The Fastest Way to Transfer Files between Two External Hard Drives

Are you looking for the fastest way to transfer files between two external hard drives? You can find the answer from this article.


By Dervish / Updated on March 7, 2024

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Help! Slow transfer speed between hard drives


I have two external hard drives, one new and one old. I need to make a 120G backup. So I tried to use copy and paste, but that was too slow. I am looking for a way to transfer files from the old hard drive to the new one quickly. Is there any way to speed up the transfer? I will be very grateful.”


Generally, copy and paste is only useful for some simple files. But if you need to transfer data between two hard drives, it's not work. If you are looking for the fastest way to transfer files between two external hard drives, clone hard drive may help you. 

Compared to copy and paste, cloning can help you transfer files more efficiently and securely. It is not only fast, but also allows you to clone the entire disk layout to a new one, making the new disk's structure identical to the old one.

Copy and Paste

How to transfer data from one external hard drive to another

AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard is a professional disk cloner, which is compatible with Windows 11/10/8/7/Vista/XP. It is a easy-to-use tool that can complete disk clone with a few clicks.

There are two cloning methods: Clone Disk Quickly and Sector-by-Sector Cloning. The former only clones the used space on the hard drive, while the latter clones all sectors on the hard disk. In addition, it has an intuitive interface and is very friendly to users with no computer experience.

Let’s download it to see how it works, this may be the safest and fastest way to transfer files between two external hard drives on the market.

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download
Standard Edition only supports cloning data disk. If you want to clone Windows system, please switch to Professional Version.
Connect the external drive to the PC and make sure it can be detected.
You should initialize external hard drives if it's new.

Step 1. Install and launch AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard. Then, click the "Clone" > "Clone Disk".

Step 2. It will pop out a window for you to choose the clone method.

Step 3. Here, you should select the source external hard drive you need to clone.

Step 4. Next, choose the destination external hard drive.

Step 5. You can also edit the partitions on your new external hard drive.

Step 6. Preview the operation result in this window, don't forget to click "Proceed" and "Apply" to submit all operations.

Bonus tip: Move apps between two external hard drives

Now, you should have learned that what is the fastest way to transfer files between two external hard drives. If you need to move installed programs from one drive to another, try the advanced feature "App Mover" after upgrading to AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional.

Download Demo Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 1. Install and launch PA Professional, click “App Mover” under "Free up".

Click App Mover

Step 2. There are two options, click “App Mover”. Or, click “Move Folders” if you need to move folders from C drive to D drive.

Two Options

Step 3. Select the C drive and click "Next".

Select Partition

Step 4. Choose the target apps you want to move and select the destination location, then click "Move".

Move Adobe

Step 5. Read the prompts and click "OK" to begin the process.

Click OK


After reading this page, I believe you have found the fastest way to transfer files between two external hard drives. Besides, the way how to move installed programs between two drives is also provided. If you want to run AOMEI Partition Assistant on Windows Server 2022/2019/2016/2012/2008/2003, please turn to Server Edition.

Dervish · Staff Editor
Dervish is an English editor of AOMEI Technology; He is delicated to offering users easy and effecitve solutions for issuses related to disks and partitoins. In his spare time, he enjoy wathcning films, playing footable, traveling and so on.