Move files to your Surface

You can easily add music, pictures, videos, and documents to your Surface.

Applies to

Surface Book, Surface Pro 4, Surface Pro 3, Surface 3, Surface Pro 2, Surface Pro.

Applies to

Surface 2, Surface RT.

Applies to

Surface Pro 3, Surface 3, Surface Pro 2, Surface Pro.

Applies to

Surface 2, Surface RT.

Operating system:

You can move files to your Surface in several ways:

  • Add files to OneDrive so you can access them from your Surface.
  • Connect to a networked computer.
  • Use a USB flash drive or a memory card. MicroSD, microSDHC, and microSDXC cards work with all Surface Pro models and Surface 3. Surface Book supports full-size SD cards and microSD cards (with an adapter).

Windows comes with four libraries: Documents, Music, Pictures, and Videos. It’s a good idea to put your files and folders in their corresponding libraries to make sure they show up in your apps.

See how much drive space you have on your Surface

To see how much drive space you have available on your Surface:

  • In the taskbar, select File Explorer File Explorer icon. Then select This PC from the navigation pane to see the amounts of free space and total space.

    Disk space on your Surface
Note
Pre-installed software and apps use a significant amount of space. To learn how much, see Surface storage.

For info on how to free up space on your Surface, see Free up drive space in Windows 10.

Use OneDrive

Add whatever files you like to your OneDrive so you can access them from your Surface. First, add the files to your OneDrive. Here’s how:

Step 1: Go to the computer that has the files you want to copy to your Surface.
Step 2: If you use OneDrive on the other computer, drag the files to your OneDrive folder in File Explorer. The files will be uploaded to OneDrive when you have an Internet connection on that computer.

If you don’t use OneDrive on the other computer, go to OneDrive.com, sign in with the account you use to sign in to your Surface, and upload your files. To find out how, see Upload photos and files.

Once the files are on your OneDrive, use OneDrive on your Surface to access them. Here’s how:

Step 1: In the taskbar, select File Explorer File Explorer icon.
Step 2: In the left pane of File Explorer, select OneDrive.
Step 3: Navigate to the folder in OneDrive that has the files that you want and select a file to open it.

You can access files on your OneDrive without an Internet connection by syncing them to your Surface. Here’s how:

Step 1: In the taskbar, select File Explorer File Explorer icon.
Step 2: In the left pane of File Explorer, select OneDrive.
Step 3: Press and hold (or right-click) any folder in the right pane of File Explorer.
Step 4: Select Choose OneDrive folders to sync.
Step 5: Choose the folders you want to sync to your Surface and select OK.
Folders synced to your Surface remain synced to your OneDrive.

To learn more about syncing files and folders on OneDrive to your Surface, see OneDrive on your PC.

Notes
  • To use OneDrive, you must have a Microsoft account.
  • Office apps save documents to OneDrive by default when you’re signed in with a Microsoft account.
  • Using mobile broadband? Syncing or sending data across a mobile broadband connection could result in extra charges. For more info, see Manage your mobile broadband data usage.

Connect to a network computer

Your Surface can access music, pictures, videos, and documents on computers that are part of a network. To see the files and folders that have been shared on your network:

Step 1: In the taskbar, select File Explorer File Explorer icon.
Step 2: See the files you can access from your Surface under HomeGroup or Network.

Use a USB flash drive or memory card

You can also move files to your Surface by copying them to a USB flash drive or memory card and then adding the files to your Surface.

Here’s how:

Note

MicroSD, microSDHC, and microSDXC cards work with all Surface Pro models and Surface 3. Surface Book supports full-size SD cards and microSD cards (with adapter).

Step 1: Copy the files onto a USB flash drive or memory card from another computer.
Step 2: Insert the flash drive or memory card into your Surface.
To learn where the USB port and SD card slot are located, see Surface features.
Step 3: Select the notification that appears in the lower-right corner of the screen.
Step 4: Select Open folder to view files.
File Explorer opens.
Step 5: Select the files or folders you want to add to your Surface.
Step 6: Select Home > Copy to and choose a location.
For example, choose Documents if the flash drive or memory card contains documents.

For help using File Explorer, see What’s changed in File Explorer.

Move files from an old PC running Windows XP or Windows Vista

If you want to transfer files from an old computer running Windows XP or Windows Vista, PCmover Express provides a convenient way to move selected files and folders to your Surface. To learn more and download PCmover Express, see Move your files, folders, and more.

You can move files to your Surface in a few ways:

  • Add files to OneDrive so you can access them from your Surface.
  • Connect to a networked computer.
  • Use a USB flash drive or a memory card. MicroSD, microSDHC, and microSDXC cards work with Surface.

Windows comes with four libraries: Documents, Music, Pictures, and Videos. It’s a good idea to put your files and folders in their corresponding libraries to make sure they show up in your apps. For more info, see Libraries: frequently asked questions.

