How to Move Your PC files to a Mac

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Moving your files from one computer to another is never easy, particularly if you're migrating from a PC to a Mac. Both platforms have directories where you're supposed to keep photos, music, documents and movies, but it's not as easy as simply copying and pasting your archives.screen shot 2016 03 16 at 5 2865311458167984.26 2865311458167984.10 pm 2865311458167984

While OS X won't automatically set up its applications once you've transferred your files over -- a perk that Windows 10 offers -- you will have your files properly organized.

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Before you start, you'll need an external hard drive that works with both PCs and Macs. If you don't have such a drive already, we've got step-by-step directions for formatting a drive to work across both platforms.

How to Move Your PC files to a Mac

1. Connect your external drive to your PC and select "Open folder to view files."


2. Click the New Folder icon.

3. Type "Exported Files" and hit Enter.

4. Click Quick access.

5. While holding Control, click on Desktop, Downloads, Documents, Pictures, Music and Videos.

6. Drag these folders to the external hard drive in the side menu, holding down on the mouse button until the menu reveals the Exported Files folder.6

7. Move the cursor over Exported Files and release the mouse button.

You'll have to wait anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes for the files to copy, depending on how much data you have.

8. Click the Up arrow in the System Tray.screenshot (27)

9. Select the "Safely Remove Hardware and Eject Media" icon.screenshot (28) 2865311458167253

10. Select "Eject Mobile Drive" and wait for the Safe to Remove Hardware alert appears until you remove the hard drive.screenshot (29)

11. Connect your external drive to your Mac and click on File in the Menu bar.

screen shot 2016 03 16 at 5.25.38 pm12. Select New Finder Window.screen shot 2016 03 16 at 5.25.40 pm

13. Select the Backup Drive from the side menu.screen shot 2016 03 16 at 5.25.44 pm

14. Double-click the Exported Files folder.screen shot 2016 03 16 at 5.25.48 pm


15. Double-click the Desktop folder.screen shot 2016 03 16 at 5.25.52 pm

16. Click Edit.

screen shot 2016 03 16 at 5.25.54 pm

17. Click Select All.

screen shot 2016 03 16 at 5.25.57 pm

18. Drag all of the files to Desktop in the sidebar. Repeat steps 16 through 19 as necessary, but moving Videos to Movies and Pictures to Photos.

screen shot 2016 03 16 at 5.26.10 pm

Your Mac now has all of your files!

screen shot 2016 03 16 at 5.29.42 pm


Author Bio
Henry T. Casey
Henry T. Casey,
After graduating from Bard College a B.A. in Literature, Henry T. Casey worked in publishing and product development at Rizzoli and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, respectively. Henry joined Tom's Guide and LAPTOP having written for The Content Strategist, Tech Radar and Patek Philippe International Magazine. He divides his free time between going to live concerts, listening to too many podcasts, and mastering his cold brew coffee process. Content rules everything around him.
Henry T. Casey, on