How to Migrate Only OS to SSD on Windows 10/11 (Without Reinstalling)

This article provides you with the easiest way to migrate only OS to SSD on Windows 10 without reinstalling. Get it and improve your PC performance now.


By Jonna Updated on April 3, 2024

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Can You Move only OS to SSD?


I am running out of hard drive space on my Windows 10 laptop due to installing too many games from various giveaways over the last two years. I wanted to install a second hard drive, only to find that there is no bay for a second conventional hard drive and no place to put/mount the second drive even though there are two free SATA ports and an extra SATA power port.

So I am considering migrating only OS to SSD on Windows 10. Is that possible? What's the best way to transfer my copy of Windows 10 OS to the new SSD? If anyone can give me a step-by-step guide to it that would be great!

Migrating from HDD to SSD can significantly enhance your system's performance, but you may not want to go through the hassle of reinstalling everything from scratch. Yes, it's possible to migrate only the operating system (OS) to a solid-state drive (SSD) without transferring the entire contents of your hard drive. In this guide, we'll explore the process step by step, along with the best software for the job.

Migrate Only OS to SSD

Why Migrate Windows 10/11 OS to SSD?

Compared to running OS on HDD, migrating your Win10 or 11 to new SSD offers several advantages:

  • Faster Boot Times: SSDs offer significantly faster read and write speeds compared to traditional hard drives, resulting in quicker boot times and snappier system responsiveness.
  • Improved System Responsiveness: Applications and tasks launch faster, and overall system responsiveness is greatly enhanced with an SSD.
  • Enhanced Reliability: SSDs are more resistant to physical shock and damage than HDDs, making them a more reliable storage solution.
  • Extended Lifespan: SSDs are more durable and reliable than mechanical hard drives, reducing the risk of data loss due to physical damage or mechanical failure.

Best OS Migration Software - AOMEI Backupper

When it comes to migrating OS to SSD on Windows 10 or 11, AOMEI Backupper Professional, a professional disk and system cloning software, stands out as one of the best solutions available. Here are some key features of AOMEI Backupper:

System Clone - This function allows you to only copy operating system, system settings, installed apps, and personal files on the system partition(s), and it supports cloning MBR to GPT disk and vice versa.
Various Size Clone - By default, it clones only the used sectors, allowing to clone larger disk to smaller SSD; Sector by sector clone is also available to clone all sectors, for cloning smaller disk to larger SSD.
SSD Alignment - It offers 4K partition alignment for SSD to accelerate its reading and writing speed and extend its lifespan.
Intuitive Interface - It comes with a user-friendly interface that makes the migration process straightforward and accessible to users of all skill levels.

How to Migrate Only OS to SSD on Windows 10/11 without Reinstalling

Follow these steps to learn how to migrate Windows 10 OS only to SSD without reinstalling. The AOMEI Backupper software also works to migrate OS to SSD on Windows 11, 8.1, 8, 7, XP, Vista, and other systems.

Prepare an SSD that has enough space to hold all your system data.
Backup files on the SSD if they are crucial, as the cloning process will overwrite all data on it.
Get a SATA-to-USB cable to connect your SSD, if there is only one slot on your computer.

Step 1. Download and install AOMEI Backupper on your system. Launch it, sync Clone and then System Clone.

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

Choose System Clone

Tip: If you want to clone your entire system disk to the new SSD, you can choose the Disk Clone option.

Step 2. Your system partition(s) will be selected automatically, and you just need to choose your SSD as the destination path and click Next.

Select Destination

Step 3. Tick the SSD Alignment option in the lower left corner, and tap on Start Clone to migrate only OS to SSD on Windows 10.

SSD Alignement

Tip: The Make full use of disk space feature is used to add unallocated space to system partition if your SSD is larger than the old HDD.

How to Boot from the cloned SSD

After you have completed the process of how to migrate only Windows 10 to SSD, you can go on with the following steps to make sure that you can boot up from the new SSD:

>> If you are using a laptop, turn it off, and swap your old SSD for the new SSD, then boot it up.

>> If you are using a desktop PC, turn it off and on, and continuously press F2/F8/F12/Del to access BIOS settings. Then, select your SSD as the first boot option under the Boot tab.


Tip: If you want to use SSD for OS and HDD for storage, you can use Disk Wipe of AOMEI Backupper to erase your old disk for secondary usage.

FAQs about Windows OS Migration

#1. How Do I Move My OS to SSD without Cloning?

A clean install of Windows allows you to migrate OS to SSD without cloning, but it will erase everything on the drive before installing a new copy of Windows.

#2. How Long Does it Take to Clone an OS to SSD?

The time it takes to clone an OS to an SSD depends on various factors such as the size of the OS, the speed of your SSD, and the performance of your computer. However, with AOMEI Backupper, the process typically takes between 30 minutes to an hour.

#3. Can You Transfer OS from HDD to SSD without Formatting?

Yes, you can transfer the OS from an HDD to an SSD without formatting by using migration software like AOMEI Backupper, which clones the OS while preserving your data.

#4. Does Windows 10 Have a Cloning Tool?

Windows 10 does not have a built-in cloning tool. It only offers system backup tool, Backup and Restore, which can help you create system image and restore it to new disk.

#5. Will Clone a Hard Drive Clone the OS?

Yes, when you clone a hard drive, the cloning process includes copying the entire contents of the drive, including the operating system, to another drive.


Migrating OS to SSD on Windows 10 or 11 without reinstalling is a straightforward process with the right tools and software. By using AOMEI Backupper, you can clone the OS to an SSD quickly and easily, enjoying the benefits of improved performance and reliability without the hassle of a full reinstall.

Besides, you can use this tool to backup system and restore it to new SSD. And you can use it to create bootable USB to rescue your computer, when it is unbootable. If you want to protect unlimited computers in your company, you can try AOMEI Backupper Technician.

Jonna · Editor
Jonna joined AOMEI in 2021 and has become a professional in the areas of computer backup and restoration, disk cloning, file synchronization, etc. She maintains a keen eye for the latest technology trends, ensuring that the information provided is always in step with industry developments.