Clone Only Used Space from HDD to SSD Easily

You can learn the best cloning tool and learn how to use it to clone only used space, especially when you want to clone a larger disk to a smaller one. Please read on.


by Clytze Updated on November 18, 2022

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User Case: Can I Clone Only Used Space from HDD to SSD?

“I've installed a new 500 GB Samsung SSD 850 EVO in my system. I want to clone only the 'used' portion of my 2TB HDD (about 370 GB) to the SSD for faster performance when I boot, run programs, etc.

I'm a bit of a noob, and I would like to know can I Clone only Used Space on 2TB HDD to 500 GB SSD? And how should I do? I want to boot my computer from the SSD after cloning and then use the HDD as a storage device. Thanks much!”

Clone Only Used Space

Usually, there is a requirement if you want to clone a drive to another one. That is the target disk needs to have the same size or larger than the source disk. Otherwise, the cloning operation will fail if the target disk is smaller than the source disk. To clone a larger HDD to a smaller SSD, you can use the professional cloning tool AOMEI Backupper Standard to help you. You can continue reading for more details.

Why Clone Only Used Space?

This article summarizes for you the two most common reasons why you should clone only used space from HDD to SSD.

  • Save cloning time: A hard disk consists of used space and unused space. If you clone all sectors of HDD to SSD, it will take a lot of time.
  • Cost-effective: SSD is known to have better performance than HDD, so many users will consider SSD instead of HDD when replacing the disk. However, the capacity of SSD is generally smaller and more expensive than HDD. Therefore, cloning only the used space to SSD is a cost-effective option.

The Best Cloning Tool for Disk Clone Only Used Space

AOMEI Backupper Standard is a free and secure disk cloning software for Windows 11/10/8.1/8/8/7/Vista/XP. Its Disk Clone function can clone only used space from one hard drive to another. If you need, it also provides Partition Clone feature. This software also has the following advantages.

  • Intelligent clone: This feature can not only help you clone only used space but also skip the bad sectors while cloning the disk. So you don’t need to worry about how to clone hard drive with bad sectors.
  • Secure boot: After cloning, you can directly boot your computer from the cloned disk.
  • Live clone: It allows the clone task to work in the background, so you can normally use your computer when cloning the disk.
  • SSD alignment: This feature can make your target SSD performs better in reading and writing speed.

How to Clone Disk Only Used Space Step by Step

Before you start cloning only used space, you need to do the following preparation work.

  • Since the cloning process will wipe all your data on the source disk, you need to backup important files and data on your HDD in advance.
  • Connect the target SSD to your computer and ensure it can be organized.
  • Download the free and professional disk cloning tool AOMEI Backupper Standard and install it. Its intelligent clone feature will help you clone only the used space of HDD to SSD quickly and easily.
Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Now, you can follow the graphic tutorial below to clone only used space step by step.

Step 1. Open AOMEI Backupper Standard, click Clone > Disk Clone.

Disk Clone


The standard version supports cloning MBR to MBR (system disks) and data disk. To clone GPT to GPT, or clone disks between GPT and MBR, you can upgrade to AOMEI Backupper Professional or higher versions.

Step 2. Choose the HDD as the source disk and click Next.

Select Source Disk

Step 3. Choose SSD as the destination disk and click Next.

Select Destination Disk

Step 4. Tick SSD Alignment to accelerate the reading and writing speed of SSD, then click Start Clone. After cloning, you can change the boot order in the BIOS and directly boot your computer from cloned SSD.

Start Clone 2


  • Edit Partitions: This feature can help you to add unused space to all partitions or manually adjust the partition size if you need. And you can upgrade to the professional version to enjoy it.
  • Sector By Sector CloneIf your target disk has the same size or larger than the source disk, you can use this feature to clone all sectors, whether they are used or not. It’s very convenient for you to clone a disk to a larger one.


This article introduces you how to clone only used space from HDD to SSD with AOMEI Backupper Standard. Its intelligent clone feature not only helps you clone a large disk to a small disk easily, but also can automatically skip bad sectors during the cloning process. After the cloning, you can successfully boot your computer from the cloned disk. By the way, if you want to clone SD card only used space, this software would also be very helpful.

Besides, it also supports cloning dynamic disks, migrating OS only to another drive, etc. You can download the software to explore more useful features.

Clytze · Editor
Clytze, an editor at AOMEI Technology, is passionate about safeguarding your digital world. She dedicates her expertise to empower users like you in data security and recovery. She firmly believes that everyone should have the tools and knowledge to protect their digital assets through computer backup, seamless disk cloning, and efficient file synchronization. Clytze is your trusted guide on the journey to data safety.