See how much drive space you have on your Surface

To see how much drive space you have available on your Surface:

  • In the taskbar, select File Explorer File Explorer icon > This PC.
    You will see the amounts of free space and total space. If you're running low on space, the drive will be marked in red.

    Find available free space in File Explorer
Note
Pre-installed software and apps use a significant amount of space. To learn how much, see Surface storage.

For info on how to free up space on your Surface, see Tips to free up drive space on your PC.

Use OneDrive

Add whatever files you like to your OneDrive so you can access them from your Surface. First add the files to your OneDrive. Here’s how:

Step 1: Go to the computer that has the files you want to copy to your Surface.
Step 2: Go to OneDrive.com and upload your files. To find out how, see Upload photos and files.

Once files are on your OneDrive, use the OneDrive app on your Surface to access them. Here’s how:

Step 1: Go to Start Windows logo >All Apps > OneDrive.
Step 2: Navigate to the folder that has the files you want.
Step 3: Do one of the following:
  • Open: Select a file.
  • Download: Swipe down on (or right-click) a file and select Make offline.

Files that are available offline are stored locally on your Surface, and you can open them without an Internet connection. For more info, see “Getting to files when you’re offline” in Getting started with OneDrive.

Notes
  • To use OneDrive, you must have a Microsoft account.
  • Office 2013 apps save documents to OneDrive by default when you’re signed in with a Microsoft account.
  • Using mobile broadband? Syncing or sending data across a mobile broadband connection could result in extra charges. For more info, see Manage your mobile broadband data usage.

Connect to a network computer

Your Surface can access music, pictures, videos, and documents on computers that are part of a network. To see the files and folders that have been shared on your network:

Step 1: In the taskbar, select File Explorer File Explorer icon.
Step 2: See the files you can access from your Surface under HomeGroup or Network.
Note
If you're on your home network, turn on network sharing so your Surface can see other computers on your network. To learn how, see Find PCs, devices, and content on your network.

Use a USB flash drive or memory card

You can also move files to your Surface by copying them to a USB flash drive or memory card (microSD, microSDHC, and microSDXC cards work with Surface) and adding the files to your Surface.

Here’s how:

Step 1: Copy the files onto a USB flash drive or memory card from another computer.
Step 2: Insert the flash drive or memory card into your Surface.
To learn where the USB port and microSD card slot are located, see Surface features.
Step 3: Select the notification that appears in the upper-right corner of the screen.
Step 4: Select Open folder to view files.
File Explorer opens.
Step 5: Select the files or folders you want to add to your Surface.
Step 6: Select Home > Copy to and choose a location.
For example, choose Documents if the flash drive or memory card contains documents.

For help using File Explorer, see How to work with files and folders.


You can move files to your Surface in a few ways:

  • Add files to OneDrive so you can access them from your Surface.
  • Connect to a networked computer.
  • Use a USB flash drive or a memory card. MicroSD, microSDHC, and microSDXC cards work with Surface.

Windows comes with four libraries: Documents, Music, Pictures, and Videos. It’s a good idea to put your files and folders in their corresponding libraries to make sure they show up in your apps. For more info, see Libraries: frequently asked questions.

See how much disk space you have on your Surface

To see how much drive space you have available on your Surface:

Step 1: On the Start screen, tap or click Desktop.
Step 2: In the taskbar, tap or click File Explorer File Explorer icon > This PC.
You’ll see the amount of available free space and total available space. If you're running low on space, the drive will be marked in red.

Find available free space in File Explorer
Note
Pre-installed software and apps use a significant amount of space. To learn how much, see Surface storage.

For info on how to free up space on your Surface, see Tips to free up drive space on your PC.

Use OneDrive

Add whatever files you like to your OneDrive so you can access them from your Surface. First add the files to your OneDrive. Here’s how:

Step 1: Go to the computer with the files that you want to copy to your Surface.
Step 2: Go to OneDrive.com and upload your files. To find out how, see Upload photos and files.

Once files are on OneDrive, use the OneDrive app on your Surface to access them. Here’s how:

Step 1: From the Start screen, tap or click OneDrive.
Step 2: Navigate to the folder that has the files that you want.
Step 3: Do one of the following:
  • Open: Tap or click a file.
  • Download: Swipe down on a file (or right-click) and tap Make offline.

Files that are available offline are stored locally on your Surface, and you can open them without an Internet connection. For more info, see “Getting to files when you’re offline” in Getting started with OneDrive.

Notes
  • To use OneDrive, you must have a Microsoft account.
  • Office 2013 apps save documents to OneDrive by default when you’re signed in with a Microsoft account.
  • Using mobile broadband? Syncing or sending data across a mobile broadband connection could result in extra charges. For more info, see Manage your mobile broadband data usage.

