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Summary :

how to move files from SSD to HDD

You may just want to keep you OS and some games on your SSD and want to move other files to HDD. However, you don't know how to do that. This article will give you step-by-step guides on it.

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Why Should We Transfer Files from SSD to HDD?

As we all know, the performance of SSD is better than that of HDD. If you buy an SSD and install the operating system on it, you will find that the starting speed is sped up extremely. However, considering price, you might buy an SSD with small capacity like 125 GB, 250 GB, or 500 GB.

Apparently, such small capacity is very inconvenient. Considering performance and price, you may use SSD and HDD at the same time. The SSD is used to install operating system and a few of programs on it and the HDD is usually used to store data. If your computer is a laptop PC, you can also use SSD and HHD simultaneously just by buying a hard disk box for your old HDD.

Further Reading:

Desktop computer can be inserted into many hard disks, whose number is determined by the number of reserved interfaces on mainboard. Laptop computer is usually designed to have only one hard drive. To avoid the waste of old hard drive, you can use hard disk box.

What is hard disk box? It is designed to protect a hard disk from physical damage. It allows hard disk to connect with computer through USB or Firewire data interface, thus realizing mobile hard disk function. Besides, its price is relatively cheap.

SSD plus HDD

transparent hard disk box

However, the SSD with small capacity is always easy to be full, which will sequentially degrade computer performance. In addition, the service life of SSD is shorter than that of HHD. So, some of you may ask how to move files from SSD to HDD like the following one.

So I have a 500 GB SSD and a 1TB HDD and I really just want to keep my OS and games on my SSD. How would I do that? I have like 3 steam games 1 Uplay and Minecraft. What would I need to do to transfer all other files?--- Tom's Hardware Forum

Then, do you know how to move files from SSD to HHD? If not, you can read on to get the transferring methods.

How to Move Personal Files from SSD to HDD

Why do you prefer SSD? That's because you want the higher performance brought by it. However, if the SSD is full of files, it could be a disaster. And you have to move files from SSD to HDD. But first, what files should be moved from SSD?

You might want to transfer all files besides OS and a few program files (like games) from SSD to HDD. As for how to move files from SSD to HDD Windows 10, please refer to the following methods.

Method One: Cut and Paste

Cut and paste feature may be the first tool you can think of. You just cut the file from the original location and paste it on the target location. However, if you want to move a lot of files to HDD, it will take you a lot of time. Besides, you may meet various permission issues if you log in computer not as administrator.

file transfer permission error

Note: Even though the computer is yours, you may also meet permission error because of security problem.

But if you want to move files from partition C to HHD, you need this method indeed. You can move all document files and program files from SSD to HDD. If you meet permission issues, you can refer to the following steps to solve it.

Step 1: Open Local Group Policy Editor.

  • Press "Windows + R" keys to open Run
  • Enter "gpedit.msc" and press Enter

Step 2: Enable admin rights.

  • Navigate to Computer Configuration > Windows Settings > Security Settings > Local Policies > Security Options.
  • Highlight Security Options and scroll down to find the following two User Account Control
  • Right click them and choose Properties to enable them one by one.
  • Save changes.

open Local Group Policy Editor to enable admin rights

Step 3: Activate administrator account.

  • Right click This PC and select Manage.
  • Navigate to System Tools > Local Users and Groups > Users.
  • Right click Administrator and choose Properties.
  • Uncheck Account is disabled and click OK.

enable administrator account

Step 4: Restart computer.

Then, you can move files from SSD to HDD smoothly. But you should be careful not to move important files wrongly.

Method Two: Copy Partition Feature of MiniTool Partition Wizard

Compared with cut and paste, Copy Partition feature of MiniTool Partition Wizard is more convenient when you move a lot of files. You can use this feature for free when the partition is not a system partition.

How to move files from SSD to HDD with MiniTool Partition Wizard? Here is a tutorial.

Free Download

Step 1: Activate Copy Partition feature of MiniTool Partition Wizard.

  • Download MiniTool Partition Wizard and launch it to get its main interface.
  • Right click a partition on SSD and choose Copy.

activate Copy Partition feature of MiniTool Partition Wizard

Step 2: Choose a target location where the partition is copied to and click Next button.

Tip: The target location must be unallocated space. Otherwise the Next button is grayed out.

choose a target location

Step 3: Adjust the size and location of the new partition by dragging it and click Finish.

adjust the size and location of the new partition

Step 4: Preview the new partition and click Apply button if it's OK.

click Apply button

And then, you can format the original partitions except the system partition C.

