Transfer Files from PC to External Hard Drive Windows 10/8/7

If you are planning to transfer files from a PC to an External drive, this guide gives you multiple options to do it. You can transfer using EaseUS Todo PCTrans software from computer to computer or computer to an external hard drive. You can also use it to set up backup, move apps to another drive, and more.

EaseUS Todo PCTrans

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When it comes to copying files from a computer to an external drive, most of the users copy and paste them directly. While the method doesn't work well when the number of files increases. 

Imagine a process that automatically takes a backup or copies all your files and programs from PC to an external drive. It makes sure you don't miss anything. Now, let's learn how to transfer files from PC to external hard drive efficiently. 

Use PC Data Transfer Software to Transfer Everything from PC to External Hard Drive in 1-Click

Now that you know why it's important to have a proper process in place, it's time to checkout EaseUS Todo PCTrans. It's a professional application that offers several file transfer features. It can transfer files, applications, user account, and settings between PCs or laptops in simple clicks.

  Free Download

Support Windows 11/10/8/7

So if you are planning to move to a new PC and transfer files to a new computer or simply want to transfer files and application from computer to another using an external hard drive, then here is how you can use the EaseUS Todo PCTrans software.

EaseUS Todo PCTrans Main Functions and Features

Here is the list of features and functions of the software that will help you understand how it works and how you can use it to transfer files.

  • PC to PC Transfer: When you are switching PC or sharing files between two laptops, this is the method to use. It also works when computers are connected to the same network.
  • Backup & Restore: This method allows you to take full or partial backup of the current PC. You can also use this to transfer files to a new computer, move files, apps, and more. It allows you to transfer everything from a laptop to an external hard drive.
  • App Migration: When running out of space, use this method to move applications from one drive to another. This will help you install more apps on the primary drive.

1. How to Transfer All Files from PC to External Hard Drive

Free download EaseUS PC file transfer tool to back up files on PC to the external hard drive. Do note, when you need to restore the file to another PC, you need to use the same software.

Step 1. Create a backup file of the source hard drive

Launch EaseUS Todo PCTrans on your Windows computer. Navigate to the "Backup & Restore" mode and click "Start".

choose image transfer mode to create a hard drive image

Hover your mouse over "Data Backup", and click "Next". Later, confirm the default settings of the file name and file path, or you can customize the settings on your own.

choose create image file to create a hard drive image

Now select the items you want to transfer to the other hard drive. EaseUS Todo PCTrans allows users to create backup files of multiple file types, including applications, personal data, and user accounts. To transfer files from one drive to another, deselect the "Applications" and "Accounts", hover your mouse over "Files", and click "Edit".

choose files to create a hard drive image

This is where you need to select files on the source drive. Expand the drive so you can selectively choose desired files, after then click "Finish". In the end, click "Backup". Wait for the process completes. 

edit files to create a hard drive image

Step 2. Restore the file to the destination drive

Launch EaseUS Todo PCTrans and follow the same way to reach the step of selecting a transfer method. This time choose "Data Restore" and click "Next".

choose recover via image file to restore the image file to other drive

Choose the existing backup file presenting on the interface, or navigate to the exact file path where the backup file is, click "Restore".

click recover to restore the image file to other drive

You're back to the "Files", click "Edit" to get in. The backup file is viewable here. You need to click the pencil icon to set the target location, which is the other hard drive, and submit the change. After the basic settings, click "Finish" and finally "Restore". Wait patiently until the transfer process is over. 

recover image file to restore the image file to other drive

2. How to Migrate Programs from PC to External Hard Drive

Just like how you can transfer files, you can also transfer programs from a PC to External Drive. This comes in handy when you are running out of space on the drive on which the application is installed.

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Support Windows 11/10/8/7

Step 1. Connect your external hard drive to your computer. Open EaseUS Todo PCTrans and select "App Migration > Start".

select app migration

Step 2. Find and choose the applications (marked as "Yes") that you want to transfer. You can select multiple apps. 

Click the triangle icon and select your external hard drive as the destination to store the apps. 

transfer app yo external hard drive

Step 3. Then, click "Transfer" to move your programs to an external hard drive.

transfer app to external hard drive

Use CMD to Transfer Files from PC to External Hard Drive on Windows 10 

If you do not want to use third-party software, you can use CMD to transfer files from a PC or laptop to an external hard drive. Command Prompt offers an XCOPY utility that can copy the folder, all the content, and any other subfolder. The default copy doesn't copy subfolders, and hence it's not perfect.

Step 1: Use Win + R to open the Command Prompt, and then type CMD followed by pressing the Shift +  Enter keys.

Step 2:  Then on the command prompt, type the following command lines to copy all the files from the C drive to the E drive (E is the drive letter of your external hard drive). 

xcopy  c:\tally  e:\

Step 3: In the above command, you can use options such as  /h /c /k /e /r /y to copy hidden files, empty directories, overwrite options, and more with the following command.

xcopy /h /c /k /e /r /y c:\ e:\

While it works just fine, there can be issues apart from being a cumbersome method to use. If a copy fails, you have a few files in the old location and some in a new location. Also, you cannot automate this process.


Now that you have read the post, you know how to transfer files from a PC to an external hard drive on Windows 10/8/7 using professional software. You have also learned how to transfer files using the copy command.

It is clear that using a command-line method is difficult to use in the long run. Instead, it would be best if you used software like EaseUS Todo PCTrans. It offers file transfer and a method to automate the process of backup, transfer to PC, app migration, and data rescue. Overall it's excellent software for all your need.

  Free Download

Support Windows 11/10/8/7

About the Author

Updated by Tracy King

Tracy joined in EaseUS in 2013 and has been working with EaseUS content team for over 10 years. Being enthusiastic in computing and technology, she writes tech how-to articles and share technical solutions to resolve Windows & Mac data recovery, data backup, partition management, data transfer, Windows update issues, etc.

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Written by Cedric

Cedric Grantham is one of the senior editors and data recovery specialists of EaseUS who lives and works in Chengdu, China. He mainly writes articles and how-to tips about data recovery tutorials on PC and Mac. He has handled 10,000+ data recovery cases and is mainly good at data recovery of NTFS, FAT (FAT32 and ExFAT) file systems, and RAID structure reorganization of RAID 0, 5, and 10.

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Reviews and Awards

Product Reviews

TrustScore 4.7 | 34 reviews
  • EaseUS Todo PCTrans Free is a useful and and reliable software solution created to serve in computer migration operations, be it from one machine to another or from an earlier version of your OS to a newer one.

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  • EaseUS Todo PCTrans is by the folks at EaseUS who make incredible tools that let you manage your backups and recover your dead hard disks. While it is not an official tool, EaseUS has a reputation for being very good with their software and code.

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  • It offers the ability to move your entire user account from your old computer, meaning everything is quickly migrated. You still get to keep your Windows installation (and the relevant drivers for your new PC), but you also get all your apps, settings, preferences, images, documents and other important data.

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How to Transfer Files from PC to External Hard Drive Windows 10/8/7

Try smart Windows 11 data transfer tool to move all data in 1 click.

EaseUS Todo PCTrans

  Free Download

Support Windows 11/10/8/7