By Lily / Last update March 24, 2022

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Can I transfer Windows 10 from HDD to SSD?

"Hi i made my own pc i have a hdd and a ssd when i installed windows for the first time it got installed on the hdd instead of the ssd and i have no idea of how to reinstall windows on my ssd instead of the hdd my pc is empty only windows on it so i dont mind how its done i just need a way that works !! "

Transfer Windows 10 from HDD to SSD

This is user case from Microsoft forum, and you can see similar cases on various forum, such as, reddit, quora, etc. Just like the user in this case, they install Windows 10 on HDD and want to replace HDD with SSD to get better performance. But the problem is that they don't know how to transfer Windows 10 to SSD from HDD?

Of course, this problem may be more severe if the hard drive you want to replace has been in use for a long time. Because it may contain many precious data you don't want to lose, such as, working documents, photos, videos etc. Then, how to make this task easily without losing any data? You could use a disk cloning software to migrate operating system to SSD. 

Why migrate Windows 10 from HDD to SSD? 

You may already know SSD has more advantages over HDD, but not know exactly what it is. Here you will get them in details. 

  • The data on the SSD can be read and written faster because the store way is different with the traditional HDD.

  • The data on SSD is safer than HDD.

  • There is no noise of metal platter spinning.

  • The SSD can work under more serious environment compared with HDD (the SSD can work normal between -10 to 70℃ while HDD can work between 5 to 50℃).

After you move Windows 10 to SSD, the computer’s performance will be improved greatly. It will run faster than before. If this is what you want, please keep reading below to learn the best SSD cloning software and transfer Windows 10 from HDD to SSD without reinstalling OS.

Best SSD cloning software for Windows 10 

To complete the cloning process easily, you need a trust and reliable software.Here I strongly recommend you to use the disk cloning software AOMEI Backupper, which has different versions to meet the needs of different users. Its standard version support cloning disk and partition while the professional is able to clone only OS, thus saving time and storage space.

You can choose to clone hard drive to SSD in Windows 10, but it's not the best practice. Compared with HDD, SSD has small storage space and the backup disk is full easily, which may also affect the performance. Thus, it's suggested to migrate only Windows 10 to SSD with "System Clone" feature in the professional version.

This software will only clone the used sectors in the hard drive by default, so you can easily clone hard drive with different size, whether larger disk or smaller SSD. Also, if necessary, you can choose to clone all sectors of a hard drive with "Sector by sector clone" feature.

And it is capable of accelerating reading and writting speed of SSD with "SSD Alignment".  In addition, you can adjust partition size of larger destination disk with "Edit Partition" to make full use of disk space. Now, you may know this software clearly, so next, we will learn how to clone Windows 10 hard drive or OS.

Method 1: Clone HDD to SSD in Windows 10 free 

Before cloning HDD to SSD in Windows 10, you need to make some preparations:  

  • Make sure the destination SSD has enough space to store the files. If not, please consider using "Method 2" to migrate only Windows 10 to SSD.

  • Because the destination disk will be overwritten, please backup files on the target hard drive in advance.

  • The standard version only support cloning MBR disk to MBR disk. If you want to clone GPT to GPT or MBR to GPT & GPT to MBR, you could consider upgrading to the professional version of AOMEI Backupper with a discount.

  • If you transfer Windows 10 from MBR disk to GPT disk, make sure that the motherboard supports EFI/UEFI. Please change boot mode from BIOS to UEFI when you try to boot from the new SSD.

Step 1. Download free SSD cloning software AOMEI Backupper Standard and install it. Then, launch it, click on Clone -> Disk Clone in order.

Download Freeware Win 10/8.1/8/7/XP
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Disk Clone

Step 2. Select the Windows 10 system hard drive (eg: Disk 0) and click Next button to continue.

Select Source Disk

Step 3. Select SSD disk as destination (eg: Disk 1) and click Next button to continue.

Select Destination Disk

Step 4. Tick SSD Alignment to boost the performance of SSD disk. And then click Start Clone to clone HDD to SSD in Windows 10. 

