Transfer files PC to PC
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Want to transfer large files at 125MB/s, more than doubling the average USB and wireless connection speed, and with no risk of the transfer being interrupted?

There are multiple options for transferring files between PCs or Laptops, and your first instinct may be to turn to your USB memory stick or wireless network. But if you need to transfer files quickly and efficiently, and the two machines are in the same vicinity, by far the fastest method is the trusty old Ethernet cable.

– Transfer files up to the speed of 125MB/s

– At least 1GB of file transfer in 10 seconds

Ethernet cables (or LAN cables) are primarily used for wiring up local networks and connecting PCs to routers for wired internet access. This makes them ideal for file transfers.

A standard Cat5e cable is able to transfer data at a speed of 1,000 Megabits per second, which converts to 125 megabytes per second. That’s over 1GB in 10 seconds, so even the largest movie files or library of mp3s can be transferred within just a minute!


Don’t miss: How to Transfer files From PC to Mac via Ethernet cable


This is at least twice that of the best USB 2.0 speeds (60 megabytes per second), and the average wireless connection speed (54 megabytes per second).

Here’s how to set up your Ethernet cable for super fast file sharing:

Step 1: Link the two PCs with the Ethernet Cable

transfer files via ethernet
 

Ethernet cables can be picked up for just a couple of dollars. You will need a crossover Ethernet cable to connect two computers together. To get started slot one end of the cable in to the first computer and then slot the other end in to the second computer. Each end of the cable and each port are identical.

Step 2: Turn Off Password On PC 1

Transfer files from PC to PC

If you just want to quickly transfer files between your own two PCs, there’s no need to mess around with passwords and security.

Transfer files from PC to PC

On the PC with the files you want to share (PC 1), open the Network and Sharing Center from the system tray, or from within Control Panel, and then go to Change Advanced Sharing Settings.

Transfer files from PC to PC

Scroll to the bottom of the options and check Turn off password protected sharing.

Step 3: Create IP Address

ethernet network setup

Go back to the main Network and Sharing Center window and there should be an option that says either Local Area Connection or Ethernet. Click this and then open Properties in the new window.

From here select Internet Protocol Version 4 and click Properties.

Transfer files from PC to PC

You now need to set your own IP Address so PC 2 can recognize it. This isn’t the IP Address of the computer, your internet connection, or anything else. You can literally making it up. In our example, we use 192.168.1.20 and this should work for you as well. The Subnet mask will fill automatically.

PC file sharing

In Default gateway re-enter the IP Address, but change the final digit to 1, so it reads 192.168.1.21

Repeat this process for PC 2, but in the IP Address field enter the Default gateway from PC 1, and in Default gateway enter the IP Address from PC 1.

This is what you should end up with:

PC1 and PC2 settings

Step 4: Share Your Folder

On PC 1 browse to the single file or folder containing the files you want to transfer. Right click and select Share With and Specific People.

share-with-windows

From the drop down menu, select Everyone and click Add. Then click the downward facing arrow next to Read and change it to Read/Write. Steps are highlighted below with figures.

share-with-everyone-setting

Once done, click Share and repeat the process for all of the files or folders you wish to transfer to PC 2.

Step 5: Complete Transfer

If you switch to PC 2 and go in to your Network folder, you will now see an Icon for PC 1. In the screenshot below, PC 1 should be visible next to SHREZI-PC.

file-transfer-using-ethernet

Inside will be all of the files and folders your shared in the previous step. You can now copy and paste these to a location on PC 2, for a lightening quick transfer.

Finished

That’s all you need to do to transfer files via Ethernet cable. When you’ve completed the process once, your two machines will continue to recognize each other, making future file sharing even more efficient.

With Ethernet cables you do not have to worry about the connection weakening or dropping altogether during transfers, which is often the case with wireless connections. This allows you to share lots of large files (such as Backups) with no interruption or lost data.

So, that’s that fastest way to transfer files from PC to PC.

54 COMMENTS

  1. … and if you find your transfer speed clocking out at ~1MB/sec, follow these steps to get ~30MB/sec or faster:

    Open Start Menu, right-click on Computer and select Properties

    Under Control Panel Home located on the left side of the window click on Device Manager

    You will get a list of all devices on your machine. Expand Network Adapters.

    Find your Network Card and double-click on it. (Open your Network Connections window to see which card is used for your LAN.)

