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How Can You Migrate Windows 10 to SSD without Reinstalling OS


Summary: Have you installed Windows 10 on an HDD? You can easily migrate Windows 10 to SSD without reinstalling operating system for a good performance. To clone Windows 10 to SSD is the best way for system migration.

"I recently upgraded from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10. My Windows 8.1 was originally installed on a small SSD in my laptop. When I upgraded to Windows 10, it installed to my larger HDD. Is there a way to migrate my OS to the SSD without having to uninstall all my program files?"

--from answers.microsoft.com

From the above example, you know this Microsoft user wants to move his operating system to SSD after upgrading to Windows 10 for the large disk space. Here in this post, we will show you two tools for this job.

How to Migrate Windows 10 to SSD?

When referring to moving Windows 10 to SSD, you probably are doubtful: is it simple to clone Windows 10 from HDD to SSD? As a matter of fact, it is not so difficult as imagining so long as you have a piece of professional third-party clone software. In this article, we are going to show you some necessary instructions to transfer the installed system to the SSD properly with two pieces of clone HDD to SSD software.


Before you migrate Windows 10 to SSD, there are some things you need to note for this migration or clone job.
1. Prepare an SSD as the destination disk. Please note the disk space of SSD can't be smaller than the used disk space of the source disk.
2. Own clone software: In the market, many kinds of clone tools are provided. Here we will show you two programs, such as MiniTool ShadowMaker and MiniTool Partition Wizard.

img3 MiniTool ShadowMaker

If you want to boot your computer quickly, just migrate Windows 10 to SSD by cloning the system drive or the entire system disk to SSD with the assistance of disk clone software. If you are searching for such a program, MiniTool ShadowMaker can be your good choice. This tool can be used as backup software since it supports system backup, partition backup, and disk backup. What's more, it is secure and effective disk clone software which is completely compatible with many OS versions including Windows 10/8/7 and more. With its "Clone Disk" feature, you are allowed to migrate or clone the entire disk data including system files to an SSD without losing data.

Before you start Windows 10 system migration, please download MiniTool ShadowMaker and install this application on your computer.

How can you migrate HDD to SSD in Windows 10? Follow the guidance as follows.

Step 1: Launch MiniTool ShadowMaker, and then a window will pop up showing you two backup types such as local backup and remote backup. If you want to make a backup for the local computer, please click "Connect" on the left side. If you need to remotely control one computer in the same LAN, please choose the right mode, type the corresponding IP address and click "Connect".

backup type

Step 2: Then after a while, this clone HDD to SSD software will automatically go to "Home" page. Please turn to "Tools" tab, and then you will see there are so many features. Here please click "Clone Disk" to begin to clone Windows 10 to SSD.

clone disk

Step 3: Then in the pop-up window, you can see two sections including Source and Destination. Please click the corresponding section to select the source disk you want to clone and the target SSD to save the copy. Next click "OK" button to continue.

migrate os disk to ssd

A warning will pop out, showing "Data on the target disk will be destroyed. Are you sure you want to start cloning now?" Please make sure no important files are saved on your SSD. And then click "Yes" to start the cloning operation.


Step 4: Then you will enter the process page. Please wait patiently. After the operation is completed successfully, a window will pop out and tell you "Please shut down the computer. Be sure you disconnect either the original hard drive or the target hard drive when you perform the first boot after creating a clone. If both the original and target disks are connected to the computer at boot time one disk may be marked as offline by Windows operating system. Do you want to shut down now?"

Here please enter Windows Disk Management to mark the target disk – SSD online, then shut down your computer and change the boot order in BIOS to boot from SSD. Then you can enjoy the good performance that SSD offers to your Windows 10.


As mentioned above, the whole disk space of the target SSD can't be smaller than the used disk space of the source disk. But if your SSD can't meet the requirement, what should you do to move Windows 10 to SSD? When searching how to clone Windows 10 to a smaller SSD on the internet, you will find some articles discuss it. Here we summarize some points that you should pay attention to before Windows 10 migration.

1. Before you start, you can make a disk defragment.
2. Make a backup of your important personal files to an external hard drive or USB drive.
3. Delete some personal files including photos, videos, music, documents and more to make your OS disk as small as possible to fit on the SSD.

Then you can clone the OS disk to SSD for fast read-write speed. After the migration, you can restore your personal files to SSD. From the above content, you know it is a little complex to move Windows 10 to a smaller SSD. Therefore, please prepare a large enough SSD to begin Windows 10 system migration.

tip In addition to disk cloning with MiniTool ShadowMaker, you can also choose another way to do Windows 10 OS migration operation. MiniTool ShadowMaker is not only a piece of hard drive cloning software but also a piece of backup software. You can use it to back up the entire system disk to an image and then restore the disk image to an SSD. Next, change the boot order in BIOS to ensure your computer can boot from the SSD.

