Easiest Way to Perform a Bootable Clone on Windows 11 - No Data Loss

This page explains how easy it is to perform a bootable clone on Windows 11 without losing any data. Continue reading for details on how to migrate your system and data.


By Yuka Updated on November 16, 2023

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🌟 Video Guide: How to Clone Windows 11 to SSD

User case: Bootable clone on Windows 11


Clone A Windows 11 Drive

"I'm about to get a new storage device that I want to be my primary boot device. I currently have a Samsung SSD doing the job. Do you know what will happen next? Is there the easiest way to clone my existing drive to the new one, make it bootable and then use it as my primary Windows drive? Is there any software that can do this job... Thank you very much for your help with this question."

- Question from Windows Eleven Forum

Bootable Clone Windows 11

Need to clone hard drive on Windows 11

Windows 11 has been officially released for some time, and many eligible Windows 10 users have performed Windows 11 free upgrade from Windows 10. Many users ask if Windows 11 can be cloned? The answer is yes. You can use reliable cloning software to clone your Windows 11 installation drive to another solid state drive (SSD) or hard disk drive (HDD) without having to reinstall it. What is the purpose of cloning a hard drive? Some common reasons are listed below:

 Upgrade hard drives on Window 11 or replace aging disks with new ones. Many users, like the users in the above case, want to replace the original disk to get better computer performance. Cloning a hard drive can easily transfer all the data on the original one to the new one.
◑ Back up data to prevent unforeseen disasters. Cloning a hard drive means creating a digital copy of the entire data on another hard drive. You can easily retrieve any lost data on the original disk through this backup.
◑ Migrate OS to other places without reinstalling. For most users, migrating the operating system by reinstalling the operating system, system settings, and other necessary applications is a big project. In contrast, OS cloning saves time and effort.

Best Windows 11 cloning software – AOMEI Backupper

There is no software that can perform disk cloning on the computer's own system. You need to find a reliable cloning software that will help you transfer your data or operating system while still ensuring the integrity of your data. It also ensures that you can safely boot from the new hard drive.

AOMEI Backupper Professional is the most reliable and comprehensive cloning software for Windows 11 users on the market. In addition to Windows 11, it is also suitable for other operating systems, such as Windows10/8/7/XP/Vista. What can you do with this powerful software?

✪ Clone different hard drives: With its help, you can clone HDDs, SATA SSDs, NVMe M.2 SSDs, USB flash drives, and SD cards, etc.
✪ Three clone methods: It enables you to perform Disk Clone, Partition Clone and System Clone according to different needs.
✪ Clone hard drives of different sizes: You can use the "Intelligent Clone" function to clone a larger drive to a smaller drive. This function will only clone the used part to another drive. It also allows you to use the "Sector-by-sector Clone" function to make a 1:1 copy of the hard drive.
✪ Supports different disk partition styles: It allows you to clone system disks from MBR to MBR, GPT to GPT, MBR to GPT or GPT to MBR.

How to clone Windows 11 to SSD and make it bootable

These are the brief introductions of this software. Next, I will show you how to use the “Disk Clone” function of this software to clone Windows 11 to SSD. This function can clone all data on the system disk and non-system disk, and you can safely boot from the cloned disk.

Before cloning Windows 11 to SSD, you need to do some preparations. Once the preparation is done, you can learn how to clone a hard drive on Windows 11 by referring to the steps shown.

✔ Back up the data on the target drive (if any).

If your hard drive stores some files and useful programs, you'd better back up all the wanted data to a safe place because the clone function will erase all data on the target disk. If you have a brand new hard drive, you can skip this step.

✔ Check the hard drive capacity. 

Make sure that the capacity of your hard drive is larger than the space used by the old disk. If your device has a lot of unwanted programs and files, try to optimize its space by deleting large useless files or unwanted programs. 

✔ Install and Initialize New SSD in Windows 11.

