Clone SSD to Larger SSD: How-to Guide & SSD Comparison

Upgrade your disk capacity by effortlessly cloning a smaller SSD to a larger one in Windows 11/10/8/7 with the help of AOMEI Backupper, the best cloning software.


By Teresa Updated on May 21, 2024

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Error: Clone to Larger SSD Showing Wrong Space

"Encountering an issue while attempting to clone my 256 GB SSD to a larger 1 TB SSD has left me puzzled. Despite having the new disk visible in Disk Management, the disk cloning software displayed a message stating,
'Not enough space on the target disk. To make sure the boot ability of the target disk, please delete partitions on there first.'
Following the instructions, I deleted the existing partitions, but to my dismay, the newly cloned 1 TB SSD only showed a capacity of 256 GB, and the backup disk reached its maximum capacity."

When confronted with a situation where the newly cloned 1 TB SSD displays only 256 GB of available space, mirroring the capacity of the old SSD, there are two potential explanations to consider.

  1. "Sector by sector clone" option: Selecting this option during the cloning process results in an exact replication of all sectors, regardless of their usage. Consequently, the new disk will mirror the size of the old disk. It is advised to avoid this option when cloning from a smaller disk (e.g., 256 GB) to a larger one (e.g., 1 TB), as it does not utilize the full capacity of the new disk.

  2. Unallocated space: Although the disk may appear full, there is likely unallocated space that can be utilized. To access this space, open the Run box by pressing Win + R, enter "diskmgmt.msc," and navigate to Disk Management. Here, you can locate any unallocated space at the end of the disk. This space can be used to create new partitions or allocate it to existing ones using a free partition tool.

Unallocated Space Left

Solid-state drives (SSDs) offer numerous advantages over traditional hard disk drives (HDDs) including faster speeds, lighter weight, quieter operation, cooler temperatures, and lower power consumption, making them a preferred choice for Windows OS installations.

To ensure a successful and comprehensive cloning process when upgrading to a larger disk, it is recommended to employ professional SSD cloning software, which provides advanced features and avoids the limitations associated with simple sector-by-sector cloning.

Quick Navigation:
👉 Choose a Right SSD: Top SSDs Comparison
👉 Best SSD Cloning Software for Windows 11/10 - AOMEI Backupper
👉 How to Safely Clone System Disk to Larger SSD Step by Step🔥
👉 5 Practical Tips on SSD Cloning

Choose a Right SSD: Top SSDs Comparison

It is important to consider SSD's performance before cloning boot SSD to larger SSD. Following is a comparison chat of most popular SSDs.

popular ssds

In most cases, an SSD with a higher capacity, such as 250GB or more, is sufficient for the purpose of OS migration. This allows for sufficient space for the operating system, applications, and future updates, while also providing room for user files and data storage.

SSD Model





Power Efficiency

Data Security

Samsung 970 EVO Plus

250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, 4TB

Read up to 3,500MB/s, Write up to 3,300MB/s


Up to 1,200TBW

Low power consumption

Hardware encryption support


250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, 4TB

Read up to 560MB/s, Write up to 530MB/s


Up to 600TBW


No hardware encryption

Crucial MX500

250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB

Read up to 560MB/s, Write up to 510MB/s


Up to 700TBW


Hardware encryption support

Kingston A2000

250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB

Read up to 2,200MB/s, Write up to 2,000MB/s


Up to 600TBW


No hardware encryption

SanDisk Extreme Pro

250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB

Read up to 3,400MB/s, Write up to 2,800MB/s


Up to 600TBW


No hardware encryption

As you consider SSD upgrading, the importance of efficient data migration and seamless transition cannot be overstated. In the next part, we will introduce advanced cloning software, designed to simplify the cloning process and provide you with a seamless experience during the upgrade to a larger SSD.

Best SSD Cloning Software for Windows 11/10 - AOMEI Backupper

To ensure a smooth and hassle-free process, the use of reliable cloning software becomes crucial. With AOMEI Backupper Professional, you can easily clone your existing drive to a larger SSD, preserving all your data, settings, and applications.

🍀 Beginner-friendly interface. It makes the cloning process simple and accessible. You can easily navigate through the software and initiate the cloning process without much effort or confusion.
💡 Intelligent cloning. Intelligent enough to clone only the used space on the source disk to the target SSD, optimizing storage utilization and preventing unnecessary data duplication.
​​​​​​💻 Boot disk cloning. Clone Windows SSD to larger SSD. The cloned SSD retains its bootability, ensuring a seamless transition without any issues or additional steps required to make the new SSD bootable.
💾 MBR/GPT disk cloning support. Clone disks between MBR and GPT partition styles, which ensures compatibility and enables a smooth cloning process regardless of the partition style used.
🚀 4K partition alignment. Aligns partitions on the target SSD properly, optimizing performance and maximizing the potential of your SSD. 
📃 VSS technology. The cloning process operates seamlessly in the background, allowing users to continue using their computer without interruption, i.e. hot clone.
👍 Widely compatible. All mentioned popular SSDs are supported. Compatible with NVMe and M.2 interface. Work smoothly on latest Windows 11. 

