Best Free Disk Cloning Software for Windows 10/11

Read this article to get the two best free disk cloning software for Windows 10/11 to clone a hard drive to another HDD or SSD. Solve your doubts and easily complete the cloning task without professional skills in a few clicks.


By Teresa Updated on April 16, 2024

Share this: instagram reddit

Why Windows HDD Cloning Is Needed?

As we all know, HDDs that have been used for a long time may suffer from a lack of disk space, sluggish operation, and natural aging. In such situations, disk replacement has become a very common choice, especially for users who have a higher demand for hardware. 

To summarize, there are some possible scenarios:

► Upgrade to SSD for more capacity: Cloning allows you to transfer all data, including the operating system, applications, and files, from your old hard disk drive ► (HDD) to a new solid-state drive (SSD). This upgrade can significantly improve system performance and responsiveness.
► Make Extra Data Backups: Cloning creates a duplicate copy of your entire HDD, serving as a backup in case of hardware failure, data corruption, or accidental deletion. This backup ensures that your data remains safe and accessible.
► Time and Effort Savings: Cloning eliminates the need to reinstall the operating system and applications individually, saving time and effort, especially in business environments where multiple computers need to be set up identically.

The real problem is what to do with the system and files on the old disk. If you don't want to start from scratch, then migrating them to the new drive directly would be a convenient option.

Disk Imaging vs Cloning, Which is Better?

Does Windows 10 have a cloning tool? No, Windows 10 only has a built-in tool called System Image. This tool helps you move your hard drive to a new one, but there are some limits. You can only use it if your new hard drive is bigger than your old one. Also, it doesn't work for cloning specific parts of your hard drive. Instead, it makes a complete copy of everything on it, which is a bit different from regular cloning.

Now that you know there are two ways to transfer data from the old hard drive to the new drive: disk imaging and disk cloning. Disk imaging creates an image file of the old disk that can be restored to the new disk later. The process can be a little bit complex because it covers two main parts: backup and recovery.

Disk cloning directly copies data from the old disk to the new disk. As you see, cloning Windows 10 hard drive significantly simplifies the operation and reduces the time spent on migration.

Therefore, no matter whether you want to transfer HDD to SSD or another HDD, I recommend you use the disk cloning method. Since Windows lacks this feature, you need to pick free cloning software for Windows 10. And in the following content, we will offer you two different cloning software for Windows 10.

HDD Clone


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

People care more about the safety, usability, and simplicity of an HDD cloning program. AOMEI Backupper Standard, the powerful yet free disk cloning software can be one of your best choices.

AOMEI Backupper
Easy Hard Drive and SSD Cloning Software for Windows 10
  • It can help you clone non-system HDD to SSD or another HDD for free, all the data you will never want to lose. 
  • It allows you to clone only used parts to another drive with the "Intelligent Clone" technology, making it possible to clone larger drive to smaller drive.
  • It allows you to make a 1:1 copy of a hard disk by using "Sector By Sector Clone" feature.
  • It allows you to optimize the overall performance of SSD disk with "SSD Alignment" feature.
  • It supports Windows 11, 10, 8.1, 8, 7, Vista, XP (all editions, 32/64-bit), various disk brands such as Samsung, Crucial, WD and different disk types like SATA/M.2/NVMe.

Besides, the click-based interface and simple operation also make this free disk clone software for Windows 10 praised by worldwide users. To get to know how it works, you could download and install this freeware to get started.

How to Clone Hard Drive in Windows 10/11

With the help of AOMEI Backupper, the HDD cloning process can be very simple even for a novice. You can choose to view the video tutorial below or the graphic tutorial to do this.

※ Video Tutorial

※ Graphic Tutorial

Preparations before cloning the hard drive in Windows 10:
◑ Install the target drive. If your computer has only one slot, you may need a SATA-to-USB adapter or enclosure to connect it.
◑ Backup your important data. The cloning process will overwrite everything on the target disk. If there are any important files on it, it's necessary to make a backup first.
◑ Delete some programs or files (optional).  If you are cloning an HDD to a smaller SSD, you may clean up the source HDD to make it fit in the smaller drive more easily.

Then, follow the steps to free-clone HDD to SSD/HDD in Windows 10. The same steps also apply to Windows 11, 8, 7, etc.

Step 1. Choose Disk Clone in free clone software for Windows 10

Launch AOMEI Backupper and a simple interface will appear. You can click the Clone tab. Then, choose Disk Clone.

Disk Clone

💡 Tips: The Standard edition only supports cloning non-system disks. If you want to clone a disk containing OS, please try the backup & restore method below, or directly upgrade to AOMEI Backupper Professional. The Pro edition allows you to migrate only operating system to SSD in Windows 11/10/8/7 as well.

Step 2. Select your HDD as the source disk

Click on the HDD to copy data from and click Next.

Source Disk

Step 3. Choose your new HDD or SSD as the destination disk

Click on the new HDD or SSD to receive the cloned data and click Next.

Destination Disk

Step 4. Begin copying hard drive data

In this interface, you can have a preview. Then click Start Clone to migrate Windows 10/11 hard drive. If your destination disk is an SSD, you can choose SSD Alignment to accelerate the speed of the SSD.

