Transferring files to Windows VMs


To transfer files to Compute Engine virtual machine (VM) instances, different options are available depending on your workstation OS and the target instance OS.

Transfer from To Windows instances
Linux or macOS
Windows

Transferring files through Cloud Storage

Cloud Storage buckets can be a convenient intermediate transfer point between you and your VMs.

This file transfer method works on almost all operating systems and VM types as long as your VM has access to your Cloud Storage bucket through a service account or through your personal user credentials.

Upload your files from your workstation to a Cloud Storage bucket. Then, download those files from the bucket to your instances.

  1. Create a Cloud Storage bucket or identify an existing bucket that you want to use to transfer files.
  2. From your workstation, upload files to the bucket.
  3. Connect to your VM using RDP.
  4. On your VM, download files from the bucket.

If you need to transfer files in the other direction, reverse the process. Upload the files from your VM, and then download those files to your workstation.

Transferring files through the Windows RDP client

Desktop RDP clients let you connect local devices and resources, including local drives, from your workstation to the Windows Server instance that you connect to. This makes your local workstation file system available as a remote resource while you are connected over RDP. Note that this is not available if you use the Cloud Console with the Chrome RDP extension.

For example, on a Windows Server 2016 workstation:

  1. Open Remote Desktop Connection.
  2. Click Show Options.
  3. Click the Local Resources tab.
  4. Under Local devices and resources, click More.
  5. Select the Drives checkbox.
  6. Connect to the VM. When you open a connection to a remote instance, the local drives that you selected are available through Windows Explorer.

For more information, see Remote Desktop clients.

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