Start Clone

Step 5. Wait untill the process is complete, click Finish to exit the window. 

Tips on booting computer from the cloned hard drive

  1. Completely shut down your computer. Then, open the back panel or host, take out HDD using screwdrivers.
  2. Install the SSD back at the location of HDD and secure it tightly
  3. Put the computer panel or host cover back.
  4. Restart your computer and then you will see a message like "Press F2 to enter BIOS setup", just press it.
  5. Go to the boot tab and change the new SSD as the first boot option. Then, save changes and boot from it, your computer will start as normal.

Method 2: Migrate only Windows 10 to SSD 

Here you will use "System Clone" feature in the professional version to clone only OS, which can greatly improve the performance of your computer without occupying much disk space. 

Note: If the destination disk is too small, you could use SSD for OS and HDD for storage. This makes good use of advantages of SSD and HDD, to be specific, high performance and large capacity.

Step 1. Upgarde to AOMEI Backupper Professional and launch it. Then, click Clone and select System Clone subsequently.

System Clone

Step 2. The source of system are chosen by default, and what you need to do is choose the SSD you prepared as the destination disk. Click Next.

Choose Destination Partition

Then, you will see a pop-up window to remind you whether you want to this progress continue. Conform the information and click Yes and Next again. If there are something important to backup, click Cancel and backup first.


Step 3. In the operation summary window, Be sure you want to transfer Windows 10 OS to SSD and add add necessary settings for this task. Then, click Start Clone and click Finish when the progress reached 100%.

▶ Sector by sector clone: it means it will copy all the sectors no matter it has been used or not. It will take more time and occupy more space.

▶ SSD Alignment: It is to optimize the performance of SSD, such as, reading and writting speed or lifespan. 

Start Clone

❤ After transferring is complete, please restart your computer and enter BIOS to set SSD as the first boot order so that your Windows 10 will boot from the SSD.
❤ This software is able to migrate Windows 10 to new hard drive as well as previous version of Windows, such as, Windows 7, Windows 8, etc. If you want to migrate Windows Server 2012 to new hard drive, AOMEI Backupper Server is suitable for you.
❤ Except for cloning method, you still can choose to create a complete system backup of Windows 10, and then restore system image backup to SSD. This greatly ensures that you can transfer Windows 10 from HDD to SSD without losing data by backing up them first. And it's free.

More questions about transferring Windows 10 from HDD to SSD 

Below are some frequently asked questions about migrating Windows 10 from HDD to SSD, hope it can help you.

What is the difference between HDD and SSD?

HDD(Hard Disk Drive) is the most basic storage disk of computer. It is a metal platter with the magnetic coating. When it spinning, the data can be read and written. More specifically, the local disk on the computer has many drives we marked as C, D, F, and we usually called those drives hard disk drives.

SSD(Solid State Drive) is also a storage disk which made by solid state electronic storage chip. Unlike HDD, SSD has no moving parts, the data are stored on the memory chips(consists of flash chip and Dynamic Random Access Memory(DRAM) chip). So, there is no platter spinning while the data read or written on SSD.

How to migrate only Windows 10 to SSD?

To migrate only Windows 10 to SSD, you can choose to clone system partition directly with "System Clone" feature. Also, you can create a complete system image of Windows 10 and then restore system image to new SSD. And it's free and safer.  

How to migrate large HDD to smaller SSD without boot problem?

To migrate large HDD to smaller SSD, you need to use "intelligent clone" feature, which only clone the used sectors of a hard drive. It can ensure all the data required to start Windows is included, such as, operating system, system reserved partition or EFI partition and recovery partition, and other system files. 

Wrapping things up 

To transfer Windows 10 from HDD to SSD, you can choose to clone entire hard drive with "Disk Clone" feature or clone only OS with "System Clone" feature. But the system clone feature is only available on the professional version or advanced version. If you  want a free way, you could choose to backup system and then restore to SSD. 

If you want to protect unlimited computers within your company, you can pick AOMEI Backupper Technician. With the inbuilt AOMEI Image Deploy tool, you are also allowed to deploy/restore system image file on server-side computer to multiple client-side computers over network.