    Select Advanced tab. You will get a list filled with different options.

    Select Large Send Offload V2 (IPv4) and set the value to Disabled

    Do the same for Large Send Offload V2 (IPv6) if it is available

    Click OK.

    Do this for both IPv4 and IPv6 on both computers.

  2. I have Windows XP on my older computer. Most of the tips in this guide are useless for me. I am continuing to work with this guide in hopes of some success, but it’s hard when things as “Network and Sharing Center” and “Wi-Fi Properties” don’t exist on my older operating system. This is really frustrating. I’m not asking for someone to build me a moon base; I just want to transfer files without burning a million disks or swapping a USB stick a million times.

    • Hi Daniel,

      For Windows XP, go to Control Panel > Network and Internet Connections > Network Connections.

      You should see the available network including the network you joined with other computer using the ethernet cable.

      Right click on LAN connection and click Properties > Advanced tab > check “Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s internet connection” option and click OK.

      Again, go to General tab and you should see ‘Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)’ option.

      This window is similar to ‘Wi-Fi Properties’ in Windows 7.

      Now click on Option as shown in 2nd picture of step 3. Continue the guide from that step.

      Let me know if it works.

  3. Thank you very much for all the instructions.. I’m glad that I found your Web site.. Great tutorial for noob like me.. I really appreciate all of the efforts..

    Thank you so much..

  4. I am trying to transfer data from an HP laptop with Vista to a desktop with win 7. I was successful in establishing networks between two PCs & also could successfully share my folders on the laptop. When I copied the folders on laptop & pasted on desktop, the transfer speed is extremely slow, less than 400 KB/Sec. Whereas, here the suggested speed is 128 Mbps. I made changes as suggested by Henry but no significant improvement. What could be the reason for so slow transfer. I am using Cat5e cable that came with my Belkin Router.

  5. You might mention for idiots like me that you’re sharing files, computer to computer. In other words, you’re not transferring files to a place on the network somewhere from C1 and then copying those files from the network to C2. The point is, if you delete one of the shared files (in a folder on the “network”) before you copy it to C2, you’re also deleting it on C1, because that’s where you’re actually copying from. Make sense?

  6. should the above ip adress is standardized for all.?
    or we can use another ip adress as we want, is it possible or not.?
    thank you

  7. Thanks you this is great , but i am getting like 35mbps avg so is that the normal thing or should i be getting 125mbps like you mentioned in the post ?

  8. Great! I am extermely lucky and I all my PC 1 and PC 2 have Intel 10gb/s ethernet, I was able to transfer my files at 500mb/s !!!!! Thanks!

  9. This works same as LAN network. Reaches max 11MB/sec speed.
    I had all my stuff transferred from my old laptop to new one an year ago and it gave same speed on Network adapter as it is giving now through direct wire.
    The other thing regarding offload, i have done that as well. It took almost 7.5 minutes to transfer a 5Gb files though.

    Still helpful but would have been great to transfer 125MB/sec instead. What am I missing? I have an old laptop (core2duo) from which I am transferring to 5th Gen i5.

    • Hey Adeel,

      You might get about 20-50 MB/s speed if you’re copying the files that are scattered (like PSD, Word, and other files in a single folder). However, if you’re copying a huge file, say 5GB, then it is the case you’ll get the speed of about 125MB/s.

      I hope this helps.

  10. It keeps asking my network credentials when I try to open PC1 from PC2 even though I’ve turned off the password. Any ideas?

  11. I am trying to use this approach to backup data from my laptop to my PC. How do I assign a drive letter to the drive on my PC so that I can use a backup software on my laptop to copy data over to the PC?

  12. I have done everything told above and in comments.. but still i am getting a speed of only 10mbps.. which is extremely slow compated to others.. any solution for me?

  13. Hi

    I am in UK and my friend is in India. I am trying to transfer file of 30GB through internet. Can someone please help me the best way here

    Raju

  14. So a while back i was doing a factory reset on one of my laptops, while i let it do that it came unplugged and died. So i ended up having to reinstall the operating system but its still missing some drivers, such as the network driver. I was hoping to be able to download the missing drivers on my other laptop (pc1) and transfer them to the one missing drivers (pc2) but on pc2 on the network and sharing center under “view your active networks” it just says “you are currently not connected to a network.” That’s where the “Ethernet” but is usually but not in this case. iv’e been struggling to fix my laptop for a while now and i was really hoping this would work. any help would be appreciated.

