Best Free External Hard Drive Cloning Software |Quick and Safe

How to clone hard drives? Is there any best free cloning software for external hard drives? This article answers.


By Maggie Updated on July 31, 2023

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How to choose the right cloning software

With technology developing by leaps and bounds, data security becomes a hot issue. Many businesses and individuals choose external HDD or SDD to store or backup their important info, maybe you are one of them.

Cloning software for hard drives is a powerful tool that enables effective duplication of an entire hard drive. It finds widespread use among system administrators for transferring data from one PC to another seamlessly. Moreover, disk cloning applications significantly expedite and simplify the process of upgrading hard drives and SSDs, making it a preferred choice for efficient data migration tasks.

When you decide to clone external hard drive to another external hard drive in Windows, here is a list of criteria to evaluate an external hard drive cloning software.

✔Features: If you are looking for free SSD or HDD clone software, it obviously needs enough functions and options to complete the job well.
✔Speed and ease of use
A transparent software interface and easy-to-use utility to operate will save a lot of time and reduce errors.
✔System support: The software should be compatible with your operating systems, like Windows 11/10/8/7/XP/Vista.
✔User reviews

The best external hard drive cloning software—AOMEI Backupper

AOMEI Backupper Standard is not only powerful backup and restore software for Windows users, but also remarkable portable hard drive clone software. It is regarded as the best free software for cloning external hard drive Windows 10, is compatible with Windows 11/10/8/7/XP/Vista, and can help you copy a disk successfully without causing disasters. With a few clicks, you can clone your external hard drive to another external hard drive with ease, and its WinPE disk clone is also recommended by millions of users for its excellent applicability.

More distinguished features you may want to know as below:

♣Multiple options: it provides 3 different cloning solutions: disk clone, partition clone, and system clone separately. And you can enjoy the last one in the advanced version.
Intelligent clone: it allows you to clone only used sectors from one drive to another whole skipping bad sectors, thus you can easily clone a disk to a smaller SSD or clone a disk with bad sectors without any obstacles.
Sector by sector clone: it allows you to clone all sectors of a disk to another including the recovery partition, so as you can use it to clone hard drives to larger drives, or move system reserved partition to a new hard drive easily.
SSD Alignment: this feature makes full use of 4k technology that can help you improve the performance of the SSD disk.
Multiple disk brands support: it supports various disk brands, such as Samsung, Western Digital, Intel, Crucial, Kingston and so on.

How to clone external hard drive in Windows 10 step by step

Before performing disk clone in Windows 10/11 using AOMEI Backupper, there is something you should pay attention to:

Backup important data: you should backup your data on the destination disk to another external hard drive before cloning. You need to know that all the info on the target drive will be overwritten after cloning.
Check the used space on the original SSDs/HDDs: to clone a large hard drive to a smaller SSD (like 500GB to 256GB), you have to make sure the used space on Windows 10/11 hard drive is less than or equal to the target SSD. Otherwise, it will fail due to insufficient space.
Check the connection: before executing the cloning process, you need to connect your external hard drives to computers via USB, Thunderbolt eSATA, and other interfaces.

Now, please download AOMEI Backupper and launch it, the full tutorial to clone a disk is presented as followed.

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

Step 1. Select Clone from the left-hand side menu and then select Disk Clone.

Disk Clone

Note: AOMEI Backupper Standard only supports cloning non-system disk. If your external hard drive is set as system disk, please upgrade to AOMEI Backupper Professional alternatively.

Step 2. Select the Source Disk---- original external hard drive that you want to clone. Click Next.

Select Source Disk

Step 3. Select the Destination Disk to which the source disk will be cloned, and click Next.

Select Destination Disk

Step 4. In the next window, choose Start Clone. Then wait for the prompt, and click Finish afterward.


AOMEI Backupper is the top external hard drive cloning software due to its powerful functions and high reliability. You just need a few clicks to make an exact copy of the external hard drive with its user-friendly settings and interface. What’s more, we kindly invite you to free up your disk space via AOMEI Backupper in order to save more storage space.

Maggie · Editor
Maggie is a technical editor from AOMEI and troubleshoots technical problems against data protection. She has received professional and systematic technical training. With a focus on user experience, security, and problem-solving, she always puts herself in the readers' shoes and provides them with valuable technical insights.