To clone an old hard disk to a new one, you need to initialize the HDD or SSD and make sure that the target disk has the same partition style as the source disk.

Install and Initialize New SSD in Windows 11

  1. Make sure your computer is fully powered off.
  2. Unscrew and remove the side of the computer tower case to expose the internal hardware and wiring.

Computer Internal Hardware and Wiring

  1. Connect a power cable to the SSD and attach a SATA connector.

Connect SSD

  1. Close your computer case and restart it.
  2. After Windows 11 boots up, press Windows + R to open the Run dialog box, type diskmgmt.msc, and click OK to open Disk Management.

Open Disk Management

  1. Right-click on the new SSD and select Initialize Disk. Choose the MBR or GPT partition style for SSD.

Note✍: In order to have better compatibility with Windows11, it is recommended to choose GPT.

Initialize SSD

Perform bootable disk cloning on Windows 11

After the preparations are completed, you can use AOMEI Backupper to perform a bootable clone on Windows 11. Follow the graphic tutorial for details.

Step 1. Download AOMEI Backupper, install and open it. The cloning feature in the trial version of the software is just a walkthrough step. To actually perform a bootable clone on Windows 11, you need to upgrade to the official version. You can get a 10% discount for upgrading now.

Download Free Trial Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 2. On the dark blue interface, click Clone -> Disk Clone.

Disk Clone

Step 3. Select the original hard drive contains Windows 11 as the source disk and click Next.

Select the Original Disk

Step 4. Select the target SSD on the computer as the destination disk and then click Next.

Destination Disk

Step 5. Preview all settings and check the "SSD Alignment" option to optimize the performance of this SSD. Then click Start Clone.

Start Clone

Edit Partitions: It allows you to edit the size of the partitions on the destination disk. Please note that the first option is not available when you clone to a smaller disk.
>>> Copy without resizing partitions: Do not change anything.
>>> Add unused space to all partitions: The destination disk partitions will be automatically resized to the entire disk, appropriate for the disk size.
>>> Manually adjust partition size: Manually adjust the partition size and location by dragging the slider bar.

Edit Partitions

✨ Clone only Windows 11 operating system to SSD

If you just want to migrate the OS to SSD or other places, please use the “System Clone” function of AOMEI Backupper Professional. System clone requires less disk space than disk clone

Step 1. Click Clone in the left panel of this program. Choose System Clone to clone only Windows 11 operating system to SSD.

Choose System Clone

Step 2. It will automatically select the System drive and related drives by default. Select the target SSD as the destination disk and click Next to continue.

Select the Target SSD

Step 3. Confirm all your settings. Check SSD Alignment to improve the reading and writing speed of the target SSD. Then, click Start Clone to perform this operation.

Confirm Settings and Start Clone

Step 4. Wait until the operation is complete, click Finish.


Boot from the cloned SSD with Windows 11

If the original hard drive contains your operating system-Windows 11, you need to follow the steps here to make the newly cloned SSD bootable:

  1. Restart the computer and press F2/F10/Del key to enter BIOS.
  2. Go to the Boot Menu, at the boot priority section, set the new SSD as the boot drive.

Set New SSD as Boot Drive

  1. Press F10 to save all the changes and restart the computer.


That’s all for performing a bootable clone on Windows 11 without losing any data. With AOMEI Backupper Pro, you can easily protect your system as well as the data. You never have to worry about system crashes or any Windows 11 BSOD errors. Because you can restore Windows 11 computer to earlier date with this software effortlessly.

We can also use this reliable software to set up an automatic backup to protect our important files during our daily use of the computer. You can choose incremental or differential backup to save your backup time and space in the backup destination.

Yuka · Editor
Yuka, our dedicated editor at AOMEI Technology, is committed to bringing you valuable insights and guidance in data protection. Her mission is to empower everyone with her knowledge in computer backup and recovery, disk cloning, file synchronization, and more. Yuka's goal is to do her best to make complex tech tasks simple and ensure that your digital world remains safe and secure.