Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top


A friend of mine (she's not a technical person) has asked me to help her transfer her files from a Windows Vista PC to a Mac Snow Leopard. I'm not extremely familiar with Mac, but I've heard that transferring from Vista to Mac can be a pain.

Basicly, I'm looking for the most efficient way to do this. My first guess would be to create/assign shared folders on the Vista PC, and just fetch what's needed from the Mac. But I'm not sure if I would run into network issues.

Alternatively I thought of maybe using smtp or some other transfer protocol, but I'm not sure if this would be a good idea.

I would prefer NOT to do a manual transfer with thumb drives and whatnot.

Any suggestions or tried procedures are welcomed.

Thank you!

share|improve this question
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Although you explicitly discarded the thumb drive option, I highly recommend using an external hard drive (formatted VFAT, not NTFS!) and a copy of the users' home. If it's several gigs, never underestimate the speed of a large hard drive manually moved next to the other computer and plugged in. I mean, it can be as fast as 1TB/min! :)

share|improve this answer
The only problem with the FAT32 formatted drive is that it is limited to a 4GB file size transfer. – ricbax Nov 25 '09 at 16:45
that's not a limit, it's a feature ;) yes, I am aware of that. However it's the fastest transfer ratio/ease of use, given the probability that a regular user has of having files > GB on her desktop. If there are, they can be split. And entire DVDs should be backed up on DVDs. – lorenzog Nov 25 '09 at 18:34

It's not hard. 1) Take it into an Apple Store. They will do this. 2) Just copy the files onto a harddrive and then put them on the mac 3) Allow FTP access on the mac and drag the files over to it 4) Allow FTP access on the mac and use Microsoft's sync toy

share|improve this answer

Apple provides the following instructions: Switch 101: Migrate Your Files or your Windows System

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.