By AOMEI / Last Updated March 27, 2020

About the SSD you prepare to move to

SSD is short for Solid-State Drive and it refers to a data storage device, which can be used to store data persistently by integrated circuit assemblies. According to different interfaces and form factors, SSDs can be divided into 2.5", mSATA, M.2, and PCI-Express. Which type of SSD you need to choose depends on the available ports on your motherboard.


Compared to HDD (Hard Disk Drive), it possesses better performance in reading and writing speeds as well as system security. SSDs are known for fast running speed for games and software that occupies lots of CPU. However, it is usually more expensive than HDD when it comes to the same capacity.

Many well-known SSD manufactures are available on the market, such as Samsung, Western Digital (WD), Corsair, Crucial, Intel, Toshiba, Kingston, etc. Each brand has its own distinctive features and you can choose the most suitable one for your condition by referring to this page: Best SSD in 2020.

Why need to transfer OS to SSD?

Windows OS (Operating System) refers to the environment and command structure within which we can run programs, play games, watch movies, etc., and it is installed on C drive in most cases. However, moving OS to SSD usually does not mean moving only C drive to SSD especially when there are many other boot-related partitions such as EFI system partition and System Reserved partition.

Some users prefer the arrangement of SSD for OS and HDD for storage to fully take advantage of each sort of hard drive. They clone OS to SSD in order to:

  • Save time and effort. For most of the users, it is a big project to migrate OS by reinstalling the operating system, updates, drivers, and some other necessary applications. By contrast, OS clone is time-saving and labor-saving.

  • Increase space for operating system. The low disk space error would prompt when there is insufficient space for running programs. OS migration from small partition to bigger SSD is not a bad choice.

  • Upgrade computer’s build. In general, the most prevalent reason of copying OS to SSD is to take full use of SSD and gain better performance.

Once you search on Google, you can find the best solution to transfer OS to SSD is to choose a powerful and reliable migration tool, which can be regarded as a time saver.

Migrate OS to SSD in Windows 10/8/7 via the best OS migration software

The comprehensive yet easy-to-use migration software - AOMEI Backupper will be highly recommended. It can help move OS to SSD in Windows while keeping the operating system, applications and settings exactly the same as they should be. What is more pleasant is that you are allowed to clone Windows 10/8/7 to a smaller SSD.

Besides, it supports MBR/GPT partition styles, BIOS/UEFI boot modes, 2.5"/mSATA/M.2/PCI-E SSDs and works in all Windows PC operating system such as Windows 10, 8.1/8, 7, XP and Vista.

I’m going to show you two ways to transfer OS to SSD with different editions of AOMEI Backupper. You can choose the one which is most suitable for you. By the way, no matter which way you choose, the following preparations are alike.

Before you do:
▶ Uninstall software you aren't using anymore, and delete unnecessary files and data that you don't want to store on your SSD. (optional)
▶ Check and make sure your SSD has more space than the total amount of operating system, applications and data in C drive and other system-related drives you're migrating.
▶ Install your SSD alongside existing hard drives in the same computer and make sure it can be detected. For a laptop, if there is no extra drive bay to install SSD, you need a SATA-to-USB adapter to connect SSD, and then plug into a USB port on your laptop. Your laptop should detect your new SSD as an external hard drive.

Way 1: Migrate OS to SSD via Backup and Restore [Free Version]

This way is to use "System Backup" and "System Restore" to indirectly implement OS migration to SSD. It is more complicated and will cost much more time than Way 2. In the first place, please download, install and launch AOMEI Backupper Standard.

Step 1. Click "Backup" -> "System Backup" to create a full system image.

System Backup

Step 2. After system backup image has been created, click "Restore" and then click “Select Task” or “Select Image File”. Here I choose “Select Task”.

System Restore

Step 3. Select the system backup task from the list and click “Next”.

Select Backup Image

Step 4. Select “Restore this system backup” and check the box before "Restore system to other location" so that you can migrate OS to SSD. Then, click "Next".

Restore System To Other Location

Step 5. Select a partition on the SSD (here is Disk1) as the restoration destination and click "Next".

Select Destination

Step 6. On the Operation Summary window, check the box before "SSD Alignment" to improve the reading and writing speed of the destination SSD. At last, click "Start Restore".

Preview Restore To Other Location

Tips for transferring OS from HDD to SSD on a laptop:

Nowadays most laptops have extra bays for installing more than one disk. But if there is only one single drive bay in your laptop and you don't have a SATA-to-USB adapter to connect SSD to your laptop, you can try the following to transfer OS to SSD without an adapter:

Create an image of HDD and save it to a USB drive or network shared folder -> create a bootable media -> swap HDD with SSD -> start up laptop with bootable media -> restore disk image to SSD.

However, we suggest you buy a SATA-to-USB adapter which also can be used to connect your HDD to laptop as secondary drive after the restoration process is completed.

Way 2: Move OS to SSD by System Clone [Advanced Version]

This way is to use “System Clone” to directly copy OS to SSD. In the beginning, you need to install, launch and register AOMEI Backupper Professional with license code.

Step 1. Select "Clone" -> "System Clone".

Choose System Clone

Step 2. The source drives (OS drive and boot related drives) are selected by default, and you only need to select the SSD as destination location.

Choose Destination Partition

Tips: If the SSD is not empty, the program will prompt you all partitions on SSD will be deleted. Click "OK" to continue. Make sure you have backed up important files beforehand.

Step 3. Preview the operation. At the lower left corner, you can choose the option "Sector by sector clone" based on your needs. Tick the checkbox before "SSD Alignment" to optimize SSD performance. Finally, click "Start Clone".

System Clone Preview

The time of OS migration process depends on how much data you have. On completion, click "Finish" to exit. And then, restart your computer and enter BIOS to set boot order. You can still use the old hard drive as a secondary drive for SSD backup or data storage. With this system clone software, the operation of migrating operating system to SSD can be completed through just a few clicks.

Tips: No matter which way you use, the original OS won't be removed automatically after restoration or clone. You can manually delete it or reformat the hard drive after your computer successfully boots from SSD.


That’s all for how to migrate OS to SSD in Windows 10/8/7. The two methods offered in this article can transfer OS to SSD while ensuring the cloned drive boots up successfully.

The backup-and-restore method is recommended for laptop users because it avoids potential problems like cable disconnected, power shortage, and so on.

The OS cloning method is more straightforward and convenient for desktop users. Besides, the Professional edition supports cloning hard drive from Command Prompt, which offers a solution for unattended cloning tasks. Overall, pick one of them based on your own situation.