How to Move Installed Apps & Programs from SSD to HDD

Some of you may find that there is something wrong with programs that have registry after you just move their files to HDD (especially your games). Generally, you can't open them by clicking their icons on desktop after transferring.

Some people may suggest you to reinstall them. But you may think it's a waste of time because there are so many programs and some programs have big size. Then, how to move program files from SSD to HDD properly without reinstallation? You can refer to the following method.

This method allows you to move program files one by one so that you can still retain some necessary programs on partition C.

Note: All the operations should be carried out when you log in as administrator.

Step 1: Copy the whole folder to a partition on HDD and delete the original folder.

Tip: If you use copy partition feature of MiniTool Partition Wizard to copy partition C, you can copy files without the admin rights.

Step 2: Make a soft link (junction) with mklink command.

  • Please remember the original installation path of the program and the location where the program folder is copied to (for example: C: \Program Files\Steam).
  • Open Command Prompt window and enter command like the following one: mklink /j " C: \Program Files\Steam " " F: \ Steam".
Note: The former path is the original installation path and the latter path is the location on HDD where the program folder be copied to.

mklink /j command

Step 3: Create a new shortcut of the program on desktop.

  • Delete the original shortcut of the program.
  • Open the file folder and find the program icon.
  • Right click on it and select Send to Desktop.

Actually, you can move all program files from SSD to HDD by the same way. You can copy C: Program Files folder to a partition on HDD. And then, you use mklikn /j command to make a junction to the original path and new path.

Why Does SSD Become Full Easily

Generally speaking, some of you may purchase an SSD with small capacity due to price factore.. The SSD is easy to be full because of incorrect OS installation and improper partition management, which will also bring trouble to computer performance.

Usually, when you get a new SSD, you might adopt one of the following three methods to install OS on it to enjoy its fast speed: disk clone, OS migration, and clean install of OS. Doing one of these will bring you a full SSD easily. However, there are still some subtle differences between them.

Disk Clone: It is used when you want to replace the old hard drive with another hard disk. Disk clone will clone all data on the old hard drive, including the operating system, to the new hard disk, thus you can boot from the new disk and format the old disk for other uses such as sell, storing other data, etc.

However, when you clone the old hard drive to your new SSD with small capacity, the SSD will become full easily because the other data like programs and documents are all cloned to SSD. However, you can adopt this method if you have few personal files.

As for how to clone a disk, you can refer to clone hard drive to SSD in Windows 10/8/7 for the specific disk clone steps. But pay attention that you must set in the firmware to boot from the new disk.

OS Migration (recommended): It is used when you want to boot computer from another disk and retain the old hard drive to store data. It can just migrate system required partitions to the new disk. Other data partitions will be left in old hard disk.

If you adopt this method, you don't need to move files from SSD to HDD except that your partition C is a mess and is filled up with various program files. Click migrate Windows 10 to SSD without reinstalling OS for specific steps.

Clean Install of OS: If you adopt this method, it means that you give up your previous OS and all files in partition C. That means you should download all applications and files. This may be a waste of time, but it can assure that your partition C is relatively clean and tidy. You can click how to install Windows 10 for specific steps.

Comparing the above three OS installation methods, it seems that OS migration is a relatively proper OS installation method because it neither stuffs SSD easily nor needs to install apps again.

Last but not least, the SSD is easy to be full if you manage SSD badly. For example, you save all files (including programs, documents, videos, etc.) on partition C or you assign too small space for partition C.

Additionally, an SSD of small capacity is best not divided into more than 2 partitions and the space size of partition C should be more than 100 GB or even up to 200 GB so that stable computer performance can be guaranteed.

If your SSD is full, you have to move files from SSD to HDD through the above methods to free up space.

Here are methods on how to move files from SSD to HDD, including programs files.Click to tweet

Bottom Line

Did this article help you to move files from SSD to HDD? Or, do you have any confusion about transferring files from SSD to HDD? Please leave a comment below. We really need your feedback. Surely, if you have any problems, you can also email to [email protected] for help.

How to Move Files from SSD to HDD FAQ

How do I move files from SSD to HDD?

To move files from SSD to HDD, here are two ways for you:

  • Cut and paste the files.
  • Copy the whole partition to HDD.
How do I move program files x86 from SSD to HDD?
  • Log in your computer as administrator.
  • Copy the whole program folder to a partition on HDD and delete the original folder.
  • Make a soft link (junction) with mklink command.
  • Create a new shortcut of the program on desktop.
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