How to Clone Large HDD to Smaller SSD without Data Loss?

To clone large HDD to smaller SSD effortlessly and safely, it is a reasonable choice to ask the help of professional and trusted disk cloning software – AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional.


By Michael / Updated on June 6, 2024

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Why clone HDD to smaller SSD?

With the development of technology, SSD (solid state drive) becomes more and more popular and common. Because of its advantages in read-write speed, noiselessness, energy-saving and etc, you may want to replace your current HDD (hard disk drive) with an SSD. Usually, the storage space of an HDD is bigger than that of an HDD of the same price.

So, it’s pretty common to replace an HDD with a new smaller SSD. As we all know, hard disk replacement usually means the loss of all files and thus, you have to reinstall all the previously existing apps and programs to the new SSD. If you hope to stay away from this hassle, it’s recommended to clone the large HDD to the smaller SSD.

Get a trusted tool to clone to smaller SSD

Since Windows 11/10/8/7 doesn’t offer disk cloning software, you can turn to third party tool. I’d like to introduce AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional to you out of its highlights presented below:

  • With the ability to clone only used spaces, it enables you to clone disk to smaller one effortlessly, as long as the usable size of SSD is not smaller than the used space on the current HDD.

  • It is able to align SSD partitions to improve SSD’s performance while cloning to SSD.

  • What’s more, it is compatible with SSDs of different brands (like Samsung, Kingston and etc.) and of various interfaces (SATA, MSATA and M.2).

It can work well under Windows 11/10/8.1/8/7, XP and Vista. For cloning hard drive to smaller SSD or larger HDD in Windows Server, please employ AOMEI Partition Assistant Server.

Clone large HDD to smaller SSD step-by-step

Before cloning:
1. Prepare an SSD whose capacity is not smaller than the used space of the current HDD. Connect it and make sure that it can be detected. If there is any important data on the SSD, you’d better back up them at first.
2. Delete unwanted files and uninstall unnecessary applications on your source HDD to decrease copy time.
3. Download and install the demo of AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional.

Free Download Win 10/8.1/8/7
Secure Download

Learn to clone HDD to smaller SSD as follows.

Step 1. Install and launch AOMEI Partition Assistant, click "Clone" in the main interface and select "Clone Disk".

Disk Copy

Step 2. Choose the hard disk that you need to clone as the source disk and click "Next".

Copy Disk in Windows 10 Quickly

Step 3. Select the destination disk to store the data on the source disk, and then click "Next".

Seleect Destination Disk

Step 4. Then, you can check the source and destination disk in the next window or change to “Sector to Sector clone”, and click the "Confirm" button to continue if there is no problem.

Edit Disk

Here, you can also click the "Settings" button to adjust the partition size on the destination disk or tick "4k alignment" to improve the reading and writing speed of SSD if the target disk is an SSD drive.


Step 5. At last, click "Apply" and "Proceed" in the main interface to start cloning the hard drive.


Step 6 (Optional). To boot from the cloned SSD successfully, you could exchange the connection socket of the HDD and SSD or enter BIOS to change boot priority to the SSD.


1) If you clone an HDD in GPT to an SSD in MBR or an HDD in MBR to an SSD in GPT, you need to change UEFI to Legacy or Legacy to UEFI.

2) It is available to clone boot related partitions only rather than the entire HDD to SSD via the function Migrate OS to SSD in AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional.

3) To free up disk space on original HDD, you can format or wipe HDD after confirming that you can boot from the cloned SSD successfully.

Final words

It is not a difficult task to clone HDD to smaller SSD, like copying 500GB HDD to 256GB SSD via AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional. In fact, it is far more than a disk cloning tool. With it, you can manage disks and partitions conveniently and comprehensively including SSD secure erase and free space allocation. Also, it comes with Dynamic Disk Manager, capable of controlling dynamic disks and partitions.

Michael · Staff Editor
Michael is a professinal editor of AOMEI editor team.