How to Use SSD as External Storage? Here Are Steps!

There are many benefits to using an external hard drive. But how to use SSD as external storage? This article will give you a detailed tutorial on how to use an SSD as an external hard drive and offers a reliable tool to clone your data as backup.


By Hedy / Updated on September 20, 2023

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Can SSD be used as external drive?

Over time, many users choose to upgrade their internal SSD to a larger or faster SSD, which is indeed a prudent choice. However, the question remains: What to do with retired SSDs? Will you sell it or destroy it? In fact, there's another viable option: reusing the old SSD for external storage and making it portable, as long as the SSD remains operational.

✍External SSDs offer a range of versatile applications:
Additional storage: Use it as an additional storage device to reduce pressure on the internal disk and effectively expand your storage capacity.
Data Backup: Use it as a reliable data backup solution to protect your critical files and ensure your valuable data remains safe.
Bootable Media: Leverage its potential as bootable media, allowing you to run an operating system or basic programs directly from an external SSD, increasing flexibility and efficiency.

How to use SSD as external storage?

How do I use my hard drive as external storage? There are three stages you need to do before using an internal SSD as an external drive:

Stage 1. Transfer data from old SSD to new SSD

To protect your original data and ensure a seamless transition when repurposing the internal SSD as external storage, it is recommended that you transfer your data in advance. Facts have proved that AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional is invaluable in this regard as a professional and reliable disk management tool. Its features allow you to migrate your data, including the operating system, with ease and confidence from one drive to another.

Here are the essential steps to clone the internal solid-state drive to another one as a backup.

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Step 1. Install and open AOMEI software. In the main console, go to Clone > Clone Disk.


Step 2. On this page, you need to choose a copy method. Clone Disk Quickly is recommended as it takes less time. If you need to clone all sectors including unused sectors, Sector-by-Sector Clone should be your choice.


Step 3. Here, choose the old SSD as the source disk. Then, click Next.


Step 4. Choose the new hard drive as your target disk and click Next > Yes.


Note: If the destination disk is SSD, you can tick "Optimize the performance of SSD" to align SSD partitions.

Step 5. In this window, you can adjust the partition size on the destination disk or you can leave it alone.


Step 6. You'll return to the main console of this program and you can preview the result of this operation. Then, click Apply and Proceed to commit the process.


Stage 2. Prepare one external enclosure for the old SSD

To transform your internal SSD into an external hard drive, a crucial requirement is an external hard drive enclosure or a USB adapter. Before making a purchase, it's imperative to ascertain the size (2.5 or 3.5 inches) and interface of your SSD, ensuring compatibility with the chosen enclosure or adapter. To facilitate this, you can follow the steps to retrieve your SSD's essential information.

Step 1. Press Windows+ S, then type system information and open it.


Step 2. Click Components > Storage > Disks to find your disk model. Then search the disk model on the internet to get the information you need.



Or you can directly use screwdriver to remove your SSD from your laptop's case and check the hard drive's specifications.


Stage 3. Reformat the old internal SSD

To use your previous SSD as an external hard drive, reformatting its partitions is a necessary step. This process deletes all existing data on the SSD, ensuring it is ready to store new files. Additionally, if you wish to replicate the previous partition layout on an SSD external hard drive, repartitioning is a viable option.

Windows provides a built-in hard drive formatting tool called Disk Management that simplifies the process of formatting SSDs in Windows 10. Below, you'll find a comprehensive step-by-step guide on how to format an SSD for use as external storage.

Step 1. Right-click "My Computer"/ "This PC">"Manage", and select "Disk Management" under "Storage".

Step 2. Right-click the target volume and select "Format".


Step 3. In the next window, choose the desirable file system and click "OK".

After finishing the above three stages, you can start to learn how to use external SSD on the laptop.


If you plan to upgrade your existing SSD to a new one, don’t destroy the old SSD or throw it away because it is visible to reutilize it as an external hard drive. And this page gives you a detailed tutorial on how to use SSD as external storage. If you need to transfer your data from old SSD to a new one, AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional is highly recommended as your first choice since it is reliable in disk cloning.

Hedy · Staff Editor
Hedy is an editor of AOMEI Technology. She is very good at solving problems of partition management, and she wants to share all the problems she had already solved to users who met the same questions.