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Transfer Files Between a Windows 8 PC and a Windows 7 PC

00_network_drive_in_explorer

Have you installed Windows 8 on a spare PC and now need to get files from that PC to your Windows 7 PC, or vice versa? It is easy to network the two machines if they are both on your home network.

We’ll show you how you can share files between a Windows 8 PC and a Windows 7 PC by sharing a folder on the Windows 7 machine and then mapping to that folder in Windows 8 as a network drive.

First, you need to share a folder on your Windows 7 PC. You could just share your C: drive and have access to all folders from Windows 8. However, we recommend you create a special folder for transferring files. That way, you limit access to your Windows 7 PC.

Create a new folder somewhere on your Windows 7 PC, right-click on it, and select Properties from the popup menu.

01_getting_properties_of_folder

On the Properties dialog box, click the Sharing tab and then click Advanced Sharing.

02_clicking_advanced_sharing

On the Advanced Sharing dialog box, click the Share this folder check box to turn on sharing for this folder. Then, click Permissions.

03_clicking_permissions

On the Permissions dialog box, you’ll see Everyone listed in the Group or user names list. You can leave that is there are other users on your Windows 7 PC who you want to have access to this folder from the Windows 8 PC. If that’s the case, click the Full Control check box in the Allow column to give full read and write privileges and click OK.

However, we will also show you how to restrict access on the Windows 8 PC to your user account only on your Windows 7 PC. Click on Everyone in the Group or user names list and click Remove.

04_removing_everyone

Click Add.

05_clicking_add

On the Select Users or Groups dialog box, type your username for the Windows 7 PC in the Enter the object names to select box. Click Check Names.

06_clicking_check_names

The Windows 7 computer name is added to your username. Click OK.

07_closing_select_users_or_groups

You’ll now see your username in the Group or user names list. Select it and click the Full Control check box in the Allow column to give yourself full read and write privileges for the folder and click OK.

08_clicking_full_control_and_ok

You are returned to the Advanced Sharing dialog box. Click OK to close it.

09_closing_advanced_sharing

Then, click Close to close the Properties dialog box for the folder.

10_closing_properties_dialog

Before mapping to your new shared folder on your Windows 7 PC, you need to know either the IP address of your Windows 7 PC or the computer name. To check the IP address for your PC, open the Start menu, type “cmd” (without the quotes) in the search box, and press enter when the “cmd.exe” link is highlighted in the results. At the command prompt, type the following command:

ipconfig /all

You’ll see a list of connections display. It may be a long list, depending on how many LAN and wireless connections you have. Look through the list until you find an IP address for the appropriate adapter. We are using Windows 8 in a virtual machine using VMware, so the IP address we need to use is in the “Ethernet adapter VMware Network Adapter VMnet8” section.

10a_checking_ip_address

However, if you are running Windows 8 on a physical machine that is connected wireless to your home network, along with your Windows 7 machine, you’ll probably find the IP address you need to use in the “Wireless LAN adapter” section.

10b_checking_ip_address_wireless

To check the name of your Windows 7 PC, right-click on Computer on the Start menu and select Properties from the popup menu.

10c_getting_properties_of_computer

Your computer name is found in the Computer name, domain, and workgroup settings section of the System window that displays.

NOTE: Make a note of both the computer name and the IP address for your Windows 7 PC. Even if you want to use the computer name, you should know the IP address in case using the computer name doesn’t work.

10d_computer_name

Once you have the IP address and computer name for your Windows 7 PC, switch to your Windows 8 PC and click the Desktop tile on the Start screen.

11_clicking_desktop_tile

Click the Windows Explorer icon on the Taskbar.

12_opening_windows_explorer

In the navigation pane on the Explorer window, right-click on Network and select Map network drive from the popup menu.

13_selecting_map_network_drive

Select a drive letter to use from the Drive drop-down list. Enter either the path to the folder you shared on your Windows 7 PC using either the computer name or the IP address. The image below shows the IP address being used. Be sure to use two backslashes before the IP address or computer name and one before the name of the shared folder. If you want to reconnect to this folder every time you log into Windows 8, select the Reconnect at sign-in check box. Click Finish.

14_map_network_drive_dialog

As an example, the following image shows us connecting to the shared folder using the Windows 7 computer name.

15_map_network_drive_dialog_using_pc_name

You may see the following dialog box, if the connection is taking a while, or if it is not working.

16_attempting_to_connect

If the Windows 7 PC was found, the Windows security dialog box displays. Enter your user name and password for the Windows 7 PC. If you selected to reconnect at sign-in when mapping the network drive, you might want to select the Remember my credentials check box, so log in to the folder on your Windows 7 PC will be automatic. Click OK.

17_enter_network_password

You may see a message telling you that “Network discovery and file sharing are turned off.” If so, click the message and select Turn on network discovery and file sharing from the popup menu.

18_network_discovery_not_on

The Network discovery and file sharing dialog box displays, asking if you want to turn it on for all public networks. We recommend that you select No and only turn on network discovery and file sharing for private networks, for security reasons.

19_selecting_private_network

You should now see your shared folder from your Windows 7 PC under Computer in the Navigation pane in Windows Explorer.

20_shared_folder_as_network_drive

Now, you can play around with Windows 8 and be able to transfer any files you create or download in Windows 8 to your Windows 7 PC, as well. You can also put files in the shared folder from your Windows 7 PC and copy them to your Windows 8 PC. This is useful for testing software you’ve already downloaded for Windows 7 in Windows 8.

Lori Kaufman is a freelance technical writer who likes to write geeky how-to articles to help make people's lives easier through the use of technology. She loves watching and reading mysteries and is an avid Doctor Who fan.

  • Published 03/7/12

Comments (6)

  1. kenedy123

    Thanks for giving the more information about the Transfer Files Between a Windows 8 PC and a Windows 7 PC.

  2. AndyF

    Or use a USB pendrive. It’ll take half the time.

  3. rob
  4. Torch

    My favorite is “You don’t have administrator permissions to perform this task.
    I like to know who Microsoft think is the administrator to my computer. Why do I
    need Microsoft permission to shoot myself in the foot. Anybody know how to
    bypass this annoying messge and gain full access to Win 7 or Win 8 like XP?

  5. DaFoo

    @Torch

    Doesn’t disabling UAC get rid of that? Or, you could always right click and “run as administrator”.

  6. Arston

    Or you can enable the actual Administrator account which is by default hidden. Do this:
    Right click on Computer → Manage. On the left side choose System Tools → Local Users and Groups → Users. On the right side find Administrator and right click it → Properties. You’ll see a checkbox “Account is disabled”. Unmark, click OK, and the next time you’re on the Windows Logon screen, you’ll see the Administrator account. I do that after installing Windows and I never have to worry about permissions, annoying UAC or having to right click and then Run as administrator.

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