By Teresa / Last update July 13, 2022

Can I clone a small SSD to a larger SSD?

"I have a 256 GB SSD and it's almost full. So, I bought a new 1 TB SSD and try to clone SSD to bigger SSD with disk cloning software. But it says 'Not enough space on the target disk. To make sure the boot ability of the target disk, please delete partitions on there first.'
But I can see the disk on Disk Management. Anyway, I do as it said. However, my 1 TB hard drive only shows 256 GB and the backup disk full. I only remember that I tick the sector by sector option."

Low Disk Space

According to the description above, the 1 TB SSD can only show 256 GB and it's full like the old SSD. There are 2 possible reasons for this situation.

  1. The "Sector by sector clone" feature will clone all the sectors of your old disk, whether used or not, thus the new disk will be exactly the same as the old one after cloning. It is not suggested to select this option when cloning disk from small to large, like 256 GB to 1 TB or 500 GB to 1 TB.
  2. In fact, the disk space still exists, but it may be a little difficult to find out. Press Win + R to bring out Run box, input diskmgmt.msc and you'll see the complete disk space usage information. Normally, there is a large block of "unallocated space" at the end of the disk. It can be used to create a new partition, or be allocated to other existing partitions by free partition tool.

In sum, to properly and safely clone a small disk to large disk, it is suggested to rely on professional SSD cloning software

Why move Windows from smaller SSD to larger SSD?

If you have ever use solid state drives (SSD), you may know it has many advantages than hard disk drives (HDD), such as, it's faster, lighter, quieter, cooler and it consumes less power. Thus, many users are willing to install Windows operating system (OS) on an SSD instead of HDD.

After running Windows on SSD for a while, you may notice that the SSD is running out of space for many utilities and applications having permission to write files to your system drive (C: drive). In the past, SSDs has a small capacity and higher price. But, nowadays, SSDs gain more capacity and affordable.

Best free SSD cloning software for Windows 11/10/8/7

Speaking of cloning disk, many users may wonder how to clone SSD to larger SSD free of charge. In this case, you can try free hard drive cloning software AOMEI Backupper which supports all kinds of SSDs perfectly.

💛 Beginner friendly. You are allowed to clone a small SSD to a large one without much effort, and it is less prone to mistakes due to its user-friendly interface.
💛 Intelligent clone. It supports cloning large HDD to smaller SSD successfully while ensuring data integrity, since it is able to clone only used space to the target disk.
💛 Boot disk clone. You are able to clone boot SSD that contains Windows operating system to larger SSD, and the cloned SSD will remain bootable like the original one.
💛 MBR/GPT disk clone. Cloning non-system disk from MBR partition style to GPT is supported. (Please note that cloning system disk from MBR to GPT/GPT to MBR/GPT to GPT requires advanced editions, say Pro edition.)
💛 4K partition alignment. It can help to align partitions to optimize SSD performance.
💛 VSS technology. The cloning process will run in the background, so users won’t need to stop using the computer.

Why not give it a shot? Learn how to clone smaller SSD to larger SSD in detail below.

How to safely clone system disk to large SSD

Step 1. Preparation

  • Connect the target SSD to your computer properly, and make sure it can be detected. 
  • Please note the target SSD will be overwritten, so backup important files in advance.

Step 2. Clone SSD with AOMEI Backupper

Below will be an example of cloning 500GB SSD to 1TB SSD on Windows 10.

1. Install and run AOMEI Backupper Standard on your computer.

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

2. Select “Disk Clone” under Clone tab.

Disk Clone

3. Click on the smaller SSD to select it as the source disk, and click on "Next". Then click on the larger SSD to set it as the destination disk, and click “Next”.

Select Disk

4. Check the option “SSD Alignment”, which is important for keeping the SSD at its best performance. Then click “Start Clone” to begin cloning SSD to larger SSD.

Start Clone

Notes:

  • To avoid the unallocated space after cloning, you can click "Edit Partitions" and try the advanced feature "Add unused space to all partitions" or "Manually adjust partition size". 

Edit Partitions

  • If you just want to clone C drive to a larger SSD without reinstalling OS, you may upgrade to higher editions and try System Clone to save time and space.

Step 3. Boot from the Large SSD

1. Shut down the computer. Disconnect the old SSD and install the new SSD there (or you can just change boot order).

2. Boot from the target disk, and you may see the familiar operating system. In some cases you may fail to boot up from new disk, please refer to cloned drive won't boot for further solutions.

★ New feature!

AOMEI Backupper is in continuous improvement and optimization, and it released a new feature called Create Portable Version, which allows you to create portable version of this software. It is very convenient to clone disk, backup and restore files, or sync files on different computers without installing. It can be created on USB flash drive and taken anywhere.

Create Portable Version

Conclusion

Now you know one of the easiest ways of how to clone SSD to another SSD in Windows 11/10/8/7. As an SSD cloning freeware, AOMEI Backupper can be used for all the SSD disks and all Windows computers. Thus, you still can use it to clone Samsung SSD to larger SSD, clone laptop SSD to larger SSD, clone M.2 SSD to larger M.2 SSD, etc.

Besides the feature to upgrade SSD to larger SSD, AOMEI Backupper has excellent backup and restore features, so users can use it to backup operating system and restore to the new SSD when their computer has only one SSD slot.