Start Clone

- Practical Cloning Settings

✿ Sector By Sector Clone: Cloning all sectors on the old HDD whether used or not. It requires the target disk to be larger than or equal to the source disk.

✿ Edit Partitions: Adjust partition size of target disk. You can choose "Copy without resizing partitions", "Add unused space to all partitions", or "Manually adjust partition size". The second option is recommended since it is smarter.

Edit Partitions

- Extended Reading: How to Check Disk Partition Style

Both MBR and GPT are two different disk types for data storage. And you can check its disk properties in Disk Management. The overall steps are below:

  • Press Win + R to open the Run window. Then, type diskmgmt.msc and hit OK to open disk management.
  • Then, right-click the disk you want to clone and select Properties in the pop-up window.
  • In the Properties window, select the Volume tab and confirm the partition style. It can be MBR (Master Boot Record) or GPT (GUID Partition Table).

Disk Partition Style

How to Migrate Windows 10/11 to SSD via AOMEI Backupper Free

With the free edition of AOMEI Backupper, you can also realize the goal of system disk data migration on Windows 10, 11. However, this method needs more manual operations and some skills about computer. Let's take a closer look.

Step 1.  Create a system backup image using AOMEI Backupper backup feature. Go Backup > System Backup, and follow the wizard to complete. It is suggested to store the backup image on external drive or network path, or anywhere you can access from the WinPE environment.

backup system

Step 2. Prepara a USB drive that better equal or greater than 16GB. Go Tools > Create Bootable Media, and follow the wizard to complete.

create bootable usb drive

Step 3. Restore the system image in WinPE environment. Boot up your computer with the bootable media. You'll see loaded AOMEI Backupper after log in. Click Restore and follow the wizard to complete.

restore system image

🌟Tip: If you want to restore system image to new computer that has dissimilar hardware embedded, please upgrade to use the Universal Restore feature.

Free Hard Drive Cloning Software for Windows 10 - Clonezilla

Clonezilla is a free tool for copying your hard drive. It can make a backup of your entire hard drive, which is handy if you need to recover your computer. One thing to remember is that the new hard drive needs to be the same size or bigger than the old one. You can't copy to a smaller drive. However, Because it is open-source free Cloning software for Windows 10, for the average user, it has relatively high learning costs. Its complex operation process and difficulty in understanding the options structure will become the first hurdle for users. You need to know that in advance.

Start Cloning

Know the detailed instructions on how to use Clonezilla, check for the article: how to clone Windows 10/11 via Clonezilla.

Boot Windows from the New SSD after Cloning

After migrating Windows 10/11 to the new SSD, you may wonder how to boot from the new disk. Here are two situations:

Situation 1: Your computer has more than one hard drive slot

In this case, you can leave your old hard drive in as extra storage, and just install your SSD alongside it. Then, enter BIOS and set the new SSD as the first boot device.

Change Boot Order

Situation 2: Your computer has only one hard drive slot

In this case, you need to remove your old hard drive and replace it with your SSD. Restart your computer, and it will automatically boot from the new SSD.

Remove Hard Drive


You can clone an HDD so easily with free HDD cloning software in Windows 10/11 - AOMEI Backupper. It requires only a few simple steps to move your Windows 10/11 hard drive to a new HDD or an SSD. It is suggested to download this software to have a try. After all, practice is the only criterion for testing truth.

For IT maintenance and support engineers, it's suggested to use the Technician or Technician Plus edition. It is convenient to backup, restore or clone on different computers without installing it first by creating portable version of this software.

FAQs about Windows 10 Free Cloning Software

1. Is the any free cloning software for Windows 10?

Yes. Although Windows doesn't offer a built-in free cloning tool to migrate one hard disk to another, you can download and use AOMEI Backupper Standard, which is completely free.

2. Is Clonezilla completely free?

Yes, Clonezilla is a free and open-source disk cloning and imaging software. However, cloning hard drive with Clonezilla requires complicated steps. For easier operation, try AOMEI Backupper.

3. Do I need any special hardware to use cloning software?

Yes, you'll need a destination drive with enough storage space to accommodate the data from your source drive. Additionally, if your computer has only one slot, you may need a SATA-to-USB adapter or an external enclosure to connect the target drive.

4. Can I clone my Windows 10 hard drive to SSD?

To clone Windows 10 to an SSD, just follow three easy steps. First, plug in the SSD to your Windows 10 PC. Next, get disk cloning software like AOMEI Backupper. Finally, use the cloning tool to copy Windows 10 to the SSD.

5. How long does it take to clone Windows 10 to SSD?

It usually takes anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours to clone Windows 10 to an SSD. For instance, if you're copying a 500GB disk at a speed of 100 Mb/s, it might take around 90 minutes.

6. What to do after cloning Windows to SSD?

Adjust your computer's boot order in BIOS/UEFI to boot from the new drive if needed. Set up Windows startup settings to run from the SSD. Tidy up disk partitions and make new ones if necessary on both drives. Ensure all programs and drivers are functioning properly.

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.