These features collectively make AOMEI Backupper Professional a reliable and efficient solution for cloning hard drive, providing an effortless and seamless experience for users looking to upgrade SSD to larger SSD. Download and install AOMEI Backupper on your PC now.

AOMEI Backupper

Easiest hard drive clone software for Windows PC.

How to Safely Clone System Disk to Larger SSD Step by Step

▶ Preparations

  • 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.

▶ Clone SSD to SSD with AOMEI Backupper

Below will be a step-by-step guide on how to clone smaller SSD to larger SSD on Windows 10/11.

Step 1. Launch SSD cloning software. Select “Disk Clone” under Clone tab.

Disk Clone

Step 2. Click on the smaller SSD to select it as the source disk, and click on "Next".

Source Disk

Step 3. Click on the larger SSD to set it as the destination disk, and click “Next”.

Destination Disk

Step 4. Enable "SSD Alignment" for optimal performance, then click "Start Clone" to initiate the SSD cloning process.

Start Clone

🌟Tips: To prevent unallocated space after cloning, utilize the "Edit Partitions" feature during the cloning process. You can choose to "Add unused space to all partitions" or "Manually adjust partition size" for a seamless and efficient cloning experience.

Add Unused Space

Step 5. Once the cloning is finished, shut down your computer and disconnect the original SSD. Connect the newly cloned SSD to your computer and ensure it's properly recognized. The time of cloning varies based on SSD size and data amount, but it typically takes a few hours.

Finally, test the functionality of the cloned SSD and verify that all data and settings have been successfully transferred. If you encounter issues with booting the cloned system disk, please visit cloned SSD won't boot for additional support and assistance.

🌟 New!

AOMEI Backupper continuously enhances and optimizes its software, introducing a new feature called "Create Portable Version." This feature enables you to generate a portable version of the software, providing convenience for disk cloning, file backup and restoration, and file synchronization across multiple computers without the need for installation

Create Portable Version

5 Practical Tips on SSD Cloning

Here are some important precautions to keep in mind during the SSD cloning process:

  1. Choose a compatible SSD: Ensure the larger SSD you select is compatible with your system, considering factors like interface and form factor. 

  2. Assess your storage needs: Evaluate your data requirements and estimate the necessary capacity for your new SSD. Consider current and future storage needs to ensure sufficient space for data, applications, and growth.

  3. Organize and clean up data: Before cloning, declutter your existing SSD by removing unnecessary files and organizing data. This will optimize storage usage and improve overall system performance.

  4. Take a backup: Prioritize data backup before cloning. Create a reliable backup of critical files and folders using a trusted backup solution to safeguard against any unforeseen data loss during the cloning process.

  5. Post-cloning adjustments: After cloning, update system drivers, adjust partition sizes if needed, and verify the boot settings in the BIOS. These steps ensure a seamless transition and proper functioning of the cloned SSD.

Additionally, cloning will not affect your operating system and files. It just creates an exact copy, preserving your OS, files, and settings. Cloning also doesn't usually affect activation, but some software might require reactivation.


The process of cloning an SSD to a larger SSD in Windows 11/10 can be made simple and efficient with the right software. Choosing the right SSD is also important for future use.

AOMEI Backupper Professional is a reliable SSD cloning solution that offers practical features. Above method also suits clone M.2 SSD to larger M.2 SSD. Download to explore more.

FAQs on SSD to Larger SSD Cloning

1. Can I use my computer during the cloning process?
Yes, with advanced cloning software that supports “hot clone”, you can use your computer during the cloning process. AOMEI Backupper is such cloning software.
2. Will I need to reactivate Windows after cloning?
No, Windows should remain activated if you're cloning to a new SSD on the same computer. However, if you encounter activation issues, you may need to reactivate using your product key or contacting Microsoft support.
3. What do I do with my old SSD after cloning?
After successfully cloning and ensuring your new SSD works correctly, you can use your old SSD as a secondary storage drive, for backups, or repurpose it for another computer.
Teresa · Editor
Joined AOMEI in 2015, Teresa has become an expert in the areas of data backup and migration. She shares her insights on setting up full protection for a Windows PC/Server and performing hard drive cloning. With a sharp focus on the latest technological trends, she ensures that the information shared is consistently aligned with the ever-evolving developments in the industry.