  15. Anup HI!
    Thanks for your lesson. I have a Windows 10 PC connected via a d-link router via LAN . I am able to browse the internet. I am able to make my two PCs talk but when I need to transfer files from windows 10 to XP and visa-versa Iam getting speed of not more than 1 mbps. A 1.5 mbps file takes 10 minutes to transfer, but Tutorial ‘Here’s how to set up your Ethernet cable for super fast file sharing:’ is wonderful and the feed back which I have been reading is encouraging, unfortunately I still cannot increase my transfer speed. recently I transferred 51GB took me 1 hour and 25 minutes. What ails my connection?

  16. Thanks for the tutorial, it does technically work, just not as advertised in my case. I don’t know why, but I’m only able to transfer at 11MB/s. I tried the changing the Large Send Offload options for both computers and rebooting, but it changed absolutely nothing for me. I am transferring about 175GB of stuff, almost all of it video. Most files are at least 1GB big, some larger, some smaller. Either way, it should be going much faster than this. I’ve tried transferring smaller files, smaller amounts at a time, pretty much everything I could think of.

    This sucks, but I guess it’s better than burning a ton of CDs, or uploading and downloading a crazy amount of files online.

  17. I did all the steps right and when i went in the network folder of pc1 the folder that i shared with pc2 appeared in pc1, i couldnt transfer my files.

  18. Is there a way you can connect two computers like, and still have both computers connected to the internet via ethernet at the same time? Connecting in this way takes up the only available ethernet port on both computers, so how do you connect to the internet?

  19. Asking for Network Credentials on PC1 when I try access from PC2. Tried the above suggestion of turning password protected sharing on and off again on PC1 but does not work.

  20. update: I think it was going slow because both PCs are connected to the same wifi router so that’s how the files were being transferred. wow now it’s going at 10.4MB/s!

    • Hey Ryoko,

      I’m glad you figured out the problem yourself, and good to know it’s working fine now. 🙂

      Have a good luck!

  21. Is there a way to have two computers connected directly like this, AT THE SAME TIME as having them both connected to the internet via ethernet cables to a router? It seems clunky to have to disconnect the computers from the internet every time you want to transfer files between them. But I can’t see how to have the direct connection between computers, and connection to the internet at the same time, as each of my 2 computers only has one ethernet port each. Could I install a second network card in each computer, for example, and use that for transfers between the computers, while keeping the original network cards for the internet connection? If this is possible, would it be complicated to set up?

  22. After a lot of frustration I discovered what was the problem. My network adapters are only able to transfer at 100Mb\s. A cat5e cable is not enough! You may want to put that info in your article.

  23. Hello. My error message says ” Windows cannot access \\ GREG-PC
    Check the spelling. Otherwise there might be a problem with your network.”

  24. I have successfully established the connection between 2 computers, but connection is speed is relatively slow (maximum speed about 3MB/s). I have disabled the Large Send Offload V2 (IPv4) and Large Send Offload V2 (IPv6) options on one computer, but there are no such option on another computer, both computer have Gigabit Ethernet interface. Are there any other option may affect connection speed in my circumstance?

    • Hey Lewis,

      Are both computers running on the same same windows version? I recommend the following:

      Make sure you use only one connection type (IPv4 recommended). Uncheck IPv6 on both computers and apply the settings.

      1) Disable RDC (Remote Differential Compression)

      Go to Control Panel -> Programs
      Under Programs and Features, click on ‘Turn Windows features on or off’ -> Uncheck “Remove Differential Compression” and Apply the change.

      2) Clear DNS cache

      Run CMD as administrator and type ‘ipconfig /flushdns’ (without quotes)

      3) Disable autotuning

      Open CMD as administrator and type ‘Netsh interface tcp set global autotuning=disabled’ (without quotes). NOTE: The path should be as C:\Windows\System32>
      So the overrall input looks like this: C:\Windows\System32>Netsh interface tcp set global autotuning=disabled

      Now the auto-tuning should be disabled. To see if it’s actually disabled type: Netsh interface tcp show global

      If the above doesn’t work, disable the rss as well by typing: Netsh interface tcp set global rss=disabled

      Let me know if any of the above solution worked for you. It would help the rest of the people. 🙂

      Thank you!

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