If you are interested in MiniTool ShadowMaker, please free download this software to migrate Windows 10 to SSD right now.

img1 MiniTool Partition Wizard

Now we have shown you how to migrate Windows to SSD without reinstalling operating system by disk cloning with MiniTool ShadowMaker. As a matter of fact, in addition to MiniTool ShadowMaker, MiniTool Solution Ltd. has developed another software to do this work. It is MiniTool Partition Wizard, which can be a partition manager. With it, you can resize partition, recover lost partition rebuild MBR, clone disk, migrate OS and so forth. If you need to migrate Windows 10 to a new hard drive, for example, SSD, just try this software.

MiniTool Partition Wizard Free Edition can migrate OS from HDD to SSD with MBR partition style. If your target SSD adopts GUID Partition Table (GPT), please use its Professional Edition since Free Edition doesn't support moving OS disk to GPT.

Step 1: Please prepare an SSD as the destination disk and connect it to your computer. Then launch this PC cloning software to its main interface. And then you see all hard drives in your PC will be listed here. Select "Migrate OS to SSD/HD" in the toolbar.

migrate os

Step 2: Then you see two migration modes. If you would like to replace the system disk with SSD, choose the first mode. If you only want to copy the system required partitions, the second mode is suitable(Tip: The function of this mode is the same as "Copy Disk" feature). Just check one according to your need.

migrate mode

Step 3: Select a destination disk to migrate Windows 10 to. Here you know all the data of the destination disk will be deleted during the migration. Thus, please make sure the disk doesn't contain important files.

Step 4: Next choose one copy mode, "Fit partitions to entire disk" or "Copy partitions without resize". Moreover, please check "Align partitions to 1MB" for your SSD. If you want to use GPT as the partition style of your SSD, please check "Use GUID Partition Table for the target disk".

copy option

Step 5: A note will appear and tell you to configure BIOS to boot from the new disk.

Step 6: Execute the OS migration by hitting "Apply" button.

Tips about MiniTool ShadowMaker and Partition Wizard

In this part, we show you two pieces of system migration software. Here you may want to know the difference between them. Generally speaking, there is one point you should know:

MiniTool ShadowMaker can migrate Windows 10 to SSD by disk cloning or disk backup & restore. But MiniTool Partition Wizard enables you to achieve the aim of system migration by two modes, for instance, only clone system related partitions or clone the entire system disk. Please select the appropriate tool to transfer Windows 10 to SSD.

Why Migrate Windows 10 to SSD

Now two pieces of Windows 10 migration software has been introduced. Some of you probably want to know why transfer your OS to SSD. Here let’s analyze this question in two aspects and help you learn OS migration to SSD well.

img1 Why Use SSD for OS Disk

If your computer is struggling to load some large files and run many applications at the same time or you want to speed some things up a little, to upgrade your old HDD to a solid state drive (SSD) is the surest way. Why? It is because of the merits of SSD. Compared to HDD, SSD has many advantages, for example, it doesn’t have noise and moving parts, it is less likely to get damaged. Above all, the read-write speed of SSD is very fast. In order to speed up your computer, to use an SSD as OS disk will be a good choice.

img2 Why Do OS Migration

Suppose you have installed Windows 10 on an HDD, but now you want to boot your computer from SSD for the best performance. In this case, usually, the simplest way is to perform a clean installation on the SSD. Nevertheless, this way is not the best solution. What’s the reason? In a word, OS reinstallation is very time-consuming and troublesome since you need to install programs once again and some data saved on C drive will be lost. If you wouldn’t like to make a fresh OS installation on an SSD, there is a way to move the already installed Windows 10 to SSD without reinstalling OS. You can choose to migrate Windows 10 to SSD.

Bottom Line

In this article, we inform you an example of transferring Windows 10 to SSD, the ways to move Windows 10 to SSD and some additional information about the reason for SSD system migration. After reading the detailed introduction about MiniTool ShadowMaker and MiniTool Partition Wizard, you know which one you should use. If you don't want to reinstall Windows 10 to SSD, try one tool to begin Windows 10 migration.

When using our software to clone HDD to SSD or migrate OS from HDD to SSD, if there is any question, please tell us. As for the method of system migration, if you have any suggestion, you can also inform us. Just leave a comment in the following zone or send an email to support@minitool.com.