Connect to a network computer

Your Surface can access music, pictures, videos, and documents on computers that are part of a network. To see the files and folders that have been shared on your network:

Step 1: Swipe in from the right edge of the screen and tap Search.
(If you're using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, and click Search.)
Step 2: In the search box, enter file explorer, and in the search results, tap or click File Explorer.
Step 3: See the files you can access from your Surface under HomeGroup or Network.
Note
If you're on your home network, turn on network sharing so your Surface can see other computers on your network. To learn how, see Find PCs, devices, and content on your network.

Use a USB flash drive or memory card

You can also move files to your Surface by copying them to a USB flash drive or memory card (microSD, microSDHC, and microSDXC cards work with Surface) and then adding the files to your Surface.

Here’s how:

Step 1: Copy the files onto a USB flash drive or memory card from another computer.
Step 2: Insert the flash drive or memory card into your Surface.
To learn where the USB port and microSD card slot are located, see Surface features.
Step 3: Tap or click the notification that appears in the upper-right corner of the screen.
Step 4: Tap or click Open folder to view files.
File Explorer opens.
Step 5: Choose the files or folders you want to add to your Surface.
Step 6: Tap or click Home > Copy to.
Step 7: Select a location. For example, choose Documents if the flash drive or memory card contains documents.

For help using File Explorer, see How to work with files and folders.


You can move files to your Surface in a few ways:

  • Add files to OneDrive so you can access them from your Surface.
  • Connect to a networked computer.
  • Use a USB flash drive or a memory card. MicroSD, microSDHC, or microSDXC cards work with Surface.

Windows comes with four libraries: Documents, Music, Pictures, and Videos. It’s a good idea to put your files and folders in their corresponding libraries to make sure they show up in your apps. For more info, see Libraries: frequently asked questions.

See how much disk space you have on your Surface

To see how much drive space you have available on your Surface:

Step 1: On the Start screen, tap or click Desktop.
Step 2: In the taskbar, tap or click File Explorer File Explorer icon > This PC.
You’ll see the amount of available free space and total available space. If you're running low on space, the drive will be marked in red.

Find available free space in File Explorer
Note
Pre-installed software and apps use a significant amount of space. To learn how much, see Surface storage.

For info on how to free up space on your Surface, see Tips to free up drive space on your PC.

Use OneDrive

Add whatever files you like to your OneDrive so you can access them from your Surface. First add the files to your OneDrive. Here’s how:

Step 1: Go to the computer that has the files that you want to copy to your Surface.
Step 2: Go to OneDrive.com and upload your files. To find out how, see Upload photos and files.

Once files are on OneDrive, use the OneDrive app on your Surface to access them. Here’s how:

Step 1: From the Start screen, tap or click OneDrive.
Step 2: Navigate to the folder that has the files that you want.
Step 3: Do one of the following:
  • Open: Tap or click a file.
  • Download: Swipe down on a file (or right-click) and tap Make offline.

Files that are available offline are stored locally on your Surface, and you can open them without an Internet connection. For more info, see “Getting to files when you’re offline” in Getting started with OneDrive.

Notes
  • To use OneDrive, you must have a Microsoft account.
  • Office 2013 apps save documents to OneDrive by default when you’re signed in with a Microsoft account.
  • Using mobile broadband? Syncing or sending data across a mobile broadband connection could result in extra charges. For more info, see Manage your mobile broadband data usage.

Connect to a network computer

Your Surface can access music, pictures, videos, and documents on computers that are part of a network. To see the files and folders that have been shared on your network:

Step 1: Swipe in from the right edge of the screen and tap Search.
(If you're using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, and click Search.)
Step 2: In the search box, enter file explorer, and in the search results, tap or click File Explorer.
Step 3: See the files you can access from your Surface under HomeGroup or Network.
Note
If you're on your home network, turn on network sharing so your Surface can see other computers on your network. To learn how, see Find PCs, devices, and content on your network.

Use a USB flash drive or memory card

You can also move files to your Surface by copying them to a USB flash drive or memory card (microSD, microSDHC, and microSDXC cards work with Surface) and adding the files to your Surface.

Here’s how:

Step 1: Copy the files onto a USB flash drive or memory card from another computer.
Step 2: Insert the flash drive or memory card into your Surface.
To learn where the USB port and microSD card slot are located, see Surface features.
Step 3: Tap or click the notification that appears in the upper-right corner of the screen.
Step 4: Tap or click Open folder to view files.
File Explorer opens.
Step 5: Choose the files or folders you want to add to your Surface.
Step 6: Tap or click Home > Copy to.
Step 7: Select a location. For example, choose Documents if the flash drive or memory card contains documents.

For help using File Explorer, see How